Friday 9 September 2011

Beatles stay in Roman Camp Hotel, Callender, Scotland

This article was kindly sent to us by Michelle Nelson. The Roman Camp Hotel in Callender is still a functioning hotel -- and you can stay in the Beatles' room!For more information please contact: Michelle Nelson, Crimson Edge PR, 11 Dean Park Mews, Edinburgh, EH4 1EE, Tel: 0131 311 7050, Fax: 0131 311 7051, Email:

The Beatles stayed at Roman Camp Hotel, Callander for two nights on 29 April 1964. They were rising stars – signed in by their road manager at that time Neil Aspinall – but they didn't escape the glare of the camera or popularity of fans because news of their arrival to what they called the 'hideaway hotel' soon spread. Scores of school children poured out down the private drive to Roman Camp from the local school and stood patiently outside the boys' hotel room window until the Beatles appeared at their window. Several villagers in Callander still proudly hold a momento from this day in the form of a photo of the crowds outside gathering as the Beatles greeted them from the window.

Hotel owner Eric Brown remembers it well as it was the year he came to live in Callander and he says it caused quite a stir in the village. Eventually the head master came and dispersed the crowd of about 100 children back to school.

Since the passing of John Lennon a relative of John's – Stan Parkes, a retired garage owner, living in Largs on the West Coast of Scotland - has visited Roman Camp to retrace the footsteps of his famous cousin on a number of occasions. Eric met him first about 10 years ago when he visited and stayed at the hotel and he has kept in touch over the years. Interestingly Stan has shown Eric a hand drawn invitation he received from the Fab Four – which features a caricature of each of them drawn by their own hands and directions for Stan to come and visit them at Roman Camp.

Roman Camp Hotel, Callander
When the Beatles stayed at Roman Camp they were not yet at the high of their fame – they had just played at ABC Edinburgh – which is on Lothian Road in the city – and was a very fine building with an original cinema frontage, but is now an Odeon Cinema. They therefore all stayed in one room and this room is now called the Star Suite in their honour.

Their stay was featured in the Sunday Times and features a photo, the original of which is believed to still be in Stan Parkes's private collection. Eric also keeps a record of guests who have stayed at the hotel since it was transformed from a hunting lodge owned by the Earls of Moray and Viscount Esher in 1935. The visitor book shows the entry for the Beatles arriving.

Other famous people who have also stayed or dined there include JM Barrie (who wrote part of Peter Pan there and used it as his focus for Neverland), Ken Stott (the actor and presently Ian Rankin's Rebus, Monty Python – who dined there 10 years later in 1974, when they were filming at nearby Doune – coincidentally the entry is also for 29 April – and is mentioned in Michael Palin's diaries 1969-1979.

1 comment:

  1. My brother was one of those school children...and the punishment for skipping school? write out the lyrics of one beatles song...can't remember how many times though!!