by Paul Sherlock
As I am sure all Beatles fans know, 2012 is the year of 50th anniversary celebrations here in Liverpool.
The most significant month being August, when on the 16th it will be 50 years to the day that Pete Best was sacked, making the 18th of that month 50 years since a certain Richard Starkey made his first official appearance as a fully fledged Beatle and gave us the Fab Four line up that went on to shake the world!
Pete Best was given the shocking news that he was no longer required by Brian Epstein in his office above his North End Music Stores (NEMS) record shop in Whitechapel, Liverpool. Sadly 50 years on in 2012 we have watched the building that housed the historic NEMS get demolished.
Two days after Pete’s sacking, therefore, became one of the most significant dates in Beatles and music history. Although he had stood in a few times when Pete had been ill, Ringo Starr made his official debut as Beatles drummer on the 18th August 1962 at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight, Wirral.
Celebrations will be taking place in Port Sunlight on the 18th August 2012 marking this significant milestone and will carry over to the following weekend to coincide with International Beatles Week here in Liverpool. Visitors will look forward to crossing the River Mersey and enjoying a superb time in this picturesque village. (Work commenced in 1888 to build Port Sunlight by Lever Brothers, to accommodate workers from its soap factory (now part of Unilever). The name is derived from Lever Brothers’ most popular brand of cleaning agent, “Sunlight”).
The Wirral side of the River Mersey is full of fascinating Beatles connections and plays a big part of the early story. Beatles Internationals’ Guus and Gabriella enjoyed my Wirral tour a few years ago and if any readers would like to follow in their footsteps please contact me for further details.
The 50 year anniversaries continue in August because it was on 23 August 1962 that a certain John Lennon married Cynthia Powell at 64 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool’s registry office. John spent the evening playing a Beatles gig in Chester!
Later on this year, 5th October will be 50 years since the release of Love Me Do in the UK. Liverpool will be celebrating the event in full over the weekend of 5th – 7th October 2012.
On a sadder note we must remember that earlier this year, 10th April 2012, it was 50 years since Stuart Sutcliffe died in Hamburg. Stuart is buried in Huyton and I know some of my fellow official Beatles Guides marked the day by visiting some of the sites associated with Stuart in the Liverpool area.
Moving on from the anniversaries, in the last few days it has been confirmed that No 9 Madryn Street, Ringo’s birthplace has been saved from demolition. This is wonderful news for every Beatle fan and for the tourist industry and economy in Liverpool. The house is one of 16 on Madryn Street that will be saved. Those houses and another 16 in the area will now be refurbished and sold. So if you have some spare cash you may be able to bid for the birthplace of a Beatle!
Last, but certainly not least its, Macca’s 70th Birthday on 18th June 2012. Wherever Paul spends it I hope it’s a very happy one for him. A fantastic milestone and as well as here on Merseyside, I am sure it will be celebrated all over the world. Many happy returns Paul.