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*.

(Also available as a blog.)

Legal Blah: This blog is for historical research only, and is strictly non-commercial. All visual and audio material remains the property of the respective copyright owner, and no implication of ownership by me is intended or should be inferred. Any copyright owner who wants something removed should contact me and I will do so immediately. Alternatively, I would be delighted to provide a credit. The writing is by me, such as it is, unless otherwise stated, and this is the only Beatles related blog I am responsible for.

Comments Blah: Comments are moderated. Any genuine comments are welcome. Offensive comments/advertising/trolling/other moronicisms are not, and will be rejected. Due to the aforementioned, anonymous comments are no longer enabled. Comments are the responsibility of the individual commenter, and commenters' opinions do not necessarily reflect my own. (NB: This blog revels in flagrant trivia. If that's not yer "thing", this won't be yer "thang".)

Correspond via: kenwoodlennon@googlemail.com

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

50 Pubs Associated With The Beatles:...

No.44: The Grapes. Any such "survey" would be a tragic waste of time (errr...) were it not to include this place (and Ye Cracke, of course, of which more anon). Just down the road from the Cavern, and a regular stopping off point for all the Merseybeat bands, it also boasts the only picture that I know of to feature them en-piste in a British pub. How much the Grapes now resembles the hostelry of yore is a matter of debate; the exterior has been completely remodelled, and the corner where they supped is, in common with much else in "Mythew St" (to quote a pithy Woolerism), possibly over-Beatled:

According to the venerable Savage Young Beatles site, the pic in question is actually back to front, as are certain others on these pages (comments duly etceterad - but I can't be arsed doing anything about it). It should look like this (and note too the surviving section of wallpaper):

As I was sat ruminating on these and other matters of world import, a couple of locals came over for a look at the spot (known as the Royal Table, apparently. Yes, I know); having discussed it for a few minutes, one of them delivered his parting shot - "That sign should read 'Two twats once sat here'". Two? Hmmm. Moving swiftly on:

No.43: The White Star. Just off Mathew St, and the other Merseybeat locale, much frequented by ye-know-who, apparently. There is even a metal plaque to this effect just by the entrance:

Said back room, again, somewhat over-Beatled (and this is me saying that):

More anon, and 50 might not cover it.

Kenwood: Wired - Roger Manser reminisces.

Always good to hear from someone who was actually there (and also good to get back to what this ridiculous blog is supposed to be about): Roger Manser worked at Kenwood as a Sparky in 1964/65, and here are his memories of that time, written specially for this ridiculous blog:

