Celebrating John’s Birthday with the Quarrymen

It was a pleasure to open the Church Hall today so that the Quarrymen could perform an impromptu mini-concert in celebration of John’s birthday!  Visitors from the Ukraine and the US were in the hall to share the special moment!

Here are a couple of snippets of the Quarrymen’s performance today:

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For more photos of the Quarrymen in the Hall today, check out the flickr album HERE

Thanks to Jackie Spencer for taking some of these photos!

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New Website

When we set up the “Beatles at St Peter’s” website in 2017, the idea was that it would be live just for the anniversary celebrations in July.  However, the history and heritage of St Peter’s is so rich that it seemed a shame to stop sharing it through social media.

The original plan was to amend the anniversary website but that was too focused on the Beatles connection, and St Peter’s has so much more to celebrate than that.  So, with apologies for any confusion, we’re starting afresh!

Welcome to our new website: https://stpeterswoolton-heritage.com

It’s maintained entirely by volunteers so please bear with us as we work on the site over the next few months and share with your the beauty and history of St Peter’s Church, Woolton.

Trev

I was woken this morning to the tragic news that Trev of the Prellies had died suddenly and unexpectedly last night.  Many of you reading this will have been fans of his music but his loss goes much further than that.

 

He was a vital part of all the plans for last year’s 60th anniversary celebrations of the day that John met Paul at St Peter’s, and I can say with all honesty that, without him, it’s unlikely that the five-day festival would have gone ahead.  He worked tirelessly behind the scenes, particularly on the website but also in providing much needed support in every other way too.  He particularly showed his support by re-forming the Prellies and playing during the afternoon of Saturday July 8.  One of my enduring memories of the event will be the expression on the face of the Radio Merseyside reporter as she did a live interview with the Prellies and tried to deal with Trev’s wonderful and unique humour.

What was not made public at the time, but I think that everyone should know, is that not only did the Prellies play for free, they also paid all their own expenses because, Trev told me, they felt privileged to be part of the celebrations and they wanted to contribute.

This generosity of spirit will be part of Trev’s enduring legacy.  He was the instigator and main organisation of Beatles4Food, a Christmas party to be held at the Barcelona Bar in Liverpool on Saturday 8th December from 12 noon to raise money for the Trussell Trust Foodbank charity.  There is more information on the event, and the charity by clicking on Beatles4Food

The other organisers of the event have promised that the event will go ahead, and will be dedicate to Trev’s memory.  In this way, and in so many more, Trev’s legacy will go on and on and part of him will always be with us.

I am privileged to have known Trev, and even more privileged and proud that he considered me a friend.  I will never forget him, or what he meant to me and so many other people.  My thoughts are with all his family and friends at this tragic time.  We will never know his like again.  May he rest in peace.

Donna Jackson

Visit St Peter’s Church and the Bell Tower!

St Peter’s Church has extended its opening hours (part of the Open Church initiative) over Beatle Week!

The Church will be open for tours from 10am to 4pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  There will be services going on during this time, including two weddings and a baptism, and so access to some areas might be limited on occasion.  Visitors are, of course, welcome to attend any public service in the Church.

This is a great chance to learn more about this beautiful building that was an important part of John’s childhood and, without which, there might be no Beatles!

 

Some of the visitors to the Bell Tower trying their hand at bell-ringing during the 60th anniversary celebrations last year.

In addition, Nick, the Bell Tower Captain at St Peter’s, and his wonderful team of bell-ringers have arranged to open the Bell Tower for tours on Saturday August 25!  John tried his hand at bell-ringing on one occasion, and you might also have the opportunity to ring Bell Number 3, the bell that all the beginners used.  Tours will take place from 10am to 1pm, and then again from 2pm to 4pm.

Between 1pm and 2pm, Nick and the team will be ringing a ‘quarter peal’ on the bells.  This is a continuous period of bell-ringing and is a perfect way to mark this year’s Beatle Week celebrations!

The team will also be ringing before the morning service on Sunday August 26 and visitors will have the opportunity to visit the tower then.

The professionals at work during the 60th anniversary celebrations last year.

And don’t forget that the Church Hall is also open throughout Beatle Week!

 

 

The Cool Hand Ukes Celebrate Beatle Week at St Peter’s

The Cool Hand Ukes

St Peter’s Church Hall

Saturday August 25

10.30am – 12 noon

 

One of the great things about opening up St Peter’s Church Hall to the public is the chance to make people happy.  Last year, everyone who visited the hall was treated to a beautiful exhibition of Beatles quilts, made by Yoko Kaji from Japan.  It had been her dream to have her quilts exhibited in Liverpool, and it was our absolute pleasure to make her dream come true.

This year, we are making dreams come true for people much closer to home.  On Monday, the Cool Hand Ukes performed for Woolton Wanderers WI, who hold their meetings in the Simon Peter Centre at St Peter’s Church.  When we found out how disappointed they were that they hadn’t performed in the Church Hall, there was only one solution!

We are therefore delighted to announce that the Cool Hand Ukes will be performing a special set of Beatles music in St Peter’s Church Hall on Saturday August  25 from 10.30am to about 12 noon!

The Cool Hand Ukes have previously performed at the Cavern Club, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, the cruise terminal, and at special events including Ken Dodd’s 90th birthday party at Liverpool Town Hall, so we really are honoured that they want to add St Peter’s Church Hall to their already impressive resume!

Please join us as celebrate the music of the Beatles and make dreams come true!

Entry is free and everyone is welcome!

Memories of the Quarrymen’s Early Years!

