Thursday, 26 September 2019

Abbey Road Gets Bespoke Manhole Cover on 50th Anniversary


FIFTY years ago, four men in flares walked in sync across a zebra crossing in North London and created one of the most memorable LP covers of all time.
Abbey Road has now been immortalised in ductile iron thanks to a partnership between Wrekin Products and Thames Water.

The St John’s Wood neighbourhood hasn’t been the same since its namesake album was released by The Beatles on 26 September 1969. To commemorate the anniversary of the band’s 11th studio album, Wrekin and Thames Water have created a one-off, bespoke manhole cover, which has been installed just a stone’s throw away from EMI’s North London recording studio, with a striking design resembling the iconic LP cover. 

This one-off Thames Water-specified Wrekin Unite D400 manhole cover is situated just in front of the world-famous zebra crossing and can be seen on the Abbey Road webcam. This means that the hundreds of thousands of people every year from across the globe who visit the street to walk in the footsteps of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr will pass it while recreating the photo of the ‘Fab Four’ striding across the road.

Simon Turner, commercial director at Wrekin – a leader UK designer, manufacturer and supplier of specialist products for the civil engineering industry – said he was delighted to watch the project Come Together after months of hard work.

He added: “We’ve been aware that one of our manhole covers is situated next to that zebra crossing for a while now, so we knew we had to do something distinctive to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Abbey Road album. Before its release, most people who have been blissfully unaware of the location of EMI’s London recording studio. However, after The Beatles shared the album with the world, both the zebra crossing and Abbey Road became one of the most recognised sites in our capital city and still, hundreds of thousands of people each year continue to visit the street.

“We’re delighted with the outcome of our one-off, special edition Unite D400 manhole cover and we are proud to be celebrating five decades of one of Britain’s greatest exports. The album is one that fans hold closely to their hearts and it has now been immortalised into the fabric of the very street the record was mostly created. We hope that when people visit Abbey Road for their photo op, they also spend some time enjoying our tribute.

“Many people don’t fully appreciate the creativity that goes into industrial design, but we spend countless hours and energy creating our often-unnoticed manhole covers – they really are a piece of art that puts a lid on what is lurking below in the sewer. In Japan, there is an annual three-day festival, which celebrates the 6,000 artistic and intricate manhole covers throughout the country. Our commemorative Abbey Road cover is hopefully just the start of Wrekin combining art with functionality and making the mundane fun.”

Unite – which exceeds BS EN 124:2015 and HA104/09 requirements – includes patented design features that combine to give the longest life, and therefore lowest whole life cost, of any D400 access cover on the market. It means the commemorative Abbey Road edition will remain prominent in the street for decades to come.

Last year, Thames Water unveiled a commemorative manhole cover in Whitechapel Road to mark the first anniversary of the world-famous 130-tonne ‘monster fatberg’, made up of congealed wet wipes and cooking fat, discovered blocking 250 metres of sewers in September 2017.

Stuart White, Thames Water, said: “The famous Abbey Road crossing was the perfect choice for our next special edition manhole cover. We’re always looking for new ways to engage our customers and hope this striking one-off design and tribute to the classic album is popular with Beatles fans who walk the iconic walk.

“We also hope the new look sparks more conversations about what happens next to London’s waste, and serves as a reminder that only the three Ps – poo, pee and toilet paper – should end up in our vast network of underground sewers. Our message is always ‘Bin it – don’t block it’, and please don’t feed the fatberg that lurks beneath.” 

Thames Water is now asking for more ideas on the next manhole cover that deserves special edition attention. Share your ideas on Thames Water’s social media channels using #manholemakeover. 

Abbey Road topped the UK charts for 11 consecutive weeks, spending a total of 92 weeks in the UK top 75 and selling more than 10 million copies worldwide.

For further information on Wrekin Products, please visit or call the team on 01543 440440.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Issue 71 - Out Now!

