'Quiet' Beatle's childhood home to be given permanent memorial

A play celebrating the life of George Harrison is set to show at a Merseyside theatre.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


The birthplace of one of Liverpool’s most famous sons and a member of the world’s best known band is to be honoured with a blue plaque.

Historic England is today unveiling a permanent dedication to George Harrison at his childhood home of 12 Arnold Grove in Wavertree. The plaque will be officially revealed by his widow Olivia in a ceremony celebrating his contribution to culture through film, music and humanitarian work.

Often known as “the Quiet Beatle,” George spent the first seven years of his life at the Wavertree house.

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Born on February 25, 1943, George was the youngest of four children whom he shared the home with and maintained strong connections to Wavertree. His parents were born and grew up in the area while his maternal grandparents lived in the adjacent road, Albert Grove.

He later wrote of the house: “To look at, it is just like ‘Coronation Street’: no garden, door straight on to the street … It was OK that house, very pleasant being little and it was always sunny in summer.”

The youngest member of the Beatles, George was just 17 when the band embarked on their trip to Hamburg in 1960, staying with the band for a decade. He met and befriended the Indian composer Ravi Shankar in 1965 and became influenced by eastern music and philosophy.

After the Beatles split up, Harrison went on to achieve great success as a solo artist, producing the highly acclaimed triple album All Things Must Pass in November 1970, with hits including My Sweet Lord. As co-founder of Handmade Films, George was also involved in films such as Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), Time Bandits (1981) and Mona Lisa (1986).

He was the first Beatle to score a number one single in the UK music charts after the band split up.

Olivia Harrison said: “This blue plaque recognition of George’s birthplace is a source of family pride for all the Harrisons, and something that none of us, mainly George, would ever have anticipated. So much of who George was came from being born and spending his earliest years at 12 Arnold Grove, undeniably a part of who George was.

“He left a footprint on this world, on this country, in this city and on this street.”

The new plaque bears the inscription: “GEORGE HARRISON / 1943–2001 / Musician and Songwriter / was born here.” The national blue plaque scheme is run by Historic England on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Throughout his incredible life, George would often come home to Liverpool to relive the memories that shaped his childhood. His career might have taken him around the world – but he never lost his love for this city.

“He was also a deeply spiritual man who used his platform to spread a message of peace and acceptance, which are values that Scousers are renowned for. It is for that reason that George will always be regarded as one of Liverpool’s greatest sons and it is wonderful to see a permanent tribute to his life in the community that helped to raise him.”

Lucy Frazer MP, culture secretary, added: “There can't be a more fitting recipient to mark the opening of public nominations than one of Liverpool's Fab Four, George Harrison. His skill as a musician and songwriter is celebrated all over the world and has inspired many to embark on a career in music, but it is here in the place of his birth that his legacy is strongest felt.”

The plaque is the third of its kind to recognise members of the Beatles, with sites at 34 Montagu Square, Marylebone, London (where Ringo Starr once leased a flat) and 251 Menlove Avenue, Liverpool where John Lennon grew up.

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