Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beatles in Liverpool: Penny Lane

 We come around a corner and Kevin pulls the taxi over onto the curb. As we get out, we notice the sign - we are on Penny Lane! We start at the rural-ish end that is very picturesque.

He said they have quite a problem with people stealing the Penny Lane signs.
Looking directly across the street.

  This is probably the best photo he took of us that day.
 A group playing football (aka soccer) across the street. Penny Lane is named after James Penny, an 18th century slave trader. There was a move to rename the street to avoid honoring him, but the popularity of the street as a tourist destination ended that push. The name is now more closely associated with the Beatles than with the slave trader.
 A little farther down where Penny Lane intersects with Crawford Avenue (shown), Kevin pulled over again.
He showed us an example of where the city stopped putting out the metal signs and instead painted the name on the wall. That stopped sign theft, but people began chipping away at the wall! They have now developed theft-resistant metal signs...theft is way down.
 Across the street is Penny Lane Fish & Chips. How great is that?
 A great shot of Kevin.
 He also pointed out Dovedale Towers. As I recall, it was built so a sea-farer could keep an eye on the comings and goings in the harbor. Several businesses have tried to make a go at the location as of late, with limited success.

 A sign advertising the latest attempt at making Dovedale Towers work. Let's hope something works so it doesn't get demolished.

 He also pointed out that Freddie Mercury was a huge Beatles fan and had actually lived in this section of the Dovedale Towers pub for awhile.
 I can't for the life of me remember the story Kevin told us about this gate. I guess you'll just have to take the tour with him to find out!
I took a shot through the gate, though I have no idea what we're looking at. Those houses in the distance look a lot like the backside of McCartney's home on Forthlin - but it's not, they are a few blocks away.

  He did have us do a pretty cool goofy pose in front of it...
 A glance further down Penny Lane at this point.

  Now we get to the famous roundabout section of Penny Lane! A church....
A carpet store along the roundabout. Lennon's mother Julia used to work right around here, as a waitress and as an usher.

 Kevin pulls the taxi over in front of the barbershop. A photo of what it looked like back then...

 And what it looks like today! Not much has changed.

 They were doing demolition to a building across the street which appears to have some nice architecture, so I became curious and looked on Google Street View....see bottom of post for what it looked like before demolition.
 A shot of the roundabout in the 1960s.
 It looks to me like the signage is brand new because Google Street View shows a different window display.

 This is the shelter in the center of the roundabout. Several businesses have struggled to survive at this location.
 The roundabout.
 This is the barber shop on Google Maps Street View.
 Here is what was shown on Google Street View where the building is being demolished. Note the weeds growing out the top of the building. I wish it could have been saved, it looked very nice.

1 comment:

Paul Campbell said...

I lived in Calton Avenue, off Penny Lane in the early/mid 1990s. The Dovedale Towers was a lovely old scruffy pub that had oodles of worn charm, and it had obviously seen better days. I remember going there as a student with my mates, having a few reasonably priced, well-kept beers and playing pool. The carpets were worn, and in places torn. The once grand flock wallpaper with gold trim hung down limply, sadly in places, rolling down sadly like silent frozen tears on a once proud face. Hear and there the rain came in and buckets were placed to catch the drops. We sat at tables up on the raised platforms that looked like courtroom docks and galleries. It was still a very beautiful place, and we liked it more for it's honest shabbiness. While supping our beers we also seemed to be drinking the spirits of some long-forgotten memories. The Dovedale, though reminds me of warm, happy Sunny afternoons and evenings, the end of college days. The landlady then was a lovely lady with grey hair. It reminds me too of a hoax "Free festival" in Sefton Park, where thousands showed up on a slightly rainy/Sunny day with their bring yer own booze (and whatever). No bands showed up, but we played frizbee, people got together away from their own lives in their little rooms all over and we shared a lovely day in the Park, before heading off to various impromptu spontaneous parties in shared houses. It could only happen like that in Liverpool. Happy days.