In 1957 at the Woolton Church Summer Fete in Liverpool a young John Lennon was introduced to the even younger Paul McCartney for the first time. That meeting has gone down in musical folklore leading to one of the most extraordinary writing partnerships that changed the face of modern music.
Now, sixty years on, I’m interested in the relationship of the Beatles to this small part of south Liverpool - just a few streets - and am taken by the idea that tourists travel from all over the world to visit such ordinary suburban streets. Often they have travelled from far and wide for a once in a lifetime visit to the UK: they take in Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and a few run down streets of council housing in Liverpool!
Having grown up in Liverpool, I’m intrigued by the power the band still has to attract people from far and wide and how the locals just go about their business semi-oblivious to the daily invasion.
In Arnold Grove in particular, where George Harrison grew up, the house is still occupied by an elderly lady - every day hoards of tourists walk past children playing in the street, as George would have done, to have their picture taken outside her house and sometimes peer in through her windows. In Madryn Street, Ringo Starr’s home, all the houses are now boarded up and visitors come to write on the metal shutters and sometimes to dance!