There are plenty of Fab Four landmarks to make you twist and shout in Liverpool, right? There’s Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and The Cavern Club, to name but a few.
Well, in celebration of the upcoming International Beatleweek 2016, we here at Signature’s Liverpool are taking a look at the lesser known landmarks you can explore eight days a week.
1. Phillips’ Sound Recording Services
Before there was The Beatles there was The Quarrymen, which was made up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Colin Hanton and John ‘Duff’ Lowe. In 1958, The Quarrymen recorded songs at Phillips’ Sound Recording Services, such as “That’ll Be The Day” and “In Spite of All the Danger”.
You will find Phillips’ Sound Recording Studios at 38 Kensington Road, where a blue plaque was unveiled in 2004 commemorating the band’s visit. According to former band member John Lowe, The Quarrymen recorded the song during the cold weather, with Hanton stating John Lennon told him to place his scarf over the snare drum to lower the volume.
Each member of the band paid Percy Phillips 3 shillings and six pence each to record in the building, which was small and technically basic, offering just one microphone. The record was thought to have been lost until Lowe rediscovered the vinyl record in 1981, where he later sold it to Paul McCartney for an undisclosed amount. McCartney later had the two recordings digitally remastered and pressed 50 copies, which he presented to friends as a Christmas gift.
2. Childwall Abbey Hotel
Not many pubs across the country can claim to have welcomed John, Paul and Georgie, but the Childwall Abbey Hotel can. The members performed together in this historic pub (pictured above) when they were The Quarrymen, and it is therefore one of the first venues they would have played before they became The Beatles.
3. 4 Rodney Street
The Beatles might never have experience Beatlemania without their manager, Brian Epstein. He is believed to be the most influential person in the band’s success, securing them a record contract with EMI and managing The Beatles from 1962 until his death in 1967. True Fab Four fans should therefore definitely take a trip to 4 Rodney Street, which was Epstein’s birthplace.
4. Dovedale Infant School
Both John Lennon and George Harrison both attended Dovedale Infant School, but did not know each other at the time. Lennon attended the school from 6th May 1946 before leaving for Quarry Bank Grammar School in 1952. George Harrison attended Dovedale Infant School two years after John in 1948. After passing the eleven plus exam, he attended the Liverpool Institute for Boys from 1954.
5. 72 Western Avenue
While many people are familiar with Paul McCartney’s childhood home of 20 Forthlin Road, you might be less familiar with 72 Western Avenue, where he lived from 1947 to 1950, between the age of 4 to 8 years old. When Paul’s mother, Mary, resigned from her job as a midwife, the family were forced to move to Ardwick Road…
6. 12 Ardwick Road
After resigning from her role as midwife, Mary McCartney became a health visitor and so moved to the Speke council estate. Paul lived here from 1950 until 1955, before he moved to Forthlin Road.
According to Paul, they were the only house on the street without a television, and he also has fond memories of the neighbourhood watching the Queen’s coronation in 1953. 12 Ardwick Road was also just a short walk away from George Harrison’s home of Upton Green, resulting in the two lads forming a friendship, as they would catch the bus together to school every day.
7. 25 Upton Green
Back in January 1950, George Harrison’s family left their home at Arnold Grove for 25 Upton Green in Speke. The Quarrymen played in the newly-built home in December 1958 at George’s brother’s wedding reception (pictured above). It was also in this very house where George first heard “Love Me Do” on Radio Luxembourg.
8. Quarry Street Newsagents
You might not know it, but Fab Four fans have a lot to thank Quarry Street Newsagents for – as well as Pete Shotton’s mother. For those of you who don’t know who Pete Shotton is, he was a washboard player in The Quarrymen.
While shopping in the newsagents, Mrs Shotton overheard a conversation between St Peter’s Church Hall’s caretaker, Harry Gibbons, who was talking to another customer about an upcoming summer fete. She asked whether her son’s group could perform at the fete, as they attended both the Sunday School and Youth Club. The band appeared at the fete on 6th July 1957, with Paul McCartney sitting in the audience – and he later met John Lennon outside of the church.
Quarry Street Newsagents no longer exists, but the building now serves as a beauty salon.
9. 120a Allerton Road
John Lennon once lived at 120a Allerton Road, which was his Uncle George’s home. He stayed here with his Mum, Julia, while his Dad, Alfred, was working away as a merchant seaman.
10. The Sefton Park Bandstand
Sefton Park has to be one of the most beautiful locations within Liverpool – so it is no surprise their bandstand is believed to be the inspiration behind The Beatles’ hit song Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
11. Ye Cracke Pub
The Ye Cracke is not your average pub. It was here that John Lennon is believed to have drowned his sorrows, following the death of his mother in 1958. He also brought his first wife, Cynthia, here after meeting her at a college dance. One of the first ever photos of the couple together was taken at the 19th century pub.
12. Gambier Terrace
John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe and Rod Murray moved into a flat at Gambier Terrace in 1960, much to his Aunt Mimi’s dismay. Here the Art College students would spend hours drawing, painting and practising with the band.
Paul McCartney also claims it was here that Lennon and Sutcliffe told the rest of The Quarrymen that they wanted to change the band’s name to The Beatles. Two months later, they left for Hamburg to take over the world.
13. White Star Pub
While The Beatles might have played at the Cavern Club and drank at The Grapes, it was at the White Star pub that they received their payments, as Bob Wooler and Alan Williams would pay all groups in the back room.
14. The Empire Theatre
Many people don’t often associate The Empire Theatre with the Fab Four, but it was in this very building where The Beatles played for the final time in their hometown on 5th December 1965, after they had gained international success.
15. Ma Egerton’s Stage Door
Ma Egertons is nestled away behind The Empire Theatre, and the Fab Four would often use the pub as their meeting place. It’s also rumoured that The Beatles would often rehearse here before a gig.
16. Casbah Coffee Club
While The Beatles regularly performed at the Cavern Club, it was at the Casbah Coffee Club where they got their break. The club was owned by Pete Best’s mum, and so John, Paul and George painted the ceilings in exchange for stage time.
The Casbah Coffee Club’s roof has since been valued at over £1million by Sotheby’s. Visitors can embark on a tour of the club, which is guided by Pete Best’s brothers.
Paul McCartney once said: “I think it’s a good idea to let people know about the Casbah. They know about the Cavern, they know about some of those things, but the Casbah was the place where it all started. We helped paint it and stuff. We looked upon it as our personal club.”
So, if you want to be a Beatles day tripper, you should not miss any of the above landmarks off your bucket list.
All that exploring is bound to make you thirsty, which is why it’s handy to know exactly where to find the best beer gardens in Liverpool.