Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Grand Tour of Great Britain-The Beatles and Liverpool


Good day sunshine! It's Sunday, October 15 2017 and we're at the Pullman Hotel on the waterfront in Liverpool. Their breakfast buffet is five stars! The best we've had so far (and it will be hard to top!) Let me just say that I love this hotel. It's clean, it's comfortable, the staff is helpful and the rooms are gorgeous!

Enough about our accommodations, we're going to visit the old haunts of the Beatles.

Today our guide is Paul-he's a BBC producer and a HUGE music fan. He tells us that there is a fun run happening in town so there maybe blocked roads and reroutes. But all's good we don't encounter any delays.

As we head out of our hotel, Paul explains about the Mersey River, the reclaimed river land and the docks. He tells us Liverpool is not very big, about 460,000 (to a Vermonter-that's pretty big!)  We drive past the Cathedral at the edge of the city centre. And Paul tells us about all the bombed out areas during WW II.

Our first stop is PENNY LANE (see photo above!) We all hop off the bus for photos.

Our guide, Paul, explains how John had a band "The Quarrymen"; how they played Skiffle;  and how John met Paul in 1957. (The Village just celebrated this 60 year anniversary! Woolton Celebrates)

In the afternoon of July 6 1957, the Quarrymen played at the garden fete of St Peter's Church. The performance took place on a stage in a field behind the church. In the band were Lennon (vocals, guitar), Eric Griffiths (guitar), Colin Hanton (drums), Rod Davies (banjo), Pete Shotton (washboard) and Len Garry (tea-chest bass). 


While setting up their equipment to play an evening set, the Quarrymen's sometime tea-chest bass player, Ivan Vaughan, introduced the band to one of his classmates from Liverpool Institute, the 15-year-old Paul McCartney. This historic occasion was the first time McCartney met John Lennon, a year his senior. McCartney wore a white jacket with silver flecks, and a pair of black drainpipe trousers.

The pair chatted for a few minutes, and McCartney showed Lennon how to tune a guitar - the instruments owned by Lennon and Griffiths were in G banjo tuning. McCartney then sang Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock" and Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula", along with a medley of songs by Little Richard. And so it began...

We also see the graveyard where Eleanor Rigby is buried, next to the church...

Our next stop is STRAWBERRY FIELDS



The Salvation Army launches ground-breaking new vision for Strawberry Field redevelopment  The Salvation Army hopes to raise enough funds to open the gates to the public.

We move on to John Lennon's house. Only people who book with National Trust can go inside so if you visit book a tour with them.


The National Trust tour will also take you inside Sir Paul McCartney's childhood home.

We drive around some more and Paul tells us that during the May 1941 BLITZ, 20% of Liverpool's houses were destroyed. In the early 70s the south docks were closed. During the 1980s a regeneration of Liverpool was taking place and in 2008 Liverpool was named European Capital of Culture.

Back at the docks we say our good-byes to Stewart. He and the coach are heading back to Glasgow (we'll be traveling with Brian for the rest of our trip!)


We all get out tickets and enter The Beatle's Story

Their collection is quick remarkable. It's a self-guided tour with headphones that have some great facts, narrations and music clips.








The tour took about 1.5 hours and could have been longer but we were getting hungry. This room dedicated to John Lennon had me teary eyed.

We headed back to our room to freshen up and figure out where to eat lunch.

We end up at the PanAm Restaurant and Bar. Jay had the soup and sandwich combo and I had their shrimp curry. It was yummy.

We walked around the docks some more. It's a beautiful day and the skies are so blue.


I just have to do it...yup I rode The Wheel!




Check out the video I took.

Lots more Beatles and Liverpool photos: CLICK HERE

We hit TESCO for supplies and had a carpet picnic in our room. Tomorrow we head to Wales with a stop at Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon.


Grand Tour of Great Britain with Go Ahead Tours