8 of us turned up at Otterspool Promenade to brave the winds from Storm Brian and join Paul G on his Beatles Landmarks ride.
We set off into the teeth of the wind that seemed to be in line with the forecast of 40mph with gusts around 50mph. We crawled alongside the Mersey for around 4 miles passing Albert Dock until we reached the Liver Building where we posed for video shots with the Fab Four. We were all impressed with the likeness of the statues. We left the waterfront and immediately noticed that the wind was no longer an issue. We pushed our bikes through Matthew Street passing the new Cavern Club and Cilla’s statue. The Eleanor Rigby statue was next before Paul gave us a tour of some of the other sights around the city centre.
Then we left the city to head out to the suburbs passing through Princes Park and then stopping at the impressive Palm House in Sefton Park. Paul kept feeding us with information relating to the Beatles along the way. We then headed for Penny Lane passing round the rather busy junction and roundabout from the famous song. A brief stop at John Lennon’s primary school and then his aunt’s house where he grew up followed next.
Our lunch stop was the Elephant pub in Woolton. We all settled for drinks and snacks though Roy was taken aback when Pete refused an offer from the owner of free roast potatoes with gravy! We then cycled past the attractive old picture house in Woolton before calling at St Peter’s Church graveyard to view the grave of Eleanor Rigby. Our final stop in Woolton was the church hall where Lennon first met McCartney back in 1957. The church hall is at the top of a hill and as we were listening to Paul explaining the story behind their meeting a gust of wind blew Alan off his bike! Once he was back on his feet and we had untangled his twisted chain we headed onwards to our next stop. The gates of Strawberry Fields were beautifully made but covered with graffiti which took a bit of the shine off them if you see what I mean.
The final stop on our grand tour was Paul McCartney’s childhood home. It’s good that the homes of both Lennon and McCartney are now in the hands of the National Trust who will preserve the properties as those two have such a significant influence on the Beatles story. It was all downhill from here back to the promenade at Otterspool. We were disappointed when Paul turned into the wind again when we reached the prom and the wind hadn’t gone any easier. However, we battled through the final few hundred metres back to the café. Paul, Ray and Joyce headed for home while the rest of us, after thanking Paul for a brilliant ride, settled down to a hot cuppa (and cake for some). The good news is that Paul is going to repeat the ride, with maybe a little variation, sometime over the Summer. Everyone who attended the ride would highly recommend it if you are interested in Liverpool and the history of the Beatles.