A few weeks ago, Ivan had mentioned that it would be good to re-ride the Beatles Tour of Liverpool. Brian Mac had expertly constructed a route around the Fab Four's birthplaces and other significant sites. See this link for the original blog.
This ride was in July 2012, and unfortunately the gpx file was lost when BikeRouteToaster abruptly ceased to be available and all our previously stored routes were lost. So I spent some time reconstructing the route from my live recording of the route and adapting it to start from Ness Gardens rather than Chester Station.
The Fab Six brisk riders were John M, John W, Ivan, Nick, Ray and myself. Ken, Dave M, Andy B, Andy W and Dave P were just out for coffee today so missed a memorable ride! We set off via Raby and Clatterbridge to mosey passed Port Sunlight village and thence onto the Wirral Circular cycle path.
At Lower Tranmere, we stop at Cammell Laird's shipyard as there are myriads of people funnelling into the yard to see the naming ceremony by the Duchess of Cambridge of the "Sir David Attenborough" polar exploration vessel in the presence of the Duke of Cambridge and Sir David himself. We could just catch a glimpse of the ship painted in a day-glo Post Office red. Onwards via Birkenhead Priory, we wend our way to Hamilton Square Metro station for the single stop sub-Mersey transfer to James Street station.
Safely on the river front, we cycle through crowds of tourists to exit north and surprisingly uphill, to Toxteth and the Dingle area to arrive at Madryn Sweet. This is where Ringo Starr was born but today he wouldn't recognise it as we couldn't as it has had a marvellous make-over. We could actually get up Madryn Street as it was closed off and for builders only. So we cycle up the next road which had had the refurbishment. We have an informative chat with a local tenant who tells us that the two-up two-down original layout has been transformed in the three or even four bedroomed properties.
The streets around here all have Welsh names and the reason why can be found here. We also ride to the Empress pub where his mum worked next to where the Starr's had moved from Madryn Street.
|Voelas Street -original and recent (ex Wikipedia)|
We also ride to the Empress pub where his mum worked.
|Empress Pub - note the number of cyclists (ex Wikipedia)|
We press on now via Sefton Park and Penny Lane to Picton and its clock to find George's house in Arnold Grove. Quite a sad area really. Next comes a long run to Woolton to St Peter's Church and its hall where Paul was introduced to John in July 1957 - Yes, 62 years ago! There were Beatles tour taxis here discharging sightseers as well.
Retracing part of the route, we stop briefly at John's house (now a NT property) before moving on to Paul's house in Allerton also NT. It's here that I realise I have cycled passed Strawberry Fields - but is that thunder I hear or empty stomachs? So we head off for the Greenhills pub for a carvery or pizza lunch.
|The real Macca's boyhood home|
|Outside John's boyhood home|
During lunch, there is a scene reminiscent of the meerkat TV videos as periodically one concerned cyclist after another stands up to look out of the window to check that the bikes are still outside!
We decide to go back a mile to Strawberry Fields and stand outside the gates for the obligatory photo also noticing there is a rather modern building now in the grounds owned by the Salvation Army.
|At Strawberry Fields Forever|
The plan now was to circle back into the Georgian Quarter to marvel at the Victorian Gents in the Philharmonia Rooms pub (and have an obligatory swift half), but we had lost about 45 mins with the puncture, so we headed for James Street station. Safely back via Hamilton Square, we head uphill via Victoria and Egerton parks to Storeton. It's now a short hop via Raby to get Nick, Ivan and John W back to Ness Gardens. Ray, John M and myself head back via the back lanes of Capenhurst to Mollington.
So a fabulous day out with some very patient cyclists cycling through our musical heritage all thanks to the Fab Four and other Liverpudlian artists. Who can forget hearing "Please Please Me" for the first time! And No - no-one was heard singing "Ferry Across the Mersey"
The weather was kind in that we seemed to miss the showers and find some sunshine in our 47 miles jaunt.
See route map and/or gpx file download
Photos; JW, JM and ℅ Wikipedia