Blue Suburban Skies
“As you all know, Liverpool took a hammering with the heavy bombing all around the dock area. A friend and neighbour of our Grandparents had two properties at Newcastle Road. He stated that things were getting very dangerous with the bombing and he was going back to live in one of his houses at Penny Lane and I think you should come too and live in my other property, which they decided to do.
“The majority of the Stanley Sisters were married from the 9 Newcastle Road address; hence we all came to live in and around Woolton.
“I lived until I was three years old in Halewood. Then we moved over to Rock Ferry over the other side of the River Mersey. Aunt Mary (Mimi) lived here at Menlove Avenue.
“Aunt Harriet, when she returned from abroad, lived in what we knew as the Cottage, which was half of the Family Farmhouse that Uncle George and his family owned.
“Uncle George and Mimi owned that half of the farmhouse, so Aunt Harriet, Cousin Liela and David lived there, just around the corner from Mendips here. The Farmhouse still stands there today.
“Judy, John’s mother lived at Blomfield Road, Allerton, so this is the area where we all grew up together. We would do the grand tour of visiting all our Aunt’s homes, staying at each one for periods of our holidays – which would be Rock Ferry, Penny Lane, Menlove Avenue, the Cottage in Allerton Road and Blomfield Road.
“It has been put about that John had a very claustrophobic and unhappy childhood. Well, I am here today to scotch that very story. He and all us cousins had a very close, loving and happy childhood growing up all together in this very area. We miss him greatly.”
When the Beatles found international fame, John insisted on buying a new home for his beloved Aunt Mimi and bought her a luxury bungalow near Bournemouth in 1965.
He was mortified when she told him that she intended to sell ‘Mendips’ as he wanted it to be kept in the family for sentimental reasons. He said he couldn’t bear the thought of his childhood home in the hands of someone else.
Mimi disagreed, feeling that a house shouldn’t be left empty. John tried to persuade her to spend six months of each year in ‘Mendips’ and the rest of the year in Poole, but she felt that any break must be a clean one and the house was sold.
Ernest Buckley, a doctor, bought the house. He lived there until his death when it passed into the hands of his son, Rod, who put it up for sale. Yoko Ono bought the property and placed it in the hands of Liverpool Corporation.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that John Lennon was a ‘working class hero’ and think he came from a Liverpool of grimy docks, slums, narrow alleyways and terraced streets.
It was an image John liked to cultivate, as well as the portrayal that he had an unhappy angst-ridden youth, deserted by his father and devastated by the death of his mother.
In fact, he was the only member of the Beatles who didn’t have a working-class background. He also had an idyllic early childhood, surrounded by an extended family that loved him.