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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Sunday, 18 July 2010

Kenwood: summer, 1968 - part 1.


(May as well start at the front door.)
Cathy Kelleher Sarver visited Kenwood shortly after John & Yoko had moved out in the summer of 1968, and...well, she can tell you herself:
"It was summer 1968 and John had stopped living at Kenwood but the house was so very special to me, I just had to go there anyway. My friend and I went to the house and rang the doorbell. A lady answered the door. I asked if I could take a picture of inside the door and she let us into the long foyer. Then she opened the door to the living room and I got that picture and then she opened the door to what I call the "music room". Both rooms were about three steps down from the foyer (the house was built on a hill). In Alf Bicknell's book he talks about helping John paint a room red. This must be the room! Then we went back to the door and I asked if I could take a picture of her and she said, “Yes". After I took the picture of her with the foyer's built-in bookcases in the background she said, "Who are you going to tell your friends I am?”. Neither of us spoke but I was thinking, "The maid?", but didn't want to say that. Then she said, "I'm Cynthia's mother." WOW! It was Mrs. Powell. We thanked her and left the door, which she shut. THEN we went all over the property!!! And no one knew!!! And then we left. We were such good fans we didn't even take a leaf off a tree!!!! At some point in the conversation Mrs. Powell told us Cynthia was at the pool watching Julian and a neighborhood friend. I took a picture through the fence from the back driveway and you can just barely see two little heads in the water!!!!!"


All in all, Cathy took 20 (count 'em) pics that day, and guess wot? They are all going to be on here, over the next few days. First off, the "naked lady" door knocker, together with the Lennon coat of arms. Clearly a hastily snatched pic, I've paired it with the one from the end of the year showing the same thing. Above, the entrance hall (with John's nemesis much in evidence) - and final proof that it was the location for those John-in-the-bathchair shots. Note that the books have all gone, later to appear at Tittenhurst. Funny, that. John didn't care about much of the detritus he'd accumulated at Kenwood, judging by the fact that Cynthia took most of it, uncontested. But he clearly wanted the books. (Musta been a "reader".)


Many thanks go to Cathy for so generously agreeing to let us see her photos and hear her story, and to her good friend, the wonderful Lizzie Bravo, who sorted it all out. Aguardientes all round.

7 comments:

  1. "John's nemesis" - I bet she figures in John's nightmares in the Lennon Diaries (wonder if they'll ever be published in our lifetimes).

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  2. Huge respect to Cathy, Lizzie and Kenwood for sharing all this with us. A-may-zing.

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  3. we're both so happy to share with you all!

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  4. Not sure I'd fancy tripping around my mother-in-law either...

    Terrifically interesting material all this, and all the posts that follow.
    Thank you to the contributors!

    You write really very well, S.

    Cheerio

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  5. Anyone else think Lil looks rather happy in that pic? Maybe having John in her and Cynthia's life was even more a nightmare for her than vic versa....

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  6. any info as to what day she visited?

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  7. Wow!!, big time congrats on this HUGE find for you, i can almost smell your joy :-) these are a major find, and i'm so glad they found a home with you, someone who has a passion and knowledge of them, hats off all around.

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