REFLECTING on the 50th anniversary of the making of the Beatles final studio album, Abbey Road (“Like it was Yesterday: Celebrating 50 years of Abbey Road image”, The Herald August 9), has led me to become maudlin and nostalgic in equal measure.

I remember clearly standing in a queue with my older brother (in Graham & Morton’s of Stirling, no less) as he excitedly waited to purchase the LP. Any new Beatles album was a major event for us and we rushed home to hear it for the first time, gazing with wonder at titles like Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Octopus’ Garden, ironically the two weakest tracks on the record. For us, the Beatles would go on for ever, producing awe-inspiring music and being much more than just a rock group. When they finally split in 1970 a gloom settled over our home than not even Led Zeppelin could shift. This was a lesson from the school of hard knocks that nothing is forever and that no one, not even the individual Beatles, is perfect.

The impending doom of Brexit has reawakened these feelings of disillusionment in that things we have taken for granted such as our welfare state and sense of democracy are now in peril. We are pursuing an insular and parochial agenda, a xenophobic and narrow form of jingoism continues to drive the Brexiters’ populist vision.

The Beatles were internationalist, three of the four members were of mixed English and Irish extraction and they rejoiced in the cultural melting pot that was Liverpool. They honed their musicianship in Hamburg, Germany, they believed in social justice and ethnic equality. George Harrison embraced Indian culture. The group refused to play to a segregated audience in Jacksonville, Florida. Both Paul McCartney and John Lennon, naively and possibly misguidedly, penned songs about the troubles in Ireland. The Beatles, despite many misjudgements and faults, demonstrated a social and political awareness that carried their influences well beyond their music.

Ringo recently quoted that he thought Brexit was probably a good thing. Please don’t judge the Beatles’ legacy on this fallacious statement which tarnishes their memory.

The long and winding road of Brexit has begun, not even the Beatles, I fear, can save us now.

Owen Kelly, Stirling.