The Beatles Childhood Homes tour is only provided by National Trust. Me and Angela booked the tour long before i flew to London. This is the ONLY way to get to John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes.
What’s so exciting about their childhood homes? The answer is, everything.
Early in the morning we woke up and took a walk down from our creepy hostel to the pick up spot, Jury Inn hotel. It was a 10 minutes walk. At exactly 10 am, the driver showed up, gave us a brief info about not to take pictures inside the houses, and then drove us to the first stop, Mendips.
Me and Angela sat in front, just beside the driver. He asked us to fasten our seat belts, and he started playing The Beatles CD. The most memorable part is when we drove across Penny Lane, the music played Penny Lane too!
In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello
On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mack
In the pouring rain, very strange
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
When we arrived, we were greeted by the tour guide, a very nice old lady. She began telling us stories about how John Lennon was. John stayed in this house with his Uncle George and Aunt Mimi. His parents were divorced, and his mother decided to let Aunt Mimi took care of John.
Some facts i got from the tour:
- John likes to read books! The whole family does. In fact, they are (probably) the only family in the neighborhood that display books in the living room.
- John’s grade went down from year to year. His friends’ parents are afraid if their children play with John.
- During high school, John created a zine called The Daily Howl. His edition of The Daily Howl can be seen on his desk in his small bedroom.
- His bed was so small. I think it can only fit me myself :p
- His room was so small it only has a single bed, a cupboard, a desk, and posters of Brigitte Bardot.
- There’s a tree on the backyard of the house. John used to climb the tree and see a strawberry fields behind the house. That’s where the song Strawberry Fields Forever came from.
- His mother was the one who introduced him to music.
- There was one time his mother came by to see John in this house. She wanted to say goodbye cause she’s going out of town. When she went off the house, just across the road, she got hit by a car and died 🙁
Okay, second stop is the childhood home of Paul McCartney. The same driver picked us up and drove us to Forthlin Road, not so far from Mendips. Paul McCartney’s home was a little bigger than John Lennon’s. And a lot flowery!
Once we arrived there, another old lady greeted us. She asked us to put our bags on the cloak room, and then gathered us in the living room. She played a voice note from Sir Paul McCartney, and told us some stories about the historic house. She told us that the sofa there were not original like the ones in John’s home, so we can sit down and listen to her.
Some facts about the house:
- Paul’s father, James, was a musician. So he has a lot of musical instruments in the house. There’s a piano in the living room, where John used to play when he visits Paul.
- Paul was always the good boy. He’s smart and pretty too. And he plays guitar very well. This is why John asked him to join The Quarrymen, since Paul was not from the same school.
- Everytime they created a song, they let James listen. One time The Beatles were back from America, they created She Loves Me. James wasn’t quite like the word “yea yea yea” and asked them to change it to “She loves me yes, yes, yes” 😀 This happened because at that time British people were very sensitive about American and afraid the song got influenced by American language.
- Paul’s brother was a photographer. He took a lot of artistic photos of The Beatles around the house.
Other than just listening to the stories, we can also see their photo albums, their passports, mails, etc. You will (somehow) witness what they experienced, what they see back then, and what inspired them in making great songs. Even if you know nothing about The Beatles (like me), you will instantly fell in love with them. And with this tour, you can clearly say they were real! 😀
Photo: Bintang Mahacakrie, Cute guy from the tour :p