A visit to this statue is on the agenda of every Beatles fan visiting the city. Tommy Steele, the entertainer, sculpted Eleanor in the 1980s and sold her to the city for a silver sixpence. She is hollow and contains a number of lucky charms, including a four-leafed clover!
Although the song is fictional, Eleanor herself may have been a real person as it is said that her name was taken from a grave in St Peter's Churchyard in Woolton, about six miles from the city centre. I never managed to find the grave there, but it is the final resting place of the great Liverpool manager Bob Paisley. The Beatles did have connections withthe church though, as it is where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first played together in the 1950s with their band The Quarrymen. The church is a feature of many of the city's Beatles tours.
To say that much of the tourist industry in Liverpool is dependent upon the Fab Four is something of an understatement. A whole area of the city is named after the 'Cavern', there are museums and tours, and not forgetting the renamed airport.
At least it provides good material for public art, and one of the most arresting is the Yellow Submarine ready to visit Pepperland and the music-hating Blue Meanies.
The statue was originally built for the Garden Festival back in the 1980's but is now re-located to an area of open space between the river and the bus station.
Shall I sing it to you now ?
Mathew street is where it all began. The Beatles used to hang around at "The Grapes" pub and they played their first gigs in the Cavern Club.
Today Beatles fans go on pilgrimage tours to Mathew street of course. They find a new Cavern club here but also the original Grapes pub. They can take pics with a John Lennon statue or look at the roses at the facade of the Cavern court as they were designed by Yoko Ono (Roses were John's favourite flowers). There's a wall of fame here naming all acts that have performed at Cavern club as well as "golden records" for all Liverpool based England No. 1 hits.
I enjoyed being a tourist here, having my pic with John Lennon taken and having a drink at the Grapes. Even though they didn't play Beatles music in there :)
Opposite the famous Cavern Club there is a wall of fame, where all stars who ever played here are mentioned. There as well is a disk monument which shows all number one Uk hits that came from Liverpool bands. As for example the Lightning Seeds.
As you might have heard Liverpool is the home of the Beatles ;-) And of course the Beatles are the citiy's most popular tourist attraction!
There's a Beatles museum in Albert Dock. It looks like a bit of a tourist trap to me but from what it says on their website it might actually be quite nice. Unlike most museums in Liverpool this isn't free but rather pricey so I didn't have a closer look yet.
Relive the most sensational story the pop world has ever known, with a nostalgic journey through the world famous Beatles Story. Hear amazing accounts from the 60's through audio guides. Sights, sounds and even smells.
The hospital where John Lennon was born after an air raid on October 9th, 1940 is right across the road from the Catholic cathedral. Apparently it stood behind this building but it was closed in 1997.
Another Beatles related statue, but this one is a bit special - I certainly found it moving.
Eleanor Rigby, from the name used in the Beatles song was actually sculptured by the pop singer Tommy Steele.
The plaque next to the monument dedicates it 'To All The Lonely People'
Interestingly, some years ago a grave was found near St Peter's Church in Woolton (where Paul met John) with the name Eleanor Rigby on it.
First stop on the Magical Mystery Tour of Liverpool is none other than Penny Lane, an unassuming street in suburban Allerton, not far from John and Paul's homes. The actual places mentioned in the song are at the far end of Penny Lane on the adjoining street, but this is immaterial when you're standing next to the road sign that served as the inspiration for one of your favorite songs. Here are my parents doing just that!
This is a museum I would recommend for the casual Beatles fan, not the die-hard (like me) who knows all the basics already. I didn't bother going into this museum after reading up on its attractions (a recreated Abbey Road crosswalk, a walk-through Yellow Submarine, etc.), since we had limited time in Liverpool anyway. Others may find it worthwhile and interesting, though.
However, the museum also is the starting point for the Magical Mystery Tour, and you can get into the museum shop without paying admission. They have a great collection of souvenirs, including tees, mugs, music, posters, cards, keychains, mousepads, etc.
I love this...the people of Liverpool are proud enough of their lovable lads to plunk a giant, metal, completely non-functional yellow submarine right down next to major historic sights. It's a great photo-op, and certainly brightens up the landscape on a cloudy Liverpool day!
A view of the outside of the re-created Cavern Club. Paul McCartney returned to this location a couple of years ago to play a fantastic live gig for a few hundred very lucky audience members! (No, I wasn't one of them.) :(
Well, Eleanor Rigby now has a home here on Stanely Street in Liverpool. Here she is, sitting solitary on a bench on an inconspicous street, her faceless head turned aside from the crowd. I just had to sit down and try to cheer her up.
You will usually find flowers laid here to keep her company, gifts from the endless stream of Beatles fans stopping here, I imagine.
...but this is one of my all-time favourite travel experiences right here. Walking into Paul McCartney's boyhood home at 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton, Liverpool. I know every Beatles song inside out, and just to be in this house knowing how many of those songs were written right there was enough to make me hyperventilate.
The house is much smaller than Mendips, John Lennon's boyhood home, owing to the McCartney familiy's more working class upbringing. Mike McCartney (Paul's brother and an excellent pop photographer) has contributed the many family photos that hang on the walls here, and many of the original fixtures remain here. I walked right into Paul's tiny little bedroom (not even a closet in there!), sat in the same spot where he and John wrote countless songs, and walked into the outdoor toilets in back. Only another Beatles fanatic could understand how extremely cool that is. :)
The custodian here is named Eric, and he is a fantastic guy--a native, soft-spoken and funny, and he looks uncannily like Macca himself, which makes me like him even more. He was nice enough to pose with us here.
First stop on the National Trust tour is Mendips, the boyhood home of John Lennon with his Aunt Mimi and her husband. John lived here until the Beatles were famous, so its full of history, and extremely well-preserved. The curator, who is coincidentally also named John, is a lovely guy with a great background in music. He lives in the house and guides this portion of the tour. You are free to wander around the house (only a few rooms are roped off) and walk into John's bedroom, the sunny kitchen and the porch where John and Paul practiced guitar and wrote songs, and the very pleasant sitting room.
Mimi ran a pristine house, and even by today's standards, Mendips is a very pleasant upper middle-class home.