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11th December, 2023

WIN A Free Night Stay in George Harrison’s Childhood Home!

 9 Min Read 


With Christmas fast approaching, we’d like to share a unique gift idea for the Beatles fans in your life, and give you the amazing opportunity to win a one-night stay in George Harrison’s childhood home, as well as two free tickets to the stage show ‘Something About George’ and two free tickets to The Beatles Story.*

This article details a personal account of what you can expect to experience staying the night at George’s childhood home 25 Upton Green. Enter our exciting competition at the end to be in with the chance of winning this incredible and unique experience!

 



Earlier this year I had the pleasure of staying one night in George Harrison's childhood home at 25 Upton Green, Speke – and I’m very excited to share my experience!

I'll be taking you on a tour of the house in which the Harrison family lived from 1950 to 1962, and in each room we'll discover a little bit more about George's childhood - including his family, his favourite food and, of course, his love of music.

George moved into this house a six-year-old boy and left it a Beatle - it was here that George spent his formative years, in these rooms he learnt to play guitar, and from here he went on to change the world.

Let's explore 25 Upton Green together!

 

Arriving 

The house, which looked like any other British house in any other British cul-de-sac, appeared unassuming from the outside. With only a blue plaque revealing its historic significance, it could easily slip under the radar of any passerby and be regarded as ‘just another house.’ That is what is so special about visiting this authentic, historic landmark. It takes George Harrison out of the grandeur of The Beatles and brings him down to Earth to be experienced and understood in a tangible and relatable way. Once upon a time, George was just a normal person too, and this is where that normal person lived.

‘Behind That Locked Door’ was the house George called home, and stepping through into this historic site was a surreal experience. This was where it all started.


 


The Kitchen 

Kitted out with all the conveniences of a modern kitchen, this space serves a useful purpose to the house’s modern guests. However, when the Harrisons lived here the kitchen was much more than just a place to cook food. In 1950s Britain, for most working-class households, the kitchen was the heart of the home. This is where the Harrisons would have come together to chat, laugh, love and argue.

In some of his earliest interviews, George revealed some of his favourite foods – including his dad’s Sunday dinner and fish & chips. But one meal that he seemed to mention time and time again was egg and chips, and in 1963 George said in an interview that he liked “Eartha Kitt, eggs and chips, and Alfred Hitchcock movies.” And so, for dinner during my stay I had egg, chips and beans.

For the first four years that the Harrisons lived in this house, wartime rationing was still in force and didn't completely end until 1954 - nine years after the end of WW2! Under rationing, people in Britain were allowed one egg per week, but children - including George - were allowed three. So, for the full ‘George Harrison experience’ I adhered to George's rations and had 2 eggs for my dinner, and the third for breakfast in the morning.

The best feature of this kitchen has to be the original sideboard which was in the house when the Harrisons lived here. It’s extraordinary to be able to use a household item that was used by George and his family in their everyday lives.

 


The Garden 

After dinner it was time to explore the back garden, complete with the original outhouse consisting of a larder, where the Harrisons kept their food cool, and the original outdoor toilet!

There’s a modern addition too: a beautifully painted mural homage to George’s 1970 solo album ‘All Things Must Pass.’

 



The Living Room

Back into the warmth of the living room, I settled in for the evening with an Alfred Hitchcock movie, some guitar playing, and – of course – some Harrison history!

This room, which has an appearance reminiscent of how it looked when the Harrisons lived here, used to double as a rehearsal and performance space for The Quarrymen – the band that eventually transformed into The Beatles.

A young George had met Paul McCartney on the way from Speke to their school The Liverpool Institute, and they bonded over their shared love for Skiffle music. With Paul’s guidance, George quickly became a good enough guitar player to join The Quarrymen, who he first met on 6th February 1958. On the 20th December that year, The Quarrymen performed in this room for the wedding reception of George’s older brother Harry.

George’s mum was very supportive of his passion for music, and actively encouraged him and his bandmates to rehearse and play in the house. She’d even lent him the £3 and 10 Shillings it cost for George to buy his first guitar in the mid-1950s, which is now proudly on display at The Beatles Story.

 

Harold and Louise’s Bedroom

Harold and Louise, George’s parents, had waited a long time to be upgraded from their first marital home at 12 Arnold Grove to 25 Upton Green. The Arnold Grove house, where George was born, was a two-up two-down that was quickly becoming too small for the growing Harrison family.

