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Tuesday, July 21, 1998 Published at 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK


Sir Paul 'chuffed' with history house

A step back in time - the living room has been given the 50s treatment

The former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has expressed delight that his boyhood home has become a national treasure.

Number 20 Forthlin Road, in the Liverpool suburb of Allerton, has been bought and restored by the National Trust.

[ image:  ]
Pop fans from around the world are expected to descend on the humble residential address when it opens to the public next week.

Sir Paul was slightly bemused about the fate of the place he called home between 1955 and 1964.

"My mum and dad would have found it very hard to believe that the house is now a National Trust property," he said.

"You expect the National Trust to own places like Blenheim Palace, not a little terrace house like this. But they would be chuffed about it - and so am I."

Magical history tour

Custodian John Halliday on his first tour round the house
The media has had a sneak preview of the house. But daytrippers will have to wait another week, until it officially opens to the public.

Paul was living at the family house when, as a teenager he met John Lennon at a nearby fete and the pair decided to form a band.

[ image:  ]
Some of the best-known early Lennon-McCartney songs, such as Love Me Do and She Loves You were composed within the four walls. The house also served as an early rehearsal venue for the Quarrymen, the Beatles' original incarnation.

A former girlfriend Linda Thorpe said: "When I first met Paul, we used to shine lights at each other from his bedroom at the front, to my one. I was at the front as well.

"We used to shine a torch just to say 'goodnight'."

Paul's father, Jim McCartney, was eventually forced to leave the home when Beatlemania made life there impossible.

Expensive project

The trust has spent thousands on the three-bedroom terraced house.

Former girlfriend Linda Thorpe: "We used to shine torches at each other"
It is the first building acquired by the National Trust because of its significance to 20th Century popular culture.

Helped by a £47,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the house has been restored to give an impression of how it looked during the McCartney years.

The historical significance is enhanced with photographs supplied by Paul's younger brother, Michael. One depicts Paul and John in the front room working on I Saw Her Standing There.

[ image: The back garden of the modest house]
The back garden of the modest house
Visitors will be guided around the property with the help of a personal audio tape, featuring memories of the McCartneys and others connected with the house.

Among the highlights are a peek at Paul's old bedroom - the smallest in the house - and, in the dining room, a collection of memorabilia belonging to Beatles' biographer Hunter Davies.

Fans will also be able to see the red drainpipe which Paul used as an emergency entry into the house late at night.

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