Mendips - 251 Menlove Avenue
This was our last full day in Liverpool
. Since the Magical Mystery Tour only drives past the homes of Lennon and McCartney, we had this day to get a booking on the National Trust tour which is the only way you can gain access inside both houses. Again, no photography is allowed inside, and your purses are taken and safely kept while inside the houses.
The tour takes off at the city center and back into the burbs. We were first taken to Woolton where John lived with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George along Menlove Avenue in a house called Mendips. The couple owned the property and lived there until the late 60's. It's a 2 storey semi-detached 3 bedroom house, with John's room right above the porch.
John Lennon's home
This is where songs like "Please Please Me," "I Call Your Name," and "I'll Get You" were written. Paul
and the rest would come over and they would rehearse in the porch. The acoustics were ideal to them and Mimi didn't like the boys causing a raucous in the main parts of the house. In the back is a small garden where John spent much time up in his treehouse as a child. The treehouse no longer exists, but this is what he was refering to in the line "...no one I think is in my tree..." Another notable thing about Mendips is that it only has one bathroom with a (gasp!) separate toilet! Coming from a third world country where people of the same economic bracket live in average-sized homes, it's hard to believe that the British middle class lived in such small spaces - John's room could barely fit a twin-sized bed, a small night table and a dresser!
Mimi and George did a good job maintaining Mendips and by the time they sold the property, there wasn't much need for renovation.
National Trust tour bus
It has changed hands only twice and much of its original fixtures remain. When the house went up for sale in the 90s, Yoko Ono bought it and donated it to the National Trust (sound familiar..?), who refitted it to recreate the look it had during John's time.
Paul's house is less than a mile away, in the adjacent suburb of Allerton at 20 Forthlin Road. As we arrived, we were greeted by a man who uncannily resembled Paul McCartney. It was so bizarre how the custodian of the house could easily pass for for its previous owner's twin brother! He showed us around and told us the history of the former Beatles' time there. By contrast, Paul's family had been renting the house. The next tenant occupied the house for 30 years during which time it had gone through a series of changes, leaving almost none of the original stuff during the McCartney's occupancy.
"I look like Macca more than he does!"
It was purchased by the National Trust in 1995 and has restored it to how Paul would've remembered it as a teenager. Today, only a chair or two, the floorboards and doors (except for Paul's bedroom door which was stolen) remain. Well, there is that living replica of Paul, so you could say they did an excellent job with the replication! So this is where it all began, the place where they had written and rehearsed their earlier hits like "Love Me Do" and "I Saw Her Standing There." Truly the beginning of the long and winding road.
And speaking of roads, it was time to head back. We had the rest of the afternoon free, so we used up the last of our free time in Liverpool at the Tate Museum at Albert Dock.