IT WAS the location of one of the most significant encounters in popular music history.
Now eight University of Chester history students are making an appeal for information that will help to tell the full story of the place where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met.
The team was been asked to research and produce a guide for St Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool – one of the essential stop-offs for fans on The Beatles’ tourist trail.
On July 6, 1957, the Quarrymen skiffle group – John’s band at the time – played at the garden fête of St Peter’s Church.
It was while setting up their equipment to play that John’s neighbour and boyhood friend, Ivan Vaughan, introduced the band to one of his classmates from Liverpool Institute, the 15-year-old Paul.
This project forms part of the second-year students’ experiential learning module which allows them to gain real-life, hands-on experience on a project or to conduct field work in their chosen area of study.
It was set up and is being led by the university’s Dr Donna Jackson, a lifelong fan of The Beatles who has written extensively about the band, and is also a member of St Peter’s Church.
Dr Jackson, who lectures in modern history at the university, said: “This is a really exciting project for the students to be involved in. The Beatles are such a rich part of our cultural heritage and, as St Peter’s is where John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney, it is one of the ‘must see’ places for Beatles fans coming to Liverpool.
“St Peter’s is my church, and when I first went there I was privileged to meet a man named Dave Peters. Dave witnessed Ivan’s introduction of John to Paul and would spend hours with Beatles’ fans sharing his memories of that special day.
“Dave sadly passed away in 2011, and many other people who were present that day, including John Lennon and Ivan Vaughan, are no longer with us.
“That makes it even more important to try to document this story as accurately as possible, and while some of the witnesses are still with us, for the generations of fans to come.”
On learning of this news, Yoko Ono sent a personal message to the students, in which she wrote: “…thank you, thank you, thank you, to members of the Family of Peace and love of beauty. Thank you for working on the garden at Mendips. John and I thank you. With love,Yoko.”
IF YOU have any information for the St Peter’s Church guide book project, contact Dr Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01244 512160.