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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 13:58 GMT
Clean up for Beatles tribute wall
The Beatles recorded 90% of their hits at number 3 Abbey Road
Beatles fans who write graffiti tributes to their heroes on Abbey Road Studios' wall face opposition from neighbours who say it lowers the tone.

The whitewashed wall in St John's Wood, north-west London, has been an unofficial shrine to the band for more than 20 years.

But residents feel the graffiti is an eyesore, said Abbey Road's councillor.

Westminster Council said it has agreed with the studio that contractors will clean the graffiti off once a week.

'Writing on the wall'

Richard Porter, a London tour guide, has been taking fans to the studios for 15 years.

"It is a great shame if this tradition has come to an end," he said.

"Fans from all over the world have been writing on the walls for years. I always stop to read the messages on the wall."

One person's so-called tradition is somebody else's eyesore - would you do that to the Vatican?
Abbey Road councillor Judith Harner
For Abbey Road residents the problem has worsened since the studios became a landmark on the memorabilia map of pop stars in London, according to Abbey Road councillor Judith Harner.

"One person's so-called tradition is somebody else's eyesore," she said. "Would you do that to the Vatican?"

"People leave their names and 'we love John, Paul, George and Ringo' all over the Abbey Road signpost and it frequently gets stolen," she added.

Managing director of the studios David Holly said the tradition began after John Lennon's death in 1980 and again became well visited when George Harrison died three years ago.

Abbey Road studio wall
The wall will be cleaned once a week
He said: "We have no objections to people writing on the wall. We rather like it. Some of our neighbours are not quite so keen."

"People can still leave their messages - it just does not stay up quite so long."

Previously the studios would clean the walls once every six to eight weeks.

But a Westminster Council spokeswoman said it was agreed cleaning the wall would be the council's responsibility at a meeting in September.

The wall will now be cleaned once a week by council contractors, she said.

"We have had lots of complaints from residents about graffiti saying it lowers the tone of the area," she added.

Over seven years from 1962, the Beatles recorded 90% of their hits at number 3 Abbey Road including the Sergeant Pepper album and their final album as a group, Abbey Road.

The site is also popular with tourists who photograph themselves on the zebra crossing outside the studios which famously featured on the cover of the Abbey Road album.

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