"I originally came from Somers Town which is between Euston & Kings Cross stations where I was born; now live in Cuffley, married since 1969 to Valerie, have one daughter & one son; have three grandsons by my daughter. I am now 63 semi retired.
Worked as apprentice electrician age 16/17, 1964/65 at John Lennon’s house, Weybridge for an Electrical Contractor - Mactric Electric Ltd, owned by James Mcaneny (now passed away, last year).
Mactric Electrics worked for main contractor H J Knights Shopfitters, who were at that time based in the Archway. They later moved to Brewery Road off the Caledonian Road and then to North Road again off the Caledonian Road, works mainly shopfitting and some large upmarket houses, This firm has also gone. Jim Knight who owned Shopfitters died in a car crash a few years ago; he had been retired long time.
I used to travel all over UK working in shop fitting.
I am now semi retired, have run my own Electrical contractors since 1971 - RGM Electrics.
Kenwood was redecorated and modified with a new Kitchen area which was dug out to make split level. I remember Paul McCartney who had stayed over night said to me, (came in here drunk last night and fell down that F------ hole) e.g. Kitchen area, Paul mixed with us like one of the lads, better than John, although John got on with one of the labourers and I believe he worked for John after we all had finished.
In this kitchen area in the wall was and old safe built into wall no key we had to break it open there was nothing in it silly things you remember!
John, Cynthia & Julian Lennon lived in flat above house whilst we worked on main house, John came and went e.g. tours ect he kept his self fairly private from us only on occasions would he be seen, there was a chauffer on call with hired Red Rolls Royce to ferry John & Cynthia about chauffer was always there 24hrs I cannot remember where he slept, but Rolls was useful for going to the café in village to get bacon rolls etc I use to go down in the back of the Rolls occasionally for errands.
I also remember Johns new Rolls Royce being delivered to house in 1965 on that day I was the one of the first persons to sit in the back of the Car it was black originally with thick black carpets this was the car that John had re-painted psycadelic at a later time
We completely Re-wired house to a high standard for those days I daresay it has been re-wired again.
I had to go into flat due to wiring for floor below so met up with Cynthia & Julian quite a lot, Julian at the time was crawling and I remember Cynthia wanting to go to the shops in the village so asked me to look after Julian whilst I was in the flat I played with him etc. this happed a couple of times. Baby sitting as well as Electrician!
I got on quite well with Cynthia she was a lovely Lady still is I should imagine.
Whilst up in the flat another time I could hear John & Paul playing music they were composing songs - what ones I do not know! They did not seem to mind me being there.
The carpet was laid through out the house and caused so much static at first we thought something was wrong with electrics till I put neon tester on the door Knocker and neon light up we then realised it was carpet, you charged up with static as you walked in those days was unknown Carpet was sprayed with anti static, strange I can remember pulling out main fuses as we thought something was wrong, also neon tester type screwdrivers were relatively new then.

At lunch & tea breaks we had a card school going and about 6 to 10 use to play 3 Card Brag some high pots were on the table, I remember John came down to watch us playing occasionally, I was also pretty lucky at cards too.
There was a few fans came to the house to see John we use to give them bits of old rubble floorboards etc as souvenirs but never took anything for myself, I was actually a Rolling Stones fan and into soul and
Tamla Motown and was out clubbing most nights as you did in the 60s and I was spaced out most of the time etc etc.
When it was cold use to take Fans in to the boiler room for a warm up!
I remember the Foreman carpenter who ran the job his name Len Murphy use to pick me up in the mornings near Mornington Crescent near Camden Town and then travelled to Kenwood in his car an Austin 1100 the car would be full with other workers we all shared expenses Len made a profit.
Because Weybridge was classed as a away job we got £1.00 a day expenses e.g. money for digs and because we worked 6days a week e.g. Saturday as well we got £7.00 a week tax free in those days as Iwas only earning about £6-7 a week it double my wages I was well off in those days only had to give Len half a crown for travel a day?
Most of the workers would have passed away by now I was the youngest working there at the time there was a plumber’s mate about year older than me named Sam?
There must be other workers out there somewhere.
There was a plasterer who was good with all the plaster mouldings etc he use to shoot Squirrels in the garden with an air rifle, he use to cut off tails and get 6 or 3 pence off the Council for them."

Many thanks to Roger for this (and there may even still be a few bits o' that very carpet for sale: see previous post).

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Lady etc: Children At Your etc.

Spiralling ever farther away from the ostensible premise of this nonsense, the last pics o' the lads presenting a unified front, "done" to promote Lady etc, children at her etc. John's muttonchops are a thing of:

Speaking of Kenwood, there is a whole universe of virtual interest about to appear, so try and contain yourselves in the meantime.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Abbey Road: August 8, 1969.