We are delighted that Charlie Roberts, friend of the Quarrymen in the early days, will be in the Church Hall on Monday August 27 to share his memories with our visitors.  Charlie took the very first photo of the Quarrymen performing at Rosebery Street in June 1957, and has written a book about those early years!

Come along to St Peter’s Church Hall between 10am and 4pm on Monday, where Charlie will have signed copies of his book, as well as his historic photographs, available for sale!

St Peter’s Church and Strawberry Field

St Peter’s Church has supported the redevelopment plans for Strawberry Field from the very beginning, and we are all so excited to see the work underway!

We are also delighted to welcome the Salvation Army to St Peter’s Church Hall for International Beatle Week.

This is a great opportunity to come along, chat to some of the people most involved with the project, see the display showing the current progress and future plans, pick up leaflets on the project, and show your support by buying some of the exclusive Strawberry Field merchandise!

Opening times:

Let’s help to Open the Gates!  It matters to St Peter’s Church too.

For more information on the Strawberry Field development, visit the official website HERE

St Peter’s Church Hall Open For Beatle Week

St Peter’s Church Hall will once again open its doors throughout International Beatle Week!

 

The iconic Beatles Singalong featuring the 3A Formby Ukulele Band is back by popular demand on Friday from 10.30am.  Everyone is welcome, entry is FREE and refreshments will be available.

Great memories of the Beatles Singalong last year!

 

 

St Peter’s Church will also be open on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Open Church programme.  Don’t miss this chance to take a tour of this beautiful Church that was an important part of John’s childhood!

Entry is FREE to the Church and the Church Hall, and everyone is welcome!

The Magical History Museum is Truly Magical!

Review by Donna Jackson

 

Last week, Mathew Street welcomed a new addition when the Magical History Museum opened its doors.

From the very first moment that I stepped through the door, it was clear that the new museum would live up to its name, evoking magical memories of the history of the Beatles at every step with the unique collection of historic memorabilia on display.

The museum which was “ten years in the planning, and over 60 years in the making,” contains over three hundred items from Roag Aspinall-Best’s personal collection, spread over three floors.  Roag (son of Neil Aspinall, the former CEO of Apple Records, and brother to Pete Best, former Beatles drummer) said, ““My family connections to The Beatles have inspired me to collect, store and cherish the items that will be on display. The time is now right for me to share them with the public, so that they too can hear the stories and share the memories we’ve all held so dear since the Beatles began.”

Each floor represents a different chronological period in the history of the Beatles – the early years up to 1962, 1963-66, and 1967 onwards.,

Every single item is genuine — there are no replicas or reproductions to be found — and so many of them took my breath away.  There really are treasures everywhere you look!  My personal favourites were mostly on the first floor and included Pete’s leather trousers and cowboy boots from Hamburg.  Other favourites were the mic from the Casbah and Pete Best’s drum kit!

Every floor offers a “Fab 4 experience” though, with iconic items including John Lennon’s Sergeant Pepper medals, the cello from ‘Blue Jay Way’, George Harrison’s Futurama Grazio guitar, the Apple boardroom table, and John Lennon’s helmet from How I Won the War (another of my personal favourites).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the time I reached the top floor, I was reeling with everything I had seen.  This is probably the largest singularly owned authentic Beatles collections in the world that traces the history of the Beatles from their very earliest days in the Casbah, through Beatlemania in the early 1960s, to the studio classics of Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road.  It is absolutely phenomenal, and I felt privileged to be able to see it all.  Roag deserves the thanks of every single Beatles fan for deciding to share it all with us.

What is even more mind-blowing is that the items on display represent only a fraction of Roag’s collection, and there are many more items that are being reserved for future display.  I really can’t wait!!

What I also loved was the way that these treasures are displayed.  While the Beatles Story is more of a tourist experience, this is a true museum with beautiful display cases, and elegant decor and lighting that evokes an atmosphere that is classy and dignified.  All in all, in my personal opinion, a lovely and fitting reflection of the Best family.

Add all this to the museum’s location on Mathew Street, and you have the perfect addition to the Beatles’ industry in Liverpool.  As Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band/The Sopranos) said, “Liverpool deserves this. It’s been far too long coming.”   Bryan Burk (Producer of Lost, Star Trek, Mission Impossible and Star Wars movies), agreed, saying “The Magical History Museum is a genius idea and a must see for Beatles fans.” 

I’ll leave the final words to Pete Best himself: “This museum opening is a landmark occasion in Beatles history and an incredible new showcase – not to be missed by any serious Beatles fan.”

I couldn’t agree more!  The Magical History Museum is an absolute MUST SEE.  I already can’t wait to go again!

For more on the Magical History Museum, visit the official Facebook page HERE.  For more on Pete Best, or to visit the Casbah, visit Pete’s official website by clicking HERE

Ground Breaking Ceremony at Strawberry Field

St Peter’s Church has supported the redevelopment at Strawberry Field from the very beginning of the project, and it was a privilege to attend the formal Ground Breaking ceremony today (July 31).

Major Roger Batt, Lady Judy Martin, Julia Baird and Cliff Cooper cutting the celebration cake at today’s Ground Breaking ceremony.

Julia Baird, Honorary President of the Strawberry Field project, and Lady Judy Martin and Cliff Cooper, project patrons, led the celebrations, with the legendary Mike McCartney capturing the event for posterity with his trusty Nikon camera!

Although not in Mike’s league, some of our photos from today’s ceremony can be seen below:
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Beatles fans, supporters of Strawberry Field and the vision for young adults with learning disabilities can back the redevelopment by visiting www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com . The website includes information on how to donate to the project, as well as exclusive Strawberry Field merchandise including limited edition bricks from the original Salvation Army children’s home as well as t-shirts, mugs and much more for Beatles and Strawberry Field fans.