Are there any Beatles Fans here?
My friend and I joined a bus load full of them for the two hour Magical Mystery Tour. We boarded this big comfortable bus at the Albert Dock and it was a pretty full load considering it wasn't tourist season. What a beautiful day for a tour!
Coming to Liverpool and walking around, you don't see outside of the city core. The bus tour serves the dual purpose of showing you around and, of course, there is the Beatles theme. [She loves you. Ya-ya-ya] Their music was playing in the background - how to set the mood! Of course the guide was well informed and entertaining.
The bus set out with a real sense of purpose, winding its way through the city streets and we caught sight of rows of red brick buildings and mature trees that were just setting their buds. It was all so green. Our first stop, above, and below, Penny Lane.
At one point, the Beatles were asked to write about where they were raised. The song, Penny Lane, was one of the results. Reciting lines from it, our guide pointed out the sights and we pulled over on Penny Lane to have our photos taken with the street signs. There was nothing particularly different about the street - it's just famous from the lyrics. Above, is a stretch of the sidewalk on Penny Lane and the bus is just outside of the picture frame.
[Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout] There is no longer a nurse selling poppies from a tray here, but there is the shelter. The barbershop referenced in the song is also nearby.
The bus pulled over. We all dismounted and were led around the corner.
The tour guides had us keep a respectable distance from the houses where the Beatles were raised. You see, some of them are occupied! We were told the National Trust was trying to buy them all but hadn't yet. Imagine having a tour bus pull up in front of your place several times a day with tourists gawking at it!
This is where George was raised. We were told where the future Beatles met and how they met. We were shown their schools. You got a feel for where they hung out and why it was convenient considering where they all lived. Interesting details. We tiptoed back around the corner and got back on the bus.
[Eleanor Rigby, Died in the church and was buried along with her name] There really is an Eleanor Rigby buried in this churchyard. We couldn't stop here so the photo is taken through the bus window.
[Let me take you down cos I'm going to, Strawberry Fields...] The bright red gate marks the entrance to Strawberry Fields where there was a picnic for orphans once a year. We all got off the bus here for photos. Developers had fought over this area for years but something is finally going to happen with it and it involves the Salvation Army, and that is fitting.
Turn around and look the other way to get a feel for this neighbourhood.
Once again, the bus pulled over. Here, we can see the house where John Lennon lived with his Aunt Mimi. It's also where he lost his mother when she was hit by a car as she crossed the road. John and Paul probably bonded over losing their mothers, Paul at 14 and John at 17.
I seem to recall being in Ringo's area here and somehow missed his house..
On the road again, sitting at the front of the bus as it travels down the left side of the street, the normal way in the UK.
We pulled over and went for another short walk, this time to the McCartney home. This one has been purchased by the National Trust.
The guide joked about how Liverpool wouldn't name anything after someone who was living. They waited until twenty years after a person was gone to ensure they had some staying power. Imagine thinking all the Beatles don't yet have staying power, but that explains why John Lennon has the airport, for example, named after him as well as other things, and nothing has been named after the others yet.
Paul McCartney cofounded the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts in what had been his old school, the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys. He has attended every graduation ceremony there.
At the end of the school's street, what looks like old briefcases is a statue. The bus didn't stop here, so I took the photos through its window of the school and the children climbing all over the art work.
Here we are near the end of the tour and heading back to downtown Liverpool. The bus dropped us off about a block from The Cavern Club and led us to it. It's the subject of another upcoming post - I hope you come back for it!
Photos from my Canon SX620HS in Liverpool, UK
Thanks for coming on The Magical Mystery Tour!