Back in the USSR?

“Look! It’s just like Kazakhstan!”

This is probably not the most common reaction to the sight of the statue of Liverpool’s most famous foursome at the Pierhead. The woman I was addressing certainly looked a bit startled. (I thought the person just behind me was my husband. Oops!)

However, two years previously, on a trip to Kazakstan, we had come across not one, but two monuments to the Fab Four. In the current capital, Nursultan, we found them in a street also adorned with lamposts in the shape of musical

In the former capital, Almaty, we came across them again when we took a cable-car up Kok-Tebe (the Green Mountain.) This picture also proves that Central Asia is not always dry!

Back in Liverpool, we learned more about the Fab Four at the Beatles Experience at Albert Dock and The Beatles Museum in the Cavern Quarter. A fun thing to do is count the number of ‘Fifth Beatle’s. Pete Best, Stuart Sutcliffe, Brian Epstein…. The Beatles Museum is particularly strong on the Pete Best connection – one of the most fascinating exhibits is the letters he and Paul wrote to the German authorities to be allowed back into Germany after having been deported for slightly setting fire to their accommodation.

Mendips

We also took the National Trust minibus tour to John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes: Mendips in Menlove Avenue and 20 Forthlin Road. Mendips is definitely the more upmarket of the two – the original builder even installed bells for the servants, not that Lennon’s Aunt Mimi had any servants – she took in student lodgers to help with the finances.

20 Forthlin Road is on a council estate built after the war. Both are presented as they would have been at the time, though the contents are (mostly) not authentic. One advantage of Covid travel is that the tour was restricted to 4 people rather than the usual 15, which is probably a crowd.

We visited Kazakhstan in September 2019 and Liverpool in June 2021

2 thoughts on “Back in the USSR?

  1. We’re thinking of visiting Liverpool later this year. I hadn’t realised you could tour Lennon and McCartney’s childhood homes – thanks for the tip!

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  2. The tour is definitely worth it. It operates from the city centre or Speke Hall (which is worth a visit in its own right.) When we went it was from Speke in the morning and the city centre in the afternoon. We wanted to visit Speke Hall anyway, so took a bus out there, did the Beatles tour in the morning and visited the house in the afternoon.

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