paul mccartney and wings ➣ band on the run photoshoot, 1973
Childhood homes of John Lennon in Mendips on Menlove Avenue and Paul McCartney 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton.
5 things to look out for at Mendips:
- The blue plaque - You’ll see the famous plaque on the front of Mendips, but you won’t find one at 20 Forthlin Road. Why? Mendips custodian Colin Hall explains: “English Heritage only award blue plaques when the subject reaches 100 years old, or has been dead for 20 years. So we’re grateful that Paul’s house doesn’t have one yet, and we wish John’s house didn’t.”
- The green bicycle - Leaning on the wall at the side of the house is an emerald green Raleigh Lenton Mk 11. This is a replica of the bike John was bought by his Uncle George as a reward for passing his 11+ exams.
- The front porch - Visitors to Mendips are encouraged to stand in the porch and belt out their favourite Beatles hit as, according to Paul McCartney, it has a “great bathroom acoustic”.
- The creaky floorboards - As you walk into John’s old bedroom, you’ll notice a noisy floorboard across the doorway. John would have to take great care when sneaking home from his late night gigs at the Cavern; one step on the creaky floorboard and he was at the mercy of Aunt Mimi. When Yoko Ono donated Mendips to the National Trust, she asked that the creaky floorboards were left just as they were.
- The dining room guestbook - Be sure to sign the guestbook at the end of your tour; Colin says that the books are regularly sent to Yoko Ono for her to read.
5 things to look out for at 20 Forthlin Road:
- The piano - Visitors are invited to play a tune on the piano during the tour, and some famous faces have taken up this offer, including Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry and Judy Collins.
- The egg trays - There’s a stack of empty egg trays on the top of one of the kitchen cabinets. Jim used these for noise insulation, which was surely needed with Paul, John and George constantly rehearsing in the dining room.
- The back drainpipe - After Paul’s mum died, his father would insist that the two boys were home on time for dinner; if not, they were locked out. When this inevitably happened, Paul and Mike would run round the back of the house, climb up the drainpipe, and through the bathroom window, which they always left on the latch for such an eventuality.
- The replica guitar - In the small front bedroom, which Paul moved into after his mother died, is a replica of his first guitar, which he still uses today during his gigs. The Zenith Model 17 acoustic guitar was bought on eBay, and the sender, rather fittingly, was from Hamburg, where the Beatles first toured in the early 60s.
- The commemorative plaque - 20 Forthlin Road may not be eligible for an English Heritage plaque, but when the house was turned over to the National Trust, Paul asked for just one thing to be included; something to remember his parents by. The simple wooden plaque above the front door reads: “In loving memory of Mum and Dad, Mary and Jim”.
Heather, Stella and Paul, Location unknown, 1975
© Linda McCartney