Tuesday 21 May 2013

Students turn ‘paperback writers’ to tell history of site where Lennon met McCartney

The students inside St Peter’s Church hall.
From left, Stephen Furnival, Daniel Ali, John-Isaac Thompson,
Joe Hamer, John Donegan, Mark Gould, Emma Newham and Chloe Moores

It was the location of one of the most significant encounters in popular music history and now a group of students is making an appeal for information that will help to tell the full story of the place where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met. 
The team of eight History students from the University of Chester has been asked to research and produce a guide for St Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool – one of the essential stop offs for fans on The Beatles’ tourist trail.
On July 6, 1957, the Quarrymen skiffle group – John’s band at the time – played at the garden fete of St Peter’s Church.
St Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool
It was while setting up their equipment to play, John’s neighbour and boyhood friend, Ivan Vaughan, introduced the band to one of his classmates from Liverpool Institute, the 15-year-old Paul.
This project forms part of the second year students’ experiential learning module which allows them to gain real life, hands on experience on a project or to conduct field work in their chosen area of study.
It was set up and is being led by the University’s Dr Donna Jackson, a lifelong fan of The Beatles who has written extensively about the band, and is also a member of St Peter’s Church.

Dr Jackson, who lectures in Modern History at the University, said: “This is a really exciting project for the students to be involved in. The Beatles are such a rich part of our cultural heritage and, as
St Peter’s is where John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney, it is one of the ‘must see’ places for Beatles fans coming to Liverpool.
“St Peter’s is my church, and when I first went there I was privileged to meet a man named Dave Peters. Dave witnessed Ivan’s introduction of John to Paul and would spend hours with Beatles’ fans sharing his memories of that special day. 
St Peter's Church Hall, where John Lennon
was first introduced to Paul McCartney
“Dave sadly passed away in 2011, and many other people who were present that day, including John Lennon and Ivan Vaughan, are no longer with us. That makes it even more important to try to document this story as accurately as possible, and while some of the witnesses are still with us, for the generations of fans to come.
“I very often show visitors around St Peter’s and it’s such a privilege to be able to take them to the spot where musical history was made. I’m thrilled that my students are going to be part of this wonderful heritage project as is Kip Crooks, Rector of St Peter’s.”
She added: “Dave’s telling of this first encounter will form a significant part of this guide book, but it would be fantastic if there is anyone out there who remembers being there or has information connected to that fateful day back in July 1957.”
This is not the first time that the University’s History students have been involved in such a high profile project connected to the late John Lennon.
In 2010 and 2011, two separate groups took part in a research project to gather information to be used in the future to recreate the authenticity of the garden Lennon’s childhood home, Mendips in Liverpool, with the assistance of the National Trust, which looks after the property.
Upon learning of this news through the University’s website, Yoko Ono sent a personal message to the students, in which she wrote “…thank you, thank you, thank you, to members of the Family of Peace and love of beauty. Thank you for working on the garden at Mendips. John and I thank you. With love,Yoko.”

 Emma Newham; Dr Donna Jackson; John- Isaac Thompson;
Mark Gould; Stephen Furnival

If you have any information that you can share for the St Peter’s Church guide book project, please contact Dr Jackson at d.jackson@chester.ac.uk or call 01244 512160.
For more information on the University of Chester, visit the website at www.chester.ac.uk 

1 comment:

  1. And whoever said "History was Boring "" certainly NOT in our city .The Beatles where just about making The history books at school when I left .But now you can get Uni degrees in their achievments .This looks like a great project , Makes me want to ""Get Back "" to School days !