After all of the morning activities were finished, I finally got to visit the Beatles Museum!
For those who don't know, I'm a bit of a Beatles fanatic, so this was pretty much a dream come true. I was already excited because we were in Liverpool for the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' debut single, Love Me Do. I knew we were on the right track when we saw a Beatles cover band playing one of my favorite songs, I Feel Fine, in a packed courtyard. We proceeded along the path and waited for about twenty minutes to get into the museum. (The wait wasn't bad though! With a steady background of Beatles hits in the background, and with an ecstatic anticipation of getting to see early Beatles artifacts, I was doing awesome.)
Once we were finally in, we walked through the entire museum. It was set up in chronological order, so it felt like we were dropped into a different scene in the band's lifetime with each room. My favorite section was the reconstruction of The Cavern, the club where the Beatles got their start and played at 292 times over their careers. It felt almost sacred, and the collection of iconic instruments on stage were practically treated as relics.
The museum also showed a good deal of insight into the individual members psyches and growth over the years. A wall of quotes showed the range of depth of thought the Beatles gave the world; there were snarky jests, but also deeply insightful philosophies on life and love.
A few pieces made me stop and be filled instantly with emotion, and they were both pieces related to the late John Lennon. The first was a pair of his iconic round-rimmed glasses, laid simply and timelessly on piece of dark blue cloth. The second was a recreation of the White Room from his apartment shared with Yoko, complete with the white piano from Imagine. The lyrics to Imagine were inscribed on the wall, and seemed to speak through time to everyone who visited… “I hope someday you join us/ And the world will be as one.”
So, enjoy these pictures and video… With Love from Me to You!
In the Yellow Submarine
Today we awoke in our hostel, had a quick and light breakfast, and then walked to the Liverpool Docks to see the Maritime Museum. A retired history professor from Liverpool, Mike Boyle, met us and gave an interesting and very detailed account of Liverpool's connection to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. This lecture included incredible facts, such as nearly 50% of the slaves transported to America were taken on Liverpool-based ships.
This lecture gave great background to the permanent floor of exhibits on the history of slavery and African culture, which was partially organized by Professor Boyle. The exhibits featured artifacts spanning the centuries from slaving contracts, to manacles, to traditional African clothing, to displays on food and music. It was an immersive experience and felt like we were traveling through time.
After the Maritime Museum, we were free to wander the city for a bit. I snapped some fun shots of the Liverpool Docks and surrounding buildings and snagged a small lunch at a combination Chinese Restaurant/English Diner. After the small bit of exploration, we hopped back of the bus for a small tour of important Liverpool sights. It was surprising to see that so many streets (including the famous Penny Lane) were named after slave-trade profiteers.
After the tour, I went to the Beatles Museum. Curious? Read the next post, Liverpool Day 2 Part II!
Exhibit From the Slavery Exhibits
Today, en route to Liverpool, we stopped into the Quarry Bank Mill. This is a mill that has been standing since the early Industrial Revolution. It specialized in textile production, and had facilities to turn cotton into thread and thread into cloth!
We toured the Mill, examining all the various machines. It was so awe-inspiring to see these machines in action. These machines were hundreds of years old and still worked well. As a Technology Studies Concentrator with a History Major, I was pretty much in paradise. These same machines represented so much major progress for the human race! They transformed the way thread and cloth were created and shaped Britain's history. Enjoy the few pictures and video below!