Penny Lane, Liverpool, and more

I still have lots of Norway photos to share with you, but I thought I would relive our recent visit to Liverpool, we were staying with our good friends Martin and Sue in the north of England and they had arranged a Beatles open top bus tour. Close to the bus stop there are statues of The Beatles, they’re larger than lifesize, about seven and a half feet tall I believe. This actually looks better in the photo than it does in real life I think. My favourite – George, second from the left is particularly anonymous looking.

Four Liverpool Lads

Penny Lane sign

The first stop was Penny Lane. I don’t know what I had expected but I didn’t expect a quiet leafy road. Obviously the original road sign was nicked years ago, and I suspect they still are stolen because this one is just a modern plastic thing.

Penny Lane

Most of us piled out of the bus to take some photos anyway. Apart from being given Beatles information from the tour guide Damien, he was also quite handy with a guitar, so we had a sing-a-long too. There is still a barber there and a bank.

The other end of Penny Lane is residential although some of the buildings have been turned into workplaces. A few computer bound upper office workers are happy to wave back at you, maybe it brightens up their day to have a tour bus pass them every now and again.

Penny Lane

Strawberry Fields Forever – but not THE gate apparently. Yoko Ono took the original after John Lennon was murdered. I believe she put them somehere in the US. These replica gates were made, but I don’t think they should have allowed her to remove the originals. Strawberry Fields was of course the name of a Salvation Army children’s home and it had a lot of ground around it, the local kids used to play in there, it was their bit of paradise. It seems that fans have come from all over the world to scrawl messages on the gatepost.

Strawberry Fields

Meanwhile back; onto the bus and the street in the photo below is where Paul McCartney grew up. Apparently he still goes back there now and again, to show people where he grew up.

McCartney's Road

Then on to Aunt Mimi’s house below. This is where John Lennon grew up, staying with his Aunt Mimi when his parents lost custody of him, both being deemed unfit parents. He was lucky to have his aunt and uncle who stepped in to bring him up here. The people who own this house now must be really fed up with constant tour bus stops, they have the bedroom window curtains drawn and I don’t blame them.

Aunt Mimi's house

You can see the front porch has been fairly recently refurbished, but that is where John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to practice their guitar playing when they were kids. I think it was supposed to be less annoying for the neighbours if they were out there.

Aunt Mimi's house

If you are a Beatles fan then the trip is well worthwhile – even worth getting soaked as happened to us up the back of the open-topped bus.

I was a bit too young for the Beatles in their heyday but my sister was a teenager then so I grew up with their music. She was a fan and had George Harrison framed on her dressing table.

Meanwhile back to Penny Lane.

10 thoughts on “Penny Lane, Liverpool, and more

  1. That’s really interesting – the homes in which Paul and John grew up seem to be in much more affluent areas than the impression I formed in the ’60s – “establishment”, rather than counter-cultural!
    Extraordinary that four such talented musicians came together in time and place, thank goodness they did.
    There was an amazing outpouring of talent in those few years, from the Beatles and others, coinciding with the beginnings of mass media – it was exciting to be young and hopeful then.

  2. Lovely photos — I was in London last summer and we took the obligatory trip to Abbey Road. Sadly, my husband and daughter refused to pose for a photo on the zebra crossing! I was surprised at how little there was for tourists about the Beatles in London, I guess I’ll have to make visit to Liverpool.

    And those statues hardly look like the Beatles at all! John Lennon is the best reproduction but the others are terrible.

    • Karen K,
      I heard that the traffic is often held up by tourists doing that, but I would have wanted to do it too! I had my photo taken beside George but it took me a while to decide which one he was!

    • Daisy Debs,
      The original children’s home has been replaced by another building but I’m sure that the local kids will climb the walls or gates and have good fun in there.

  3. I was right in the middle of all the furor over the Beatles. My friends and I formed a three-girl fan club, made a banner saying ‘We Love You Beatles!”, as if they’d ever show up in my small Pennsylvania town! I still have my Beatles bubblegum cards and the albums I bought in the 60s. Ah, good, simpler times!

    • Joan,
      Ah but you could live in hope! I don’t know what happened to our Beatles things, I remember a tin of talc and I had stickers that I got free out of Jackie magazine, psychedelia era. I’d love to have the framed photo of George but Helen doesn’t know what happened to it, probably lost when we moved from Glasgow.
      My Jack can remember girls in the playground going about with home made JFK badges on and chanting ‘vote Kennedy!’

  4. What a lovely surprise!! (You do get around, you know.) I need to return for another visit to fully absorb the tour. Your photos are wonderful, and your descriptions exquisite. We’re about to eat dinner, but I’m coming back!

    • Judith,
      It has been a busy year, in fact some friends have taken to calling us the nomads! It’s great being footloose and fancy free, but when the winter arrives we’ll be battening down the hatches and not venturing too far from home

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