Several notable events have taken place in Woolton during the final epoch of the last century (1950-1999), such as the Woolton Show at Camp Hill, the Liverpool Marathon, also from Camp Hill, the Woolton Garden Fete at Reynolds Park, John Lennon and Paul McCartney first meeting at St. Peter’s Church Hall, the demolition of St. Benet’s Priory, to name but a few.
From a design by Graham Burgess, the apprentices of Cammell Laid Shipbuilding Yard, Birkenhead, Wirral, built this 20-ton submarine, which is 51 feet long and made from plate metal, for the Liverpool International Garden Festival in 1984.
It was transported across the River Mersey to the Festival Garden site at Otterspool where it was one of the main attractions for millions of visitors. But, in 1997, the Festival site finally closed and the Yellow Submarine was left high and dry.
The tide turned when Liverpool City Council stepped in to rescue the Fab' Four's rusting sub' and give it a new berth in the city centre. The Yellow Submarine was taken [along Menlove Avenue, past John Lennon's house, Mendips] to a council depot where it was repaired and renovated by New Deal trainees from the Liverpool Architecture Design Trust.
Fully ship-shape, it was re-launched at this site [Chavasse Park] on 24th August, 2000, for a new generation of Beatles fans. And in December 2004 it was removed to a Council depot in Old Swan for restoration and storage whilst Chavasse Park, and the surrounding area, is refurbished as part of the Paradise Street Regeneration programme, which is due for completion in 2007.
After restoration Liverpool John Lennon Airport were granted permission in 2005 to have the Yellow Submarine temporarily located outside the main entrance to the airport where it now stands in all its glory.
(251 Menlove Avenue)
John Lennon lived at Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, Allerton, from 1945 to March 1963 with his Aunt Mimi, who used to help John reply to fan mail. John left to live in London and Mimi continued to live here until 1964 when John bought her a bungalow in Poole, Dorset.
On the 8th December 2000, marking the 20th anniversary of his death, English Heritage installed a Blue Plaque to commemorate John having lived at Mendips from 1945 to 1963.
Mendips was eventually purchased by Yoko Ono Lennon in 2002 for the sum of £150,000 and she donated the house to the National Trust who have restored it to a 1950s style, and as closely as possible to how it would have looked when John lived there. Mendips was officially opened to the public on 29th March 2003 and the ceremony was attended by Yoko Ono Lennon who said: "When John's house came up for sale I wanted to preserve it for the people of Liverpool and John Lennon and Beatles fans all over the world."
There is an oak tree, planted on 9th October 2000, for John's 60th birthday, located in St. John's Garden, Old Haymarket, in the city centre.
Located within Calderstones Park, just a few yards from Calderstones mansion, is the Linda McCartney Children's Play Area, which was officially opened by Paul on 19th July 1998. Paul also unveiled a plaque at the entrance, and planted a Cypress Oak tree (Quercus fastigiata) nearby overlooking the play area.
Linda McCartney Centre
The Play Area is one of several memorials to Linda. The Linda McCartney Centre, a pioneering cancer treatment centre that is part of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, was opened by the Prime Ministers wife, Cherie Blair, on 24th November 2000.*
Memorial statue, Mull of Kintyre
On the 1st November, 2002, a bronze statue, commissioned and donated by Paul, was unveiled as the centrepiece of a memorial garden in Campbeltown, the main town on the Mull of Kintyre peninsula.
Strawberry Field, Beaconsfield Road, Woolton, which dates from 1870 when it was owned by the wealthy ship-owner, George Warren. The mansion passed into the hands of the shipping merchant, Alexander C Mitchell, and was eventually sold by his widow to the Salvation Army in 1934 who had bought the mansion from a legacy left for this purpose by Mary Fowler - a Liverpool woman - and the home for forty girls was opened. In 2005 Strawberry Field was closed as a children's home. The building was then transformed by the Salvation Army into a 'Boiler Room' one of a global network prayer rooms to encourage communities to join in prayer, around the clock, and to provide a meeting place for religious groups and artists.
To meet their ever-growing demands the Salvation Army decided to build a new home at the rear of the existing building, which was opened in 1973 and was their first purpose-built Home. The original mansion was demolished and on that site now stands an all-weather pitch, which was marked out and decorated by the Princes Trust in 2003. 'Lennon Court' was opened in 1979 and provides staff accommodation and four bed-sits where 16-18 year old boys and girls have the opportunity to live independently in preparation for their eventual move into the community.
Strawberry Fields, New York
John Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono, gave $½m to the City of New York to lay out a 2½ acre tear-shaped section of Central Park, New York, and a further $½m to maintain it. On the 9th October 1985, the Parks Commissioner, Mr. Stern, New York's Mayor, Mr. Koch and Yoko Ono, dedicated the area as Strawberry Fields, to the memory of John Lennon. Over one hundred countries contributed to the garden with native plants, and stones for the 'Imagine' mosaic. A steel plaque lists all of the countries who contributed to the memorial.
Strawberry Field gates stolen
On the 11th May 2000, the main gates of Strawberry Field were stolen. Fortunately, the scrap dealer who was asked to buy them recognised them immediately and called the police. The gates were re-instated on the 15th of May.
On the 9th October 2000, the 60th birthday of John, the Liverpool rock-n-roll children's charity, Mersey Cats, donated and dedicated a swing park in the name of John Lennon in the grounds of Strawberry Field.
20 Forthlin Road
One of several homes lived in by (Sir) Paul's family. It was the last he lived in before fame took over, his family moving to Heswall, Wirral, by 1964. 20 Forthlin Road was purchased by the National Trust in November 1995, and was the first house the Trust had acquired which had an association with modern popular culture.
Paul was living here when he first met John, later rehearsing here with the Beatles, and where many of the Beatles early songs were written, amongst which were 'Love Me Do' and 'I Saw Her Standing There.'
'Please Please Me,' 'I Call Your Name' and 'I'll Get You' were written at John's Home, Mendips. 'Please Please Me' reached No.1 in 1963 and the Beatles were later photographed at Forthlin Road. They played at the Cavern for the last time on 3rd August this same year.
Paul's brother, Mike, met John Gorman and poet Roger McGough in the early 1960s, before the Beatles rose to fame, and formed the Scaffold group, Mike changing his name to Mike McGear.
In 1965 the Beatles were awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire). In 1969 John Lennon returned his medal in protest at the Vietnam War.
In December 1996 Paul McCartney, MBE, was awarded his knighthood for helping to revolutionise pop music, which was presented to him at Buckingham Palace on 11th March 1997. Sir Paul dedicated his knighthood to fellow Beatles George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and the people of Liverpool. Aides said: "He won't be calling himself 'Sir Paul.'