New book highlights the Liverpool Where Lennon Lived
Saturday, October 9. 2010
http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpoo ... -27432681/
A new book by Bill Harry, a close friend of The Beatles, highlights the Liverpool John Lennon grew up in
TO understand John Lennon you need to understand the Liverpool he grew up in, according to Bill Harry, a former friend of the Beatle. “His hopes, his dreams, his aspirations, his genius were all forged in our city,” he says.
To celebrate what would have been the singer’s 70th birthday, today, Bill has written a new book called In My Life: Lennon's Liverpool.
Bill says: "In writing this account of John's life in Liverpool, I have concentrated on several places that present a general picture of the time. I had all these facts to hand, having been a friend of John's over a 12-year period and studied his life for decades."
1. DOVEDALE PRIMARY SCHOOL, ALLERTON
Dovedale Primary School, 1952. John Lennon is the back row, sixth from the left.
This children’s school was situated in Dovedale Road, Liverpool 18, three miles from Mendips. Dovedale Primary was the school John’s Aunt Mimi picked for her nephew to attend.
John admitted to being reasonably well behaved at Dovedale in comparison with the rebellious attitude he was to take when he enrolled at Quarry Bank School.
He said: “I’d been honest at Dovedale, if nothing else, always owning up. But I began to realise that I was foolish.”
Of other boys who tried to challenge him, he commented: “I used to beat them up if they were small enough but I’d use long words and confuse them if they were bigger. What mattered was that I stayed in charge.”
2. 1 BLOMFIELD ROAD, GARSTON
When Julia Lennon began living with John ‘Bobby’ Dykins and gave birth to a daughter, Julia, the family lodged with Julia’s father George ‘Pop’ Stanley at 9 Newcastle Road in Wavertree.
The house was a rented one and when Pop died in 1949 the owner put it up for sale. Julia and Bobby couldn’t afford to buy it and as Julia was pregnant with their second daughter Jacqui, the council provided them with accommodation at Blomfield Road on the Springwood council estate in Garston. This was only a few miles from Menlove Avenue where John was living with his Aunt Mimi.
When John was in his teens his cousin Stan Parkes reunited him with his mother, and John began visiting Blomfield Road frequently. Young Julia had a double bed, so whenever John stayed overnight, Jacqui would join her and John would sleep in Jacqui’s room.
At approximately 7pm on 15 July 1958, after the family had had tea, young Julia, who was playing in the garden with friends, noticed her mother leave to visit Mimi.
Her sister Jacqui was in bed and John and her father were in the kitchen chatting. It was John who opened the door when a policeman called later that evening to inform them that Julia had been killed in an accident.
John said: “It was awful, like some dreadful film where they ask you if you're the victim’s son and all that. Well, I was, and I can tell you it was absolutely the worst night of my entire life.”
John paid a final visit to Blomfield Road in 1970 when he took Yoko on a nostalgic visit to his old haunts in Liverpool.
They drove up to Blomfield Road in their white Rolls Royce and were shown around the premises by Georgie Wood, who had taken over the lease from Dykins.
3. YE CRACKE PUB, LIVERPOOL CITY CENTRE
This is a public house in Rice Street, Liverpool L1. It was the nearest pub to the Liverpool College of Art. When we were students it became our local watering hole.
It has its significance in the romance between John and his future wife Cynthia.
Following a college party in which John asked for a dance with Cynthia, he invited Cynthia to Ye Cracke for a drink and later that evening he took her to the Gambier Terrace flat and they made love for the first time.
Painter Adrian Henri remembered one incident at Ye Cracke where John was lying on the floor miming swimming movements. A barmaid told him to stop and he said, “I can’t stop, or I’ll drown!”
4. THE CASBAH, WEST DERBY
Which Liverpool club with six letters, beginning with ‘C’ could be known as ‘the birthplace of The Beatles,’?
The immediate answer would generally be ‘Cavern’, yet the ‘Casbah’ has a strong case for claiming that title. The Casbah is situated at 8 Hayman’s Green, West Derby.
Former Beatles drummer Pete Best was to tell me: “We have always said that the Casbah was the birthplace of The Beatles.
"I know that the Cavern in Mathew Street has now announced that it’s ‘the birthplace of The Beatles’ but as far as I’m concerned, it was the Casbah.
"If it wasn’t for the club The Beatles might never have got together again and what happened later wouldn’t have transpired.”
* Lennon's Liverpool is priced £9.99 or buy the book and John Lennon: The Tribute magazine for £12.50 from www.merseyshop.com or call 0845 143 0001