Our latest issue is on its way to subscribers.  The September 2019 issue is overflowing with fun and informative articles and reviews.  We are sure you will enjoy it!  Non-members can order a copy from our website here.

                                                                      Issue 71 (September 2019) includes:
  • The Beatles A Day In The Life
  • Coming Up-Forthcoming Events
  • Media Watch
  • Abbey Road - The Beatles Finale
  • The Beatles 50 Years Ago, a reflection
  • The Beatles Not For Sale
  • George Harrison and the Goodwood Festival
  • John Lennon and Elton John
  • Politics of John Lennon - Part 7
  • The Last Beatles Song?
  • Beatle Boots
  • Paperback Writer
  • Try Some, Buy Some-New Releases
  • Fab Four at the Movies
  • Offers and Discounts
  • As I Write This Letter
  • Crap Photos of the Month

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Liverpool Central Library - The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’- The Making of a Masterpiece

At Liverpool Central Library 27th September 2019

Record and radio producer Steve Levine explores the back story of the creation of Abbey Road in conversation with writer and Beatles aficionado David Quantick. Using audio clips Steve will explore how the tracks were put together to give a completely different perspective on the influences that led to the production which many consider to be The Beatles' masterwork.

The evening will be supported and enhanced by performances by the newly created ‘Library of Soul’ choir with individual recorded and live vocal performances by the choir and musical director Kaya Herstad-Carney

“ And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make…”

Liverpool Central Library
27th September 2019 Doors 7pm for a 7.15pm start

Tickets are limited and can be bought from Ticket Quarter

£10 for unallocated seats some of which may be around the perimeter of the room
£8 over 65 and Disabled concessions available at £8. Please let us know if you require a wheelchair space or other access needs (BBFC Members - get concession pricing by showing your membership card)
Group ticket offer! Buy 9 and get the 10th free

The Edge Presents - Abbey Road on Manchester Road

50th Anniversary Charity Concerts

Two nights of the iconic album played in full by a variety of amazing acts, plus more Beatles songs.

DATE: Friday 18th & Saturday 19th October 2019
TIME: 7pm – Late
PRICE: £15/12*

The Edge is a registered charity: 1128608 and all proceeds from these concerts go to working with vulnerable adults and young people

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Congratulations to our Summer Selfie Contest Winners!

A big thank you to everyone who sent in their Summer Selfies! Our next issue is on its way to the printers this weekend and will be posted out to members very soon. At midnight UK time, the contest ended and via random draw, we have our two winners: Piers Hemmingsen and Trevor Brown! Congratulations to both! Even though the drawing was random, we love your submissions! We have emailed you with details about how your prizes will be delivered.
Piers Hemmingsen - Summer Selfie Contest Winner

Trevor Brown - Summer Selfie Contest Winner

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

'Dear John' Free Concert October 9

In aid of
7.30pm, 9th OCTOBER 2019
Great Cumberland Pl, Marylebone, London W1H 7DL
On 9th October 2019 musicians and artists from different generations and different genres will come together to celebrate the music, legacy and birthday of Beatle legend John Lennon.
The concert will take place at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel in Marylebone and all proceeds from it will benefit War Child UK. 
Appropriately this significant event is the idea of a millennial musician, Sepp Osley, the founder, songwriter and front man of rock band Blurred Vision. 
Sepp himself could have been the face of War Child. He was born in war torn Iran in the mid 80’s, fled the country with his family and spent most of his life in Canada before relocating to London.
Along with his new Blurred Vision line-up, Sepp is bringing together a variety of special guests to perform at the show. The evening is dedicated to one of the world’s most iconic musical heroes - John Lennon - and will comprise a celebration of songs from both Lennon’s solo catalogue and the Beatles.
Reflecting on why War Child means so much to him, Sepp said "There is a great necessity for this incredible charity. They fight for those who have the smallest voice but the greatest of importance. War Child is here to let these children know that they are not forgotten.
Having been born into a time of war and uncertainty myself I am grateful to be able to do my little bit now as an adult. I am also very excited to be able to celebrate my great hero John Lennon whose music first taught me that the things that make us different mean very little in the end.
The only thing that matters is our empathy towards one another and to know that attaining peace is not just a dream but can be our reality, if we want it."  
The concert on October 9th is free to the public but fans are encouraged to donate whatever they can online and to register for tickets guaranteeing entry at the following link: .

Don't Forget to Book your Film Tickets for Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend!

What a great lineup of films at the Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend! Get your ticket before they're all gone!


A new play called Bestbeat captures those incredible Merseybeat days. written by award-winning Liverpool writer Frank Duffy, it tells the story of what happened to original Beatles' drummer, Pete Best , after he was sacked in 1962 and replaced by Ringo Starr just as they were about to change music and the world forever. Frank Duffy always wanted the play to be performed at Merseybeat venues were The Beatles, with Pete Best, played. And what better place than the Grosvenor Ballroom? We are very proud to be hosting this amazing play here
Bestbeat comes to the Grosvenor Ballroom, Grosvenor street, Wallasey on Saturday 5th October, doors open 6.45pm and the show starts at 7.30pm. The bar will be available before he the show during interval and after
The Grosvenor Ballroom played an important part in the early development of The Beatles. The group played there a number of times in the days when they were just another unknown group. And, of course, when their drummer was fans' favourite Pete Best not Ringo Starr. Like many others, Pete Best was a young musician who wanted to play his favourite music as a drummer, so he joined a group called the Beatles... Pete was with them at the start of their epic journey from 1960 until he was dismissed by Beatles' manager Brian Epstein August 1962. Pete thought he was on the verge of the big time with the group. It didn't happen for him as his life changed on one fateful day........
Bestbeat tells this fascinating story using drama, humour and original songs performed by a live band. It's a show you won't want to miss!
Tickets are £10 and £8 concessions, and can be bought direct from the Grosvenor Ballroom by calling in person or phone 0151-637-1341

A Tribute to John Lennon

More Beatle fun to be had in Germany in October.

Beatles Day in Mons - Abbey Road Theme

The 32nd Beatles Day in Mons is coming soon in October.  This year the theme is Abbey Road and they have some special guests.  Get more information on their website:


The Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend is really looking to be a fantastic event with unique events like this one!  
Since arriving at the Toppermost of the Poppermost, The Beatles have appeared in thousands of comic strips and gag cartoons. Beatles expert and former Marvel Comics comic book creator Tim Quinn takes a look at 100 of the best....and worst!

This is just one of the many Beatles-related events including 5 films and live music to take place during Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend 20-22 September. Tim Quinn’s talk will be at The Hive in Belmont, Shrewsbury on Sunday 22nd September at 2.30pm. Tickets cost £9 plus small booking fee via

Tim Quinn was born in Liverpool in 1953, the very same year Beryl the Peril first appeared in The Topper. Coincidence? We think not! Educated by Irish Christian Brothers whose prospectus boasted, ‘We will instil a fear of God into your child’, it was little wonder Tim chose a life in entertainment.

Starting his career as a clown at Blackpool Tower Circus he then leapt back in time to work on BBC TV’s Good Old Days music hall series where he started writing scripts for top comedians. It was a small jump into the world of comic books where he spent many happy years as scriptwriter, illustrator and editor on such noted titles as The Beano, The Dandy, Sparky, The Topper, Buster, Whoopee!, Bunty, Jackie, Dr Who Magazine, and Whizzer & Chips before heading Stateside to work for the mighty Marvel Comics Group on the world famous Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk.

Tim has also worked as a writer for the Guardian newspaper, editor for America’s oldest publication The Saturday Evening Post and producer for LWT’s The South Bank Show (amongst others producing a show on the history of Marvel Comics!).