Having achieved the, by that point, mildly improbable feat of all making it to EMI by around 11am, they decided to sit on the steps en masse for a bit, taking advantage of the rare summer weather, whilst photographer Iain Macmillan fiddled with his apertures.
These photos are new to me, and therefore I assume, in my swaggeringly insouciant fashion, new (possibly) to some of you too. A few other candid moments from that morning swill around on t'internet, and so let's add to those with these:

Thus, so legend has it, having sat their collective fill, at precisely 11.35am, out they strode onto that fabled zebra-crossing-of-dreams. (What is this fuc*ing drivel?) At around 11.34am, however, shortly before striding out onto that fabled zebra-crossing-of-dreams, Paul (and possibly John) bollocked Macmillan for not having fiddled with his apertures sufficiently, or something:

(Or not.) It's accepted that there were six shots en-zebra-crossing-of-dreams, in the following sequence; 1-3

And 4-6, with 5 being, clearly, the best, and thus, the sleeve:

Now. I don't think we can say there was actually a 7th, as this isn't quite a sleeve contendah, but I can say, with swaggering insouciance, that there was a point 5th:

So 0.5: note the relative position of the red vehicle compared with 1:

It's always (not literally - that would be ridiculous) intrigued me that these photos were taken whilst Manson's cohorts slithered (not literally - that would be ridiculous) towards Cielo Drive.
We have much to thank Linda McCartney for (and I am being serious for once), including these great photos, tracked down by Guus Limberger - and many thanks to him too.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Kinfauns: drive - 1967 & 2010.

I managed to get almost everything wrong in the previous post on this topic, so it has been put out of my misery. (This incompetence was due to seven or eight reasons, downed, as usual, rather too quickly.) Plus, Guus Limberger has now found a bigger version of the above shot, and sent it in together with a couple more "nows".
So here's John's limo, and probably John, clearly leaving George's after a visit. It would be of some interest to be able to pinpoint a date. But I can't. (Beyond, obviously, sometime in 1967, and probably the summer.)
Below, the view facing back up the drive in 2010:

The entrance to the drive, also last year:

...and the entrance to the estate:

I'm going to lie in a damp cellar for a while. Many thanks again to Guus.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Liverpool: Mathew Street.

Apologies for the swearing on these pages of late. Fuc*ing disgraceful. Moving on...to Mathew Street, probably the place most closely associated with them as a group (as opposed to them as individuals), and as such, largely demolished by Liverpool Council in the mid-70s. It's now uber-Beatled, of course, with a ludicrous number of references crammed into and onto what was once a smelly little street of fruit warehouses. Again, these grainy black and white images of them standing just outside the entrance to the Cavern at some point in 1961 are very evocative. The Cavern side long gone, and re-built, but the other side still there. You can pinpoint the exact location by comparing above and below:

Speaking of which, the most interesting thing about this end of Mathew Street these days isn't the re-built Cavern. Impressive though it is, the fact it had to be constructed facing the wrong way and deeper than the original (due to the weight of the new buildings above) rather spoils things for anoraks like me.
What's of greater interest is the fire exit - which, as happenstance would have it, is on the exact spot of the original entrance. Rather cleverly, they've put a life-size photo of the old entrance in situ:

The precise location was discovered by doing a "then and now" using this photo of someone or other hanging around in the old Cavern's doorway:

All well and groovy. Of interest up the other end is a couple of pubs, about which more to follow.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Liverpool: St Peter's Church field.

On this little trip to the "Pool of Swearing", I heard some virtuoso "material" from quite a few, including me, and a gentleman who had just been caught in a downpour, entering Ye Cracke as I was on my way out, and fairly unhappy about his new damp status; a genuinely inventive display.
Anyway, I wanted to accomplish a few things, if "accomplish" be the right word. The main one was do the tour of Mendips, of which more anon. Amongst the others, bobbing on the surface of the swimming pool, the largest was, probably, to get a photo of the location of the stage from the famous St Peter's Fete photos.
Now. I've seen one or two other "then and nows" of this location taken in the churchyard, and had grave doubts. (Oh dear.) Somehow, I couldn't quite picture the curate of the day, astride a tombstone, shouting "Hey kids! Let's do the show right here!"
So, not the graveyard then. But where, in that case? It turns out to have been the field beyond the graveyard, which is now a playground-come-sports-field for the local primary school.
Now. In this country, hanging around primary schools, camera in hand, when you have no children, is deeply frowned upon. So I had to be quick, and I couldn't get right up to it, due to the crowd of irate parents that quickly formed. Still, I managed to get the following; the clincher is the roof of the building behind, still there all these years later:

