Ask anyone across the world to name famous Liverpudlians and you would expect the name of Paul McCartney to be mentioned. Few sons of the city (apart that is from his fellow Beatles) can have been the subject of more biographical probing and the sources for facts and opinion on his life are nigh endless. Apart from some notes on his addresses there is little point in repeating here what is known by most and readily accessible to all. So a few personal memories.
I grew up at 18B Yorkaster Road, a third floor council flat about 50 yards away from the McCartney’s house on Forthlin Road. I could look out of my bedroom window and see his chimney. My late sister, Val, was just two years younger than Paul and hung around in the same group with him, on occasions sitting in his front room playing records. Much later in life she told me that on one occasion she walked all the way from Calderstones Park to Forthlin Road with Paul’s arm around her shoulder – his other arm was apparently round another girl’s shoulder but hey, 50% of a future Beatle is not to be sniffed at. As the Beatles first began to gain fame we got used to seeing John Lennon roll up in his white Jaguar to pick Paul up – Paul himself then driving a dark green Ford Consul Classic.
Along with my friend Pete Rehill I used to go to Speke airport and spend hours watching planes come and go from the spectator space above the terminal. One day we heard from someone that the Beatles were due to arrive shortly to fly somewhere so we decamped to the inside of the terminal and they duly appeared a few minutes later. Paul kindly chatted briefly with us – we asked him who had scratched “I love Paul” on his lovely car and he replied “oh some terrible person” and Pete got his autograph. I met up with Pete a couple of years ago after a gap of over 50 years and he asked me what I’d done with the autograph as apparently I ‘took possession’ of it almost as soon as Paul handed it over. I’m still searching, Pete.
James Paul McCartney was born on 18th June 2022 at Walton General Hospital to parents Jim and Mary. His first home was in furnished rooms at 10 Sunbury Road L4. The family lived in other rented accommodation in Liverpool and on the Wirral never staying for longer than a few months at each. In 1947 Mary McCartney secured a post as resident midwife on the Speke housing estate and the job brought a house at 72 Western Avenue L24, moving a few years later to nearby 12 Ardwick Road L24. Paul attended Joseph Williams Primary School. In 1955, after Paul had moved to the Liverpool Institute the family moved ‘up’ in the world when they got a council house at 20 Forthlin Road L18 (the same year that my family moved from Wavertree to Yorkaster Road). The year after the move to Allerton Paul’s mother, Mary, died from breast cancer.
The last time I saw Paul ‘in’ Forthlin Road it was on 10th July 1964 when I was standing at the top of the road waving as the Beatles drove by on their way to the Liverpool premiere of Hard Day’s Night.
The McCartney's home at the time of Paul's birth in 1942.
The McCartney's first house in Speke
The McCaretney's second Speke home..
The McCartney's moved to this house in Allerton in 1955.
There is enough material on Paul McCartney to occupy anyone for several years. Of the many biographies that have been written I favour the 2016 work by Philip Norman (Paul McCartney: The Biography, Weidenfeld & Nicholson) as it is a solid account of his life which doesn't seek to sensationalize in any way.
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