Roll up for the mystery tour!
A few days after I arrived in the UK, I visited, yet again, Liverpool. If you missed it a few years back, I wrote about my first Liverpool experience back in 2013 here.
You’d think, this time, it would be for another agenda, but no Sirree! I have not exhausted all of the Beatles related experiences in Liverpool, yet, so we decided to go on the Magical Mystery Tour as administered by The Cavern Club itself. The Cavern Club, is the nightclub where The Beatles have started and played for years.
The tour was led by two gentlemen, driver and storyteller, who were definitely Beatles fans, themselves. Good to know! He started with how The Beatles started, from John Lennon getting interested with skiffle and rock, to him starting up a band called The Quarrymen in 1956. John and his band were already playing at school dances and participating in skiffle band contests before they met Paul McCartney and let him join in 1957. The year after, George Harrison joined, despite John’s doubts as George was still 14 at that time. Ringo Starr joined by 1962.
The tour went on to discussing the early life of each of the Beatle. Passing by streets they’ve ran and schools they’ve attended.
Ringo and George’s Childhood Homes
10 Admiral Grove – This is Admiral Grove, the street where Ringo Starr lived for 20 years before the fame happened. Their house is in the middle, the pink one (although its overly bright and you can’t see it clearly), which is now owned by a fan, I believe.
This is the Starkey’s local pub which is also featured on Ringo Starr’s debut album cover. Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. The Empress Café adjoins Admiral Grove.
Around the corner is Ringo Starr’s primary school, St. Silas Church of England Primary School.
Our tour guide and story-teller extraordinaire in blue, leads the group to the childhood home of George Harrison. This time, we had the chance to go down the bus and walk a few yards. We were asked to keep it as quiet and civil as possible because we were entering a residential area where real people live and not just pure Beatles fan. Even the house of George is now owned by somebody else. Imagine being visited by groups of people a few times everyday!
Arnold Grove. We were told a whole anecdote regarding what unadopted means but I can barely remember the story now, the bottomline is that the local council is not responsible for the street and private homeowners are the ones responsible for the upkeep.
I am not adopted, as well.
12 Arnold Grove – George Harrison’s childhood house (door, mostly, heh).
Strawberry Fields forever and ever and ever.
We passed by the church, St Peter’s Church, where John and Paul met on July 6, 1957. As well as, the cemetery where Eleanor Rigby lies.
We were then brought to the famous Strawberry Fields, which is definitely not a field. Now, it’s more like a forest. Anyhow, this used to be a garden of the Salvation Army’s home where John Lennon used to play.
As an answer to John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields, Paul McCartney wrote Penny Lane where he and John used to meet to go to the city centre when they were still young. Both songs about nostalgia and have psychedelic themes!
John and Paul’s Childhood Homes
251 Menlove Avenue – Just around the corner of Strawberry Fields is John Lennon’s childhood home where he grew up with his Aunt Mimi. It is now considered an English Heritage. This is also on the same street where John’s mum, Julia, was struck by a drunk off-duty policeman and instantly died. That started John’s dislike for the men in power. The tour will also give you a brief view of the cemetery where Julia lies.
A little anecdote about the policeman who killed Julia. He was acquitted from all charges which definitely caused anger to Julia’s family. However, he was later sent to jail for another and unrelated event but freed after some years and became a postman. Destiny as it seems, he then spent the rest of his years delivering thousands and thousands of fan mail to the McCartney home.
20 Forthlin Road – Last, but definitely not the least, is my favorite Beatle’s childhood home. It is now owned by the National Trust as this is not only where Paul lived but where most of the Beatles songs were written.
Paul McCartney’s childhood home was the last stop that is anything related to The Beatles. The tour driver drove us back to the city centre whilst pointing out a few interesting sights whilst listening to, of course, The Beatles songs.
One of the many noteworthy places he pointed out is the Hope Street. It is a very unique street as it is home to two churches, one of the country’s biggest Roman Catholic cathedrals, Roman Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King and the Anglican Cathedral. It was also voted the best street in the UK and the Ireland.
The tour ended in high spirits, fans and non-fans alike will surely enjoy the history and the music that is shared within 2 hours. Liverpool is a great and beautiful city beyond being the hometown of The Beatles, so even the city alone is already a gem itself.
If you are interested on going aboard the Magical Mystery Tour Bus, you may find the details here.
After the tour, we visited again a few Beatles stops. I had a chat with John, had beer at the Cavern Club and spotted Adele who is now on the wall of the Cavern Pub across the club, hung out on the steps of the grand St. George’s Hall and finally, took a train back to Halifax with a heart filled with Beatles love.