Liverpool: John and Paul

St. Peter's, Penny Lane and Strawberry Field

John Lennon met Paul McCartney on July 6, 1957, when Paul went to hear John's band, The Quarrymen, play at a village festival at St. Peter's Parish Church in Woolton, a Liverpool "suburb" that is really a small, peaceful village. St. Peter's was John's Parish Church, within walking distance of his home on Menlove Avenue. (The church cemetery is also the resting place of one Eleanor Rigby--listed about halfway down the "Rigby" family marker pictured above.)

The Quarrymen played often in the St. Peter's church hall (right), which is still used for youth clubs and actvities. On the July 6, 1957, the band played first in the field behind the church (left), where Paul first heard John, then later in the church hall, where Paul introduced himself, played some guitar and made enough of an impression to be asked to join the band a short time later.

John spent the first fours years of his life at 9 Newcastle Road, near the Penny Lane roundabout--a busy intersection where five roads meet in a traffic circle. There is still a "shelter in the middle of a roundabout" and a barber shop and a bank. Paul was once a choirboy at St. Barnabas Church, which faces the roundabout, and the Quarrymen played several times at the St. Barnabas Church Hall. The bustling shopping area and bus terminus was relatively near to John and Paul's adolescent homes as well, and it clearly held many happy memories for them both. The original lyrics to John's "In My Life" refer to Penny Lane, though it was Paul's song that immortalized the area. Cynthia (Powell) Lennon had an apartment near Penny Lane and worked at the Woolworth's store a block from the roundabout, where she was often visited by John (and where she went into labor with Julian).

Strawberry Field was and remains a Salvation Army Children's Home. Located on Beaconsfield Road about a block from its intersection with Menlove Avenue, Strawberry Field was a short walk from John's home and offered a magical, thickly-wooded world of escape that obviously remained a special place in his heart. "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were released together as a single in 1967, presenting a touching tribute to the Beatles' Liverpool roots.

Click to return to the Beatle sites main page or to go to these Liverpool sites: