The Day Trippers series of photographs considers the enormous pull the Beatles still have for fans all over the world and the phenomenal importance of their legacy to the economy of Liverpool, which in 2016 was estimated to deliver £82m a year in tourism and support more than 2,300 jobs in the city.
Visitor numbers were continuing to grow – before the coronavirus pandemic – as the Beatles’ music became increasingly popular in countries such as Brazil and China, alongside the established fan bases in the US and Europe.
Magical Mystery Tour bus passengers gather for a group photograph outside the gates of Strawberry Fields, Liverpool
Whilst people travel all around the globe to visit great cathedrals, natural wonders and historic sites, in this case their mission is to see what are essentially a few streets of unremarkable council housing in suburban south Liverpool to pay homage to their heroes.
It can be an incongruous sight as hordes of tourists pass children playing in the street where George Harrison once did, or a group of Germans have an impromptu dance outside Ringo Starr’s boarded-up childhood home to the sound of the band blaring from a taxi.
A group of German tourists dance outside the childhood home of Ringo Starr on Madryn Street
The street, one of the “Welsh streets” in Dingle, had been boarded up for years awaiting demolition, but was saved by a refurbishment project. The German tourists were travelling as part of a Fab Four taxi tour and had asked the driver to play Beatles songs at full blast from the cab.
Beatles grafitti on the gates of Strawberry Field, the former Salvation Army children’s home where John Lennon used to play as a child and later immortalised in song
Strawberry Field reopened in 2019 as an interactive visitor exhibition, cafe and shop, as well as offering calm garden spaces for spiritual reflection and a “steps to work” programme for young adults with learning disabilities and other barriers to employment.
Spanish tourists take a selfie at Mendips, Menlove Avenue, the childhood home of John Lennon; tourists pose in front of the Beatles sculpture on Liverpool waterfront
A Japanese tourist does a Sgt Pepper pose for a photograph by the Magical Mystery Tour bus on Menlove Avenue, Liverpool
Day trippers on the Magical Mystery Tour bus
Tourists pose for photographs outside the Penny Lane barber, Tony Slavin, while three schoolchildren look on in amusement and the Magical Mystery Tour bus heads up to George Harrison’s house
The Magical Mystery Tour bus passes the end of Madryn Street, where Ringo Starr lived as a child; graffiti tributes on the boarded-up house at 9 Madryn Street, Starr’s childhood home
One of the original “Welsh streets”, houses built by Welsh labourers for Welsh migrants seeking work in Liverpool in the mid-1800s, for many years in recent times Madryn Street had sat derelict before becoming part of a major renovation programme.
“Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout …” The Magical Mystery Tour bus passes the “barber” and the “bank” at the top of Penny Lane.