Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Kenwood: autograph & map of St George's Hill.




As can be seen from the map, Kenwood is buried deep within the St George's Hill estate. These days the estate itself is gated and guarded, and you will be turned away if not on legitimate business (gawking at Kenwood does not, sadly, count as legitimate business), but back in the John-era, fans were free to wander onto the estate and up to Kenwood and Sunny Heights, more or less at will. The only real appeal that the place had for John was as a refuge from the stresses of Beatlemania, and he was initially angry (understandably so) when fans started appearing not only at the gate, but also in the grounds and even, on one occasion, in the house itself. He would occasionally go out and tell them all to, quote, "Sod Off" asking, reasonably and amusingly enough, "Don't you have anything better to do with your lives?" (To which the answer would have to be, "Yes....and No." And I appreciate the irony of me recounting this). And yet, for whatever reason, after a while he accepted it, and even began leaving the gates open circa 1967 and inviting fans in to meet him. The autograph above dates from February '66. The recipient went up and knocked on the front door. Dot answered, and took the paper in to be signed, which it duly was. Apparently it was Julian who appeared with it a few minutes later. Considering Kenwood is not exactly easy to find, and that initially the address would have been akin to a state secret, I wonder how people found out about it in the first place...who blabbed?

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