20 Forthlin Road, a 1950s terraced house in Allerton, Liverpool, is the childhood home of Paul McCartney. The McCartney family moved here in 1955, and initially the family were happy in their new home. 20 Forthlin Road was an improvement on their former house in Speke, and both Paul and his brother Michael gained places at the Liverpool Institute, one of the city's best grammar schools. Sadly, however, Paul's mother Mary was to die of cancer after a short illness in October 1956, leaving her husband Jim to bring up the two boys on his own. Paul threw himself into his guitar playing. He would often play in the bathroom with its flattering acoustic.
After meeting John Lennon at the Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete on 6th July 1957, 20 Forthlin Road became Paul and John's rehearsal studio. Jim, a musician himself, encouraged the boys, unlike John Lennon's guardian Aunt Mimi, who used to send them off to practise in the tiny front porch in her house Mendips. About twenty songs were written here, including I Saw Her Standing There. Photographs by Michael McCartney are placed in the house in the locations where they were taken, to give a very direct sense of Paul's life at 20 Forthlin Road.
The McCartney's continued to live at Forthlin Road until 1965. Paul then had the money to buy Jim a nice house in the Wirral, and the move took place late at night to avoid souvenir hunting fans. 20 Forthlin Road then remained in private ownership until 1996 when it was bought by the National Trust. This purchase is a fitting counterpoint to the Beatles story itself, since the Beatles were part of a cultural shift in categories of importance. Categories of what is important and what isn't are more flexible now than they were in 1896 when the National Trust was created. Just as the Beatles early skiffle music pressed everyday household objects into service in pursuit of rhythm, and required no wealth or musical training, buildings such as Paul McCartney's childhood home in Forthlin Road, Liverpool can now be seen as significant. The Beatles themselves encouraged us to look at the world with a more open view, making zebra crossings in St John's Wood, and suburban streets in Liverpool world famous.
Opening Times: All visits are by scheduled mini bus only. Please use contact details below.
Address: 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton, Liverpool L24 1YP
Directions: Click here for an interactive map centred on 20 Forthlin Road.
information line: 0844 800 4791
booking line: 0151 427 7231
web site: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles/