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Wirral's new magical mystery tour of Beatles haunts
12:28pm Tuesday 7th August 2012 in News
Wirral’s connections with the Beatles are being celebrated with the launch of a new tourist trail in the borough.
‘Beatles Across The Mersey’ has been devised by Wirral Council in association with the Cavern Club and Beatles author and historian Ray O’Brien and features 29 sites that will be of interest to Beatles aficionados.
Among them is Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight, which hosted four Beatles concerts in 1962, including the very first appearance as a Beatle by drummer Ringo Starr 50 years ago this month.
Also featured is the site of the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton which, outside of the Cavern itself, is the venue the Beatles played on the most occasions; one of the 27 shows the band played at the Tower Ballroom attracted their biggest ever audience for a mainland UK show – 4,500 screaming fans packing the famous hall for a show in 1962.
Other more obscure Beatles connections are also included on the trail, including Beno Dorn tailors on Grange Road West in Birkenhead, who designed the band’s first ever stage suits in 1962, and a house in Buchanan Road, Seacombe, where the first ever Beatles fan club was launched, again in 1962.
Councillor Chris Meaden, cabinet member for culture, tourism and leisure, said: “Liverpool is the home of the Beatles and quite rightly attracts millions of visitors every year eager to see Beatles-related landmarks.
"The Wirral connection has been less celebrated so far but it is significant to the history of the band, which is why our tourism team has been working with the Cavern Club and Ray O’Brien on putting together this trail.
“We hope that many visitors will be tempted to come over to the ‘other side’ of the Mersey to see some of the places that helped shape the band in their early years, particularly as 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of many of those early milestones.”
Ringo’s first ever Beatles show took place at Hulme Hall on August 18, 1962, and is a claim to fame that the venue and Port Sunlight village as a whole is immensely proud of.
To mark it this year’s Port Sunlight Summer Festival has been put back a month to August 25, to coincide with International Beatle Week 2012 taking place in Liverpool.
The summer festival attracted 18,000 people last year and the village expects to surpass that total this year as it adopts a distinct Fab Four flavour with Beatles tribute bands lined up to perform alongside the usual mixture of exhibitors, food and drink stalls and children’s entertainment.
The festival begins at 11am and runs until 5pm in the centre of Port Sunlight village.
Copies of the ‘Beatles Across The Mersey’ trail leaflet will be available at many hotels, restaurants and other visitor attractions across Merseyside.
It can also be downloaded from the Visit Wirral website – www.visitwirral.com