I feel compelled to point out that the red arrows (not, clearly, the RAF formation flying outfit - that would be ridiculous) are meant to be pointing to the corner of the field, and not the large yellow duck:

Having been savagely beaten by the mob, I escaped back into the graveyard, where I got a sidey-on view of the stage (or the location of the stage), just over the fence:

Lovely stuff. Lest there be any "doot", at no point was I savagely beaten during my stay in Liverpool, and I "fookin" love the place.
Doffing o' the cap to Mark and his mate Dave, who worked it out.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Liverpool: Rosebery Street.

These photos of the Quarry Men playing in Rosebery Street over half a century ago, at a party to celebrate the 550th anniversary of Liverpool receiving its charter from King John, have intrigued me since I were in t'short trackies.
I finally made it there the other day. Above, a poor quality scan from David Lewis' pretty, pretty, pretty good book about scratching the surface of Liverpool to see what's left. Rosebery Street in 1974: already shafted, in the 15 years or so since the street won some award or other for being unscummy on the 550th anniversary of Liverpool receiving its charter from King John, or something.
Here it is now:

Nothing left of the terraces: this area was levelled a while back. I reckon the "Men" probably played somewhere around the middle of the street. There were a couple of notable events this day: they had to take refuge in the house of the "celebration's" organiser (Colin Hanton's aunt), because some thugs from round the corner in Hatherley Street had decided to offer an instant review of the performance, via their fists. Whilst hiding out, John took the opportunity to smash Pete Shotton's washboard over his head, thus ending another brief tenure in the band. X doesn't mark the spot, but it's likely someone's front drive now.
So, nothing left then? Well, not quite. The back end of the aforementioned Hatherley Street is still there - a Quarry Man's eye view (unless there were yet more soon to be derelict terraced houses on the other side, which there probably were):

Hatherley Street itself still exists as was, although, again, it's mainly derelict. Still, this is what Rosebery Street must have looked liked back in the day... if you discount the dereliction:

Of the former Rosebery Street, nowt remains, except these stones, upon which the Quarry Men played:

For anyone thinking about a Beatling trip to the "Pool Of Life", I'd recommend Mr Lewis' book "The Beatles Liverpool Landscapes" - very interesting, and the man has impeccable taste in websites arf arf.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Kenwood: the carpet endures.

John (and Ringo) both had insanely expensive fitted carpets...err...fitted, shortly after moving into their respective mock-Tudor piles. In John's case, the carpet (large, black) went into the living room, as seen in Cathy Kelleher Sarver's photo from 1968, and was, according to several of the tomes, a magnet (not literally - that would be ridiculous) for the sundry cats in residence, who used it as a convenient toilet. Delightful stuff, but so what I hear ye mutter, all this has been covered at inordinate length on these pages before.
Indeed so. However, here's the thing: when Cynthia eventually vacated Kenwood towards the end of 1968, she cleared the house, taking almost everything not nailed down and, in the case of the aforementioned carpet, also everything nailed down. She was aided in this task by the housekeeper Dot Jarlett, who was on the outs with John and Yoko for various reasons. To cut a long story short, Dot kept several mementos of her time at Kenwood...one of which was a section of the carpet. The carpet endures, and here it is:

There's more. This carpet now belongs to a Beatles collector who obtained it directly from the Jarletts, and he's decided to sell it piecemeal. This means that any "readahs" of the blog who would like a relic of Kenwood - ie a section of the very carpet that once sat in the living room, can do so. It's first come, first served. Anyone who would like more information about buying a bit should contact the owner direct at houserental481@hotmail.com

Of interest, I would have thought, cat shit and all.