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.

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Correspond via: kenwoodlennon@googlemail.com

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wolsey Road, Esher: Quill Cottage.

John bought several houses for those close to him, including this one in Wolsey Road, Esher, which served as home to Cyn's mother Lilian, for a while at least. The above pic of Julian plus all-important "Nan" was probably taken around 1966. "Lil", however, was out by early 1967, when Terry Doran moved in.
Readahs will no doubt recall the Kenwood bit in Hunter's bewk, wherein Tezza turns up and rolls a few for John, before heading off around midnight. The drive from St George's Hill to Esher is a short one, or an interminably long one, depending upon the strength of the etc.. But I digress.
Presumably this was taken in the back garden:

Here's a wider shot of the house, as it is these days:

Afore ye rush en-masse, ye Lennonites, to visit the above, bear in mind that John may well never have been there in actuality; I wouldn't be surprised if it was all handled via various third parties, as much was in those days. "Lil" or Doran maniacs, on the other hand, have at it!
The above pic taken by Mr Lewisohn, so fanks, as ever, to him. (I wonder if the present owners are aware of any of this.)(Not the photographer, obviously, but the history.)(I digress.)

Monday, 19 August 2013

28 New Row, St Martin's Lane, WC2: The Theatre-Zoo.

MMT: IATW: FFT: Ever wondered where Ver Fabs got those deliciously creepy costumes? Eric Gledhill, that's where, and his Theatre-Zoo in WC2. Close "scritiney" of the invoice reveals the full feral "fundown" (if you will). Clockwise - Hippo, March Hare, Parrot, Walrus:

And, wouldn't yer know it, here's a film of the source, namely the Theatre-Zoo itself, dating 1956. Click on the picture to be "transpotered" to Pathe's page where ye can view the film, and thrill to the very MMT-like creepiness of the cossies:


Whither the titular Dyke Richens and Eric Gledhill? I know not...but I see that the Beatles only hired their costumes, which means that relatives of one or other of these aforementioned gents might just still have them...assuming they were ever returned, o' course.
(A further invoice from the Theatre-Zoo details the purchase of "17 Bald Pates (charged as 15) at 10 shillings each", destined, no doubt, for Egg-Men.)


Saturday, 17 August 2013

More Quarry Bank: September, 1952.

An anonymous "readah" has very kindly sent a first generation scan of the above pic, providing much more detail. Such as:

In slightly related shiznizzle, a pic of the Old Dutch on Penny Lane, co-proprietor of which was, o' course, for a while, Mr Pete Shotton, and a place much frequented by them Beatles on their way home from city centre gigs:

As previously noted, the sign endures, though little else does.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Quarry Bank: September, 1952.

Ex hoc metallo virtutem, indeed. Above, Form 1R, featuring the infamous Shennon and Lotton, top left. Regulah readahs of this drivel will know of the fondness round 'ese parts for Pete Shotton's autobiography, so I was especially pleased to stumble upon this pic the other evening, as it puts faces to at least a couple of names in the aforementioned tome.
Apparently John, as a youth, would invariably push people to see what he could get away with; the trick, as always, was to push back and Pete, to his credit, didn't put up with any shit from young Master Lennon.
The book recounts a couple of occasions when John took the piss once too often, both times being rewarded with a blow, meted out by the aggrieved Shotton, to his not inconsiderable schnozz...and thus was a friendship cemented. Ahh, schoolboy violence.
Anyway, it's all in the bewk, but following the second such outrage, Pete remained in a state of high dudgeon, such that for a couple of weeks he ignored John and took up with another classmate, David Jones. To wit, circled:

This stalemate was brought to an end by the time honoured remedy of John nicking the unfortunate Jones' bicycle, and appearing before Pete astride the contraband with a cheeky grin. The scamp... and thus was a friendship cemented. Ahh, schoolboy petty larceny.
The most memorable anecdote regarding the Quarry Bank era concerns Pete finding a stash of old dinner tickets, worth a shilling each, which he and John wasted no time in selling to classmates at half price, a lucrative ruse brought to an end only when the school started to get suspicious, and staff began noting down the numbers of any tickets used.
John and Pete managed to buy back all the unused tickets from their classmates in time - except for one, owned by a Donald Beattie, who refused to return the offending item to the pair, and proceeded to use it to obtain lunch.
Our titular miscreants were, naturally, convinced they were about to go to prison, particularly when Beattie was summoned to the Head's office the next day to explain how he had come to use an old ticket. Master Beattie, circled:

As it turned out, Beattie was a bigger wind-up merchant than John, and had only refused to sell it back in order to put the shits up them (to coin a phrase), something in which he succeeded spectacularly. He fobbed the Head off with a story about having had an old ticket left from a prior occasion when he'd skipped lunch, and was rewarded with a suitable display of gratitude from John and Pete...and thus was a friendship etc. Ah, etc.
Pete has rather gone to ground these days. Last sighted living in Paphos, Cyprus, he is apparently badly afflicted by arthritis. Impossible not to feel a deal of affection for him, fanks to the bewk wot he writ, so one hopes he is enjoying his dotage, and still managing to get up to at least a small amount of mischief, despite the maladies of old age.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Wardour Street: 1943-2013.

Very little remains of Soho as ver Fabs knew it, back when blah blah blah. Or so I thought, but having recently been gifted a photocopied London Street Directory ca. 1966, which lists each and every business in central London at the time, it's surprising to note how many premises have maintained some type of continuity - restaurants have remained restaurants (albeit of a different stripe), pubs have stayed pubs (albeit etc.), and so on.
And so to a little corner of Soho: the bit of Wardour Street adjacent to Rupert Court. Above, the aforementioned "bit" as pictured in 1943 (Second World War), 1977 (Punk Wars) and 2013 (My Personal War On Everything And Everyone). Note example of aforementioned restaurant/pizza related continuum (and click on pics for a better look).
So what? No real reason, other than extreme boredom, but, o' course, this "bit" (aforementioned) is also dreeping o' Beatle association.
Rupert Court, as ye will surely know, was where those four cheeky lads with their toe-tappin' chart toppers were captured (not literally) heading along the aforementioned Court towards Wardour Street:

On the corner of Wardour St/Rupert Court stood Garners Restaurant, purveyors of fishy "fud" to Ver Fabs, amongst others, and here it is pictured in 1963, around the same time as the above:

The second floor dining room, circa 1977:

Here they are again. Note dummies on the left, in the window of Kravetz Maurice & Sons, tailors to ladies:

The opposite side of the street, as pictured in 1960. The arrow marks the then future premises of the Kontakt cafe, outside of which did Ringo purchase the ice creams seen above being stuffed in Ver gobs of etc.:

That historic moment, when the course of ice-cream history was changed forever (together with the same spot now):

New heights of trivia:

Returning to Rupert Court, the entrance (oddly) to number 29 Wardour Street, where Dezo used to have his studio:

Some more pics dating 1977 - in the 60s, the first floor housed Kurz A & S (more tailors to ladies), the second was home to a travel agency called Continental Travel Link, whilst the third was where Dezo plied his etc.
That's quite possibly Mr Kurz still there in '77, that might still be a travel agency in pic 2, and the final shot shows the stairs leading up to Dezo (who was still there in '77):

Thanks to Messrs L & C, as ever, and the London Metropolitan Archive.