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Imagine...Ringoland!

Figures compiled for Liverpool Confidential show a million visitors a year come for the Beatles....

Published on June 13th 2011.


Imagine...Ringoland!

RINGO Starr and his All Star Band are at the Empire this Saturday (June 18) as part of a six-city UK tour. There are plenty of tickets left.

Whether Ringo will pop around to 9 Madryn Street to pay homage to his birthplace remains to be seen – but time is running out for the two up, two-down terrace in Dingle’s Welsh Streets area.

Instead of bulldozing Ringo’s
birthplace, shouldn’t Liverpool
be protecting and preserving
everything to do with the Beatles? 

The city is divided on whether the humble abode should stay or be bulldozed. But figures compiled for Liverpool Confidential by the city region’s tourism body, the Mersey Partnership, demonstrate the importance of Beatles tourism to Liverpool.

In the past year, 826,000 day visitors have been attracted to Liverpool to follow in the footsteps of the Fab Four, and 110,000 more  Beatles fans booked into city hotels for extended stays – ploughing almost £50m into Liverpool’s economy.

Half a century after the birth of the Beatles, they continue to attract almost a million visitors a year – many from overseas – and contribute massively to the economy.

Yet inward looking Liverpool responds by saying .... erase Madryn Street.

Instead of bulldozing Ringo’s birthplace, shouldn’t Liverpool be protecting and preserving everything to do with the Beatles?  On BBC’s Radio 4 this weekend the Beatles were chosen as the UK’s most popular ever band, with Paul Gambaccini predicting their music would still be played in 200 years.

One man who thinks Dingle could use its links with Ringo as a generator of jobs and income is city architect Kevin Loughrey of the Hogan Drawing Shop.

He has drawn a potential scheme for Madryn Street which could be at the heart of a “Ringoland”.

Kevin says: “The scheme would be a regeneration hub and a focus for the Dingle area – using both sides of Madryn Street – numbers 1 to 17 and 2 to 16, with car parking off High Park Street on the land of demolished 20th century buildings.

How Ringoland could lookHow Ringoland could look“The middle space could be used as a designated location for traditional street parties for hire, or for outdoor performances. The buildings could also be used for small business premises for rent for those wanting to be asssociated with the Beatles.

“A community shop would sell locally made items,” he continues. “A typical corner shop could be incorporated. An interpretation centre would concentrate on local history and issues for the Welsh Streets and the former Toxteth Park. There could even be a percussion suite with a selection of drums, tom toms and ethnic intruments to try, maybe with instruction.

“Hostel accommodation for backpackers and tourists could be on the first floor over the cafe side with views of number 9 Madryn Street.”

Kevin adds: “I have no commercial interest in the area, but felt there should be a discussion about the potential for retention rather than just dismiss Madryn Street as part of a wholesale demolition programme.”

DrummerDrummerRichard Starkey was born in the front room of 9 Madryn Street on July 9, 1940. A few years later the family moved around the corner to 10 Admiral Grove  where he lived from the age of six until he became famous as one of the Beatles. Around the corner is the Empress public house featured on  one of Ringo’s albums, Sentimental Journey, and there are Ringo’s local schools.

All of these could be packaged as part of the Beatles experience on a magical history tour likely to continue for decades if not centuries.

*Additional reporting by Sarah Cavanagh

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 14th 2011.

Whether we like it or not, the Beatles remain an untapped resource for Liverpool. I have spoken to overseas visitors who are amazed at the way they are virtually regarded as those-who-must-not-be-mentioned.
I agree there is more to Liverpool than the Beatles, but if a million people a year come here to see what is on offer, imagine, yes Imagine, how that number would grow if we really made a proper go of the Beatles Tourism Industry. Few places around the world will ever have the opportunity to create a business model centred on a particular individual or group of individuals - Elvis (Gracelands) and Stratford Upon Avon are a few examples where the job is done properly. If the short sighted culture champions of today are not interested, we should at least mothball and protect Madryn Street until somebody comes along and realises its potential. Well done Liv Con for highlighting this.

Philip CoppellJune 14th 2011.

This is a great idea, but according to our short sighted cloth eared Council, there have been no practical ideas. What is a practical idea? Any plan that can promote Liverpool and The Beatles is a practical plan.
Recently Max Steinberg, CEO of Liverpool Vision promoting the Liverpool Embassy in London stated "This is about real business, not The Beatles and football" what an inane comment, would the money being spent on an Embassy in London not be better spent protecting what we have and that we know generates income rather than wasted on grand schemes that might generate nothing.
Hopefully some-one on Dale Street will listen and Madryn Street will be saved for future visitors to see.

Alan HirdJune 14th 2011.

Yes I most defintely agree with this, it is an excellent idea. Renovation not demolition, protected by article 4 of the conservation act. Protect other sites by article 4 too such as Strawberry fields and the original gates; Forthlin Road; Menlove Avenue; Arnold Grove; Mackets Lane; All of the schools the Beatles went to; all the pubs associated with the Beatles and get Cains beer back into the Grapes in Mathew Street.
If I was born and raised in the same city as the birthplace of the Beatles I would be extremely proud and shouting it from the roof tops SO LIVERPOOL STAND UP AND BE PROUD INCLUDING THE CITY COUNCIL!!! So renovate, preserve everything connected with the Beatles and protect by article 4 don't demolish.

Hilary JenkinsJune 14th 2011.

I think Liverpool will come to regret this in 50 years

Reader XxxJune 15th 2011.

Well done LC. These are compelling figures, and the practical proposals are a good starting point in the debate. Now we need to take it forward. This means a group of people (I don't like the word "committee") and an influential man or woman as its champion. Who would be prepared to do it? Andrew Lansley might soon be available but I would prefer Phil Redmond. More suggestions please.

Jeff FletcherJune 15th 2011.

I volunteer for the National Trust (at Hardman House), they've already got 2 Beatles Houses, would they be intererested in a third?

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