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2002-Feb-07: The Stage is Saved

First it was going to be demolished as part of a renovation project.  Then it was put up for sale (see June 12, 2001) but before could be sold, it was threatened by fire (see September 3, 2001).  When a buyer could not be found, it was once again scheduled for demolition.  However, now it seems the wooden stage of St. Peter's Church in Liverpool where on July 6, 1957 John Lennon first met Paul McCartney, has been rescued for posterity by the city of Liverpool.   The city council has agreed to store the stage at an undisclosed location until a safe and permanent home can be found for it.

St. Peter's vicar, Canon John Roberts, is pleased with the solution: "The church trustees fulfilled their obligations in trying to get a price for the stage. The auctioneers have written saying they were surprised it didn't sell. But money was never the issue for the Church. The stage was holding up our renovation and I think this is the happiest solution for everyone.
We can get on with our work, the council has saved an important piece of local history and for the Beatles' fans, it is still in Liverpool."

Liverpool council leader, Mike Storey, agrees: "I am delighted we have been able to rescue what is a vital part of pop music and Beatles' memorabilia.  This stage is an important part of The Beatles legend.  Liverpool without the Beatles would be like Stratford without Shakespeare.  The days are long gone when the city council turned a blind eye to its heritage by allowing places like the Cavern to be demolished. We will never allow that to happen again.  "

Former Quarryman bass player, Rod Davis, remarked, "In an ideal world it would have stayed where it was but this is the next best solution. It's a relief to hear it's staying in Liverpool and not going to the other side of the world. I'm grateful the council has stepped in to help out."

Another former Quarryman, Colin Hanton, says this is "fantastic news".  It was he who was playing the drums on that fateful July day.  He recalls, "I remember the day well and can still see John talking to this lad who I later found out to be Paul. He didn't strike me as anything special then but after Paul joined we practiced a lot and got better. We had a lot of fun and even though I left, I'm proud to have been part of it all."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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