SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Merseyside Civic Society (MCS) have joined forces to try and get Ringo Starr’s soon-to-be-demolished birthplace in Liverpool listed
The two organisations are also appealing to English Heritage (EH) to ‘group list’ five other buildings in Liverpool with ‘intimate connections to the Beatles’.
The Beatles’ drummers former home in 9 Madryn Street - which has previously been turned for lsiting by EH - is facing the most immediate threat and is earmarked to be bulldozed as part of the government’s controversial Housing Market Renewal (Pathfinder) Initiative.
As well as Starr’s two-up two-down terrace in Toxteth, SAVE is also keen to secure heritage protection for: 10 Admiral Grove, Starr’’s subsequent childhood home; 12 Arnold Grove, the birthplace of George Harrison; Mendips, Menlove Avenue, where John Lennon lived from 1945 to 1963; 20 Forthlin Road, the childhood home of Paul McCartney; and the ornate iron gates of Strawberry Field - all that remains of the house and gardens which inspired one of the Beatles’ most famous songs.
William Palin, Secretary of SAVE says ‘This is a bid for national recognition and statutory protection for a group of buildings which are intimately associated with the four men who, together, became the greatest cultural phenomenon of the 20th century.
‘In 1973, Liverpool’s celebrated Cavern Club, birthplace of the Beatles, was demolished because of a council compulsory purchase order, to make room for a ventilation shaft that was never built. The destruction of Madryn Street would represent another tragic loss and a further assault on the heart and spirit of the city.’
He added: ‘It is astonishing and distressing that Liverpool City Council retains such a callous disregard for its cultural heritage, and sad that it should fall to organisations such as SAVE and the MCS to protect and promote buildings within the city that have such huge historic and socio-economic importance.’
In response a Liverpool City Council spokesman said: ‘With regard to the proposed listing of 9, Madryn Street, this has been considered previously by English Heritage who decided against its listing, noting that its interior has changed considerably over the years.
‘We have to balance the preservation of heritage with the desire of resident to see good quality housing which meets their needs. There was a lot of consultation with the local community who were closely involved in developing the proposals and are supportive of them.’
SAVE and the MCS wanted the buildings Grade II listed.
9 Madryn Street, Liverpool, L8
The birthplace of drummer Richard Starkey (born 7.7.1940), best known by his stage name, Ringo Starr (coined when he joined the Beatles in 1962). He lived here until the age of four.
The building is a two-bay, two-up two-down ‘back of pavement’ terraced house in the ‘Welsh Streets’ area of Toxteth, Liverpool developed in the late 19th-century to house migrant Welsh workers, most of whom were employed in the building trades.
The house and the area have been often recalled by Ringo during his career. ‘I was born at Number 9 Madryn Street, Liverpool 8’ are the highlighted first words in his section of the Beatles Anthology, the band’s authorised autobiography. And his valedictory solo album Liverpool 8 features the single Liverpool I Love You and the lyric ‘Said goodbye to Madryn Street’. The house is visited daily by coach tours on the city’s Beatles trail, and plans for its demolition have attracted international press attention.
10 Admiral Grove, Liverpool, L8
Ringo’s single Liverpool I Left You also referred to this house where he lived after moving from Madryn Street: ‘Liverpool I left you, said goodbye to Admiral Grove’. Two-bay, two-up two-down ‘back of pavement’ terraced house.
12 Arnold Grove, Liverpool, L15
The birthplace of Beatles guitarist George Harrison (born 25.2.1943 died 29.11.2001). He lived here for the first six years of his life. A two-bay, two-up two-down ‘back of pavement’ terraced house close to the iconic Penny Lane.
Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, Liverpool, L25
This semi-detached house, built in 1933, was the childhood home of John Lennon (b. 1940) from 1945-1963. It is recorded with a blue EH plaque. Lennon lived at Mendips with his Aunt Mimi after the separation of his parents. He was here during the formative Beatles years, and a number of early songs were composed at Mendips with Paul McCartney. It is now owned by the National Trust and, like Forthlin Road, is a successful tourist attraction.
20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool, L24
This semi-detached post-war council house in Allerton was the childhood home of Paul McCartney (born 1942) from 1955. It is owned by the National Trust and is a successful tourist attraction. John Lennon and Paul McCartney are known to have composed and practised here.
Strawberry Field, Beaconsfield Road, Liverpool, L25
Ornate iron gates and stone piers of 19th-century Gothic villa and gardens demolished circa.1970, immortalised by Strawberry Fields Forever, one of the Beatles’ most famous songs, written by John Lennon in 1966.