There is a tendency to claim affiliation with The Beatles if one of them had their hair cut two towns over 60 years ago. An exaggerated example, however, the hunt for clicks and likes often distorts the stories we are told.
Frequently, George Harrison's childhood home is solely defined as 12 Arnold Grove in Wavertree. The Dairy Cottage at 120a on Allerton Road in Woolton, owned by John Lennon's uncle George Smith has been called "John Lennon's childhood home" in multiple newspaper articles. While it seems fair to describe these houses as "childhood homes", George Harrison in fact spent more than twice as many years at 25 Upton Green in Speke than in Arnold Grove and lived in three different Liverpool houses before moving into his first home in London. John Lennon only lived in the Dairy Cottage briefly at the age of two.
When I decided to draw The Beatles' childhood homes, my research showed that all four Beatles moved to new homes between one (Ringo) and eleven times (John) during their childhood. My decision was therefore to draw the houses that define the largest part of The Beatles' childhood and youth before they left Liverpool for London in 1963.
With the help of comprehensive research and reference photos from the 1950s and early '60s, my goal has been to portray the Beatles homes as they would have looked when John, Paul, George, and Ringo were simply the boys next door.
John Lennon, 251 Menlove Avenue (Mendips), Woolton
John Lennon moved in with his aunt at 251 Menlove Avenue in the suburban village of Woolton in 1945. He was five years old.
Many years later, as I created this drawing, I imagined it to be the evening of Friday, July 5, 1957, just as the sun bids goodnight to Mendips, the semi-detached mock Tudor home of Mimi Smith.
In his bedroom above the porch, Mimi's now 16-year-old nephew, John, strums his guitar. Tomorrow, his skiffle group will play at the Woolton Garden Fete at nearby St. Peter's Church. Just a small gig, like any other the Quarrymen play these days. Or so it seems.
John Lennon called Mendips home until 1963.
Yoko Ono bought the house in March 2002 and donated it to the National Trust who restored the house to its 1950s appearance, as it would have looked while John lived there.
Paul McCartney, 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton
A typical example of post-war terraced council housing, 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton is smaller and plainer than Mendips.
Paul McCartney moved in together with his parents and little brother Mike in 1955, the year Paul turned 13. Paul's mother, Mary, tragically died when he and Mike were in their teens, and Jim, their father, brought them up alone after that.
It was while Paul lived here that he first met John Lennon, and the two would sag off school to go back to 20 Forthlin Road and write songs in the parlour. Perhaps they are busy writing 'Love Me Do' behind those drawn curtains.
Paul's bedroom was right above the front door until fame came knocking in 1963.
The National Trust now owns the house and has meticulously restored it to the home Paul would recognise from his younger years, down to the furniture, fixtures, and fittings.
George Harrison, 25 Upton Green, Speke
25 Upton Green was the childhood home of the youngest Beatle, George Harrison. The Harrison family moved into the then council house in 1949, when George was just six years old. He spent 12 happy years living here before fame and stardom whisked him away in 1962.
Every day, George walked the short distance to the bus stop to take him to school at the Liverpool Institute for Boys. It was at the bus stop that he befriended another Institute pupil: Paul McCartney.
McCartney was already a member of John Lennon’s band, The Quarrymen, and recognising George’s talent with the guitar, he was invited to join after an impromptu audition on the top floor of a Liverpool bus.
25 Upton Green became a regular rehearsal venue for The Quarrymen, in large part due to the tolerance of George’s parents.
An iconic photo of 15-year-old George outside 25 Upton Green shows him on his way to a Quarrymen gig, guitar case in hand. That is the very guitar case I have left outside the door.
Ringo Starr, 10 Admiral Grove, Dingle
In 1946, as a small child, Ringo Starr moved from nearby Madryn Street into the terrace at 10 Admiral Grove.
He spent most of his formative years at the property, learning the drums and celebrating his 21st birthday party there.
He still called Admiral Grove home when, in 1962, he got a call from The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein that would change his life forever.
The house became a regular haunt for the Fab Four as they honed their seminal sound and also features in the BBC documentary 'The Mersey Beat' from 1963, where Ringo is filmed leaving the house through the front door, crowded by a horde of local children, and driving off with the rest of The Beatles in George Harrison’s open-top sports car.