LIVERPOOL AND THE BEATLES
After my purchases of yesterday and being so very pleased with my new bag I went back to get some more!! Although not as low a price as the first one still super value and very easy for me to use. As the centre there doesn’t open till ten it was a dash back to sort everything out to set out for Speke Hall just on the outskirts of Liverpool.
As a National Trust property it looked interesting but my main reason for going there was that later in the day I had booked to go on The Beatles Tour. The trust owns Paul Macartney’s home and the house where John Lennon lived from the age of five was purchased and given by Yoko Ono. There are quite a few tours which take you to see the outside of the houses, but inside they have been restored as accurately as possible to the period the two Beatles would have been living there.
Although I was a teenager when the Beatles were the sensation of the age and I really enjoyed their music, and can still sing along to pretty well everyone of the songs, I am not a ‘fan’ as such, but the two houses are shown by a husband and wife team who very much are. Initially I had not considered bothering to see the houses, but one or two fellow travellers had told me how much they enjoyed the trip, and currently being in the mood for experiences outside my normal remit I decided to give it a go, as not only would I see the houses, but the travelling there in a minibus would allow me to see a little of Liverpool without the hassle of driving through it, and I find that in a strange city so much attention is given to the driving that there is no time to actually look at the place you are driving through
In the event it was an enjoyable afternoon, by then the day had warmed and we were in short-sleeved sunshine temperatures. The trip from Speke Hall, with a maximum of fifteen on the bus, though we were only twelve, took us though the south part of Liverpool: an area full of immensely wide tree lined boulevards and wide open park land and playing fields. The whole feeling was one of spacious tree filled affluence. Liverpool seems a vibrant and self-confident city, apparently wealthy and prosperous and proud to be so. I spoke to our driver when we arrived, mainly to ask him about the size of the huge cemetery we had passed; not only bigger than I had ever seen, but bigger than I could imagine a cemetery to ever be. He said it was around seventy or so acres, and when I said that Liverpool was different to my expectations he explained we were in the south of the city which had always been a wealthy area, and if I had approached from different directions I would have perhaps seen the Liverpool that I had somehow imagined.
The viewings of the two houses are well managed, and the dedicated, knowledgeable and highly enthusiastic couple who are the guides make it a really interesting experience.
You start at Paul McCartney’s old home (or should I say Sir Paul). Anyway he moved in whilst a young lad, and having got into a good school at eleven met a friend of John Lennon, and it was through him the two met.
John Lennon had already formed a Skiffle Group ( are you old enough to remember Lonnie Donagon and the Skiffle Craze, and did your chewing gum lose its flavour, and have you any idea what a bed post is?) Paul had come from a very musical and artistic family: his father had been a musician playing in a group so music was part of Paul’s life, and he could already play the guitar and sing well. John was well impressed, and in fact though Paul so good he was not sure he wanted him in the band to outshine everyone else, but in the end decided yes, and that was the start of a musical partnership with them spending much time together composing songs.
I could go on as the two guides were so full of information it made the stories of the two boys and their rise to fame come alive, and if you have the slightest interest in the music and those times I can definitely recommend ot.
We weren’t allowed to take photos inside either of the houses which was a pity, though you could play the piano and the drums and look over both the boy’s bedrooms, and see many excellent and asmospheric photographs taken by Paul’s younger brother Michael who was also a member of the sixties pop group The Scaffold under the name of Mike McGear,
This is an interesting little LINK if you want to read a little more about the early days of John and Paul's music writing partneship.