The transition to 25 Upton Green must have been incredible for the Harrisons – a much bigger house, with indoor plumbing and a private garden – which is nicely framed by this bedroom window.

 

“It’s a lifetime away from Arnold Grove. It is so much bigger! There are interconnecting doors in the living room and there are stories of George just running round and round because there was just so much space for him, because he’d never experienced this before – Arnold Grove was just a small two-up two-down.” – Charlotte Martin, Livertours Liverpool.

 

Louise’s Bedroom

Seeing George’s older sister Louise’s childhood bedroom was a poignant experience, as she sadly passed away in January 2023. She lived with her family at 25 Upton Green until she moved to the USA with her husband in the late 1950s.

Louise was instrumental in forging The Beatles’ success in America, and she assisted in promoting the band in the early 60s by writing to radio and TV stations to help them break into the American music scene.

Millions of Beatles fans in the USA have Louise to thank for helping to introduce them to the Fab Four.

 

The Bathroom

It was then time to have a bath and brush my teeth before bed. Two very ordinary chores, but in the most extraordinary setting – because this bathroom is home to the original bathtub and sink that were used by George and his family. How surreal!

 

“What’s unique about this house compared to their previous house at Arnold Grove is that, as well as the bathroom, they also had an indoor toilet. This was seen as quite posh back then!”
 – Charlotte Martin, Livertours Liverpool.

 



George’s Bedroom 

Bathed and ready for bed, it’s on now to George’s childhood bedroom.

The bed is comfortable, and the décor is respectful of the room’s history. A retro-style radio illustrates the narrative of The Beatles first hearing their debut single ‘Love Me Do’ on the radio in this very room. George Harrison previously recalled how first hearing the record on Radio Luxemburg sent him “shivery all over.”

 

"We knew it was going to be on Radio Luxembourg at something like 7.30 on Thursday night. I was in my house in Speke, and we all listened in... It was the best buzz of all time.”

 

So much of a buzz, in fact, that George shrieked with excitement – much to the dismay of his father Harold, sleeping in the next room!



This is an historic room, in which George, Paul and John would practice music together. Further back into George’s childhood, too, this room was a practise space for 13-year-old George just starting to learn guitar.

 

“You can imagine the conversations George and Paul used to have in here. This is where they would be talking about music, this is where their relationship started to gel. If the walls could talk!” – Charlotte Martin, Livertours Liverpool.

 

The room’s original closet, which is still a key feature to this day, was where George hid his guitar after accidentally breaking it in two. The story goes that he unscrewed a bolt at the base of the neck of the guitar, which resulted in the neck falling off. He was unable to screw the two parts back together again, so he hid the guitar in this very closet for almost a year until his brother Peter came to the rescue and repaired it. Unfortunately, the frets produced a buzzing sound and could only produce a couple of chords when played. Thankfully, though, Skiffle was just around the corner bringing with it music that could be played using just that.



The guitar is now proudly on display at The Beatles Story, Liverpool.

This room, like the living room, also includes a guitar for guests to use. So I played ‘Love Me Do’ in the room that The Beatles first heard it, their first single, played on the radio. And don’t worry, the guitar is still perfectly in one piece!

Goodnight!

 


The Morning

Here Comes The Sun, and with it comes a brand-new day in George’s house… The morning I had before checking out gave me a good opportunity to really take in the house for the last time, and to process the whole experience.

Staying the night at 25 Upton Green really helped me to better understand George’s origins, and to further appreciate the incredible journey he took from Speke schoolboy to international phenomenon.

The house acts almost as a time machine, taking fans back to those pre-Beatles days, in the childhood footsteps of George.


25 Upton Green is available to book now here.
The Beatles Story tickets can be purchased 
here.  
Tickets to ‘Something About George’ can be purchased here.

 

COMPETITION!

Enter our exciting competition below for your chance to win a one-night stay in George Harrison’s childhood home, as well as two free tickets to the stage show ‘Something About George’ and two free tickets to The Beatles Story.

If the below form is not showing, you can enter here.

 

 

 


*T&Cs apply. Winner to be chosen at random and notified via email. The prize is not redeemable for cash or transferable or to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. ‘25 Upton Green’ can house up to and no more than 5 people overnight, and house rules apply.

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