Left: the young schoolboy, John Lennon, snapped in front of Mendips in the 1950's. Picture courtesy The National Trust.
John Lennon's childhood Liverpool home Mendips is to be opened to the public from March 29 following its donation to the National Trust by his wife Yoko Ono Lennon.
The modest semi in a Liverpool suburb has been restored to the way it would have looked when John lived there with his Aunt Mimi in the fifties and sixties.
Yoko said, "when John's house came up for sale I wanted to preserve it for the people of Liverpool and John Lennon and Beatles fans all over the world."
John Lennon lived there between the ages of 4 and 23 and it is said he was only allowed to play his guitar in the glazed front porch and his bedroom. But then another story tells of Lennon and McCartney composing The Beatles' first UK number one, Please Please Me in his Aunt Mimi's bedroom.
Now visitors to the house will be able to decide for themselves as they view the restored interior that captures the ambience of John's early life.
Right: John Lennon's bedroom. John composed several early Beatles songs here. Photo NTPL/Dennis Gilbert.
"The house resonates with a special atmosphere," said Yoko. "It was after all, where some of John's songs that we now hold dear were born."
For National Trust Director-General Fiona Reynolds, the acquisition represents a coup. "John Lennon made a tremendous contribution to 20th century popular culture. Through his music and words John touched the lives of millions of people, and it is exciting for us to be able to present the place in which it all began."
It's not the first association between Lennon and the National Trust. He referenced them on the group's White Album, recorded during John's troubled closing period with the Beatles.
The long and tortured lyrics to Happiness is a Warm Gun feature the immortal lines: "A soap impression of his wife which he ate and donated to the National Trust."
Things are much less oblique today. The continued fame and popularity of the Beatles means the Trust is suitably pleased with Yoko's rather more tangible bequest to the nation. "The National Trust is delighted that as a result of Yoko's generosity, we have been able to protect Mendips and open it to the public," said Reynolds.
Left: John Lennon's home 'Mendips' was built in 1933 as a three-bedroom semi-detached house near the corner of Menlove Avenue and Vale Road in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton. Photo NTPL/Dennis Gilbert.
For Yoko it represents an opportunity to give something back. "I hope that everyone will enjoy our efforts to preserve this landmark property for future generations and that it will contribute to Liverpool's increasing resurgence."
Mendips joins several other important landmarks on the magical mystery tour of the Beatles' Liverpool.
The National Trust already own and run Sir Paul McCartney's childhood home, 20 Forthlin Road and there are countless other pilgrimage sites dotted across the city including; Penny Lane, the Cavern, Abbey Road and various pubs and record shops. Even the local airport is named after John Lennon.
With this latest addition it makes for a packed itinerary for any Beatlephile.