Beatle fan celebrates life at Paul's

First published in News by

BEATLES fan John Halliday, live-in custodian of 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton - Paul McCartney's childhood home, is celebrating his own anniversary in his dream job.

He's been there longer than his favourite ex-Beatle - an amazing 10 years this week.

Back in 1998 I reported that John, who lived in Lowton, had left his job as a machine fitter and accepted the job of looking after and showing visitors around the small terraced house where Paul grew up, after it was bought by the National Trust in 1995.

And John, who bears an eerie resemblance to the star, still stays in the house which is renovated in the 50's style the family lived in between 1955 and 1964, for five days - though he says it sometimes seems like eight days a week - when masses turn up from all over the world.

The house is of great significance as, along with John Lennon's old home Mendips, it's the location where many of The Beatles' early songs were composed. The Quarrymen and The Beatles met and rehearsed in the front parlour.

John and Paul wrote about 100 songs in the house including Love Me Do, From Me To You, part of She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and When I'm 64.

Now the house is John's second home. When he moved in he was in awe of the place, but now the first thing he does on arrival is put the kettle on.

"It's a great job" says John, 50, who has met and shown thousands of visitors around " In fact, it was my ambition when I started, to live here longer than Paul himself - and I've achieved it! Paul only lived here for nine years.

"I know he's knocked on the door twice since I've been here - but on both occasions I was out! He's very welcome though to call in any time!"

Very few of the household objects are under lock and key, so it can be very tempting for someone who wants a souvenir.

One of the few that did go missing was John's only teaspoon.

He said that someone, somewhere in the world, has got what they think is Paul McCartney's teaspoon. It's not, it's his. Can he have it back please?

John also has another interesting fact for Beatles' fans - he is the only person to have lived at both Mendips and Forthlin Road.

When the National Trust first acquired Mendips from Yoko Ono Lennon in 2002 he was asked if he would stay over to keep an eye on the house until security was in place. So he would go to Mendips on his days off and in the evenings after he'd finished at Forthlin Road.

He added: "While I love the job as I live 'in the shop' so to speak, it can get a bit like being in a goldfish bowl particularly at the height of summer, when even after closing time, people still knock on the door. However, doing this job is fantastic - and I hope I've got a few more years here yet!"

How lucky to be in a job that you love.

20 Forthlin Road and Mendips are open Wednesday to Sunday until 30 November. Admission is by minibus and guided tour only. For details and bookings go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles

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