Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beatles in Liverpool: 20 Forthlin Road

The National Trust also owns the home where Paul McCartney grew up. Paul's family moved into the house in 1955 with his mother and father (James and Mary) and brother Mike. Paul was 13 at the time. Jim was a trumpet player and pianist who led Jim Mac's Jazz Band in the 1920s and encouraged his sons' musical abilities.

Mary McCartney died on October 31, 1956 after a mastectomy failed to stop the spread of cancer. The early loss of his mom gave him a special connection with John Lennon, who also lost him mom during his youth. The National Trust acquired the home in 1995. Taking a National Trust tour is the only way to see the inside of the house.

The woman in the red dress is Sylvia Hall, and she hosts the tours of the home. The four people posing were a part of our tour. This house is called a "council house" because it was built by the Liverpool government in the 1950s to replace housing destroyed in World War II. Council houses were rented to families such as the McCartneys.
Paul's bedroom was directly above the front door and there are stories of him sneaking in using the front door overhang.Notice the strange condition of the bricks around the door. People have chipped of pieces as momentos.

Looking up the street....
Looking down the street...
George Harrison at Forthlin in October 1962. He had been a part of the Beatles since they were a skiffle group called the Quarrymen when George was 15. He also worked for awhile as an apprentice electrician at Blacklers department store when he was 16.
John Lennon in front of Forthlin in October 1962. Jim McCartney used to let the lads practice here. The house was empty since he worked days and his wife had died.
George, John, and Paul just outside the back door of Forthlin that same day. There are tales of Paul and Mike shimmying up the black drainpipe to get into the home late at night by dropping into the upstairs bathroom. Reportedly, Paul and Mike did that again in the late 1960s just to see if they could still do it.
Practicing in the living room at Forthlin.

Paul in the living room at Forthlin.
This is Paul's bedroom with the furnishings also recreated. The flooring however is the original flooring that Paul walked on.
The living room as it exists today. Council houses were built to austere levels. In fact, the living room of the McCartney's house had several styles of wall paper - they kept buying the end of rolls of different styles until they had the room covered. The furniture in this room is not original, but matches closely the furnishings that where here in the 1950s.

John in the kitchen at Paul's house.


paz said...

Be it ever so humble there"s no place like home...

What an inspiration for anyone starting from modest circumstances with ambition in any walk of life...

Anonymous said...

I went there yesterday, it's so wonderful. Looking at pictures and now being able to place just where they were taken and being able to say 'I've stood right where John Lennon is on this photo'. It's great.