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24 September 2014
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George Harrison's House

Arnold Grove Singpost
The term 'Unadopted' means the council are not responsible for the maintenance of the street.

Audio Listen to George Harrison tributes on Radio Merseyside the morning his death was announced.
  Real Player required: More info

George Harrison was born at 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree, on 25th February 1943. He was the youngest of four children - one girl and three boys. His father, Harold, was a former ship's steward with the White Star Line, who came ashore in 1936 and found work 'on the buses': firstly as a conductor, then as a driver.

His mother Louise (née French) came from a large, close-knit family of Irish origin. She was a Roman Catholic, but Harold was not. Louise's mother lived in Albert Grove, just around the corner from the Harrison's house, and George recalled regularly slipping out of the back door and along the 'jiggers' to visit his grandmother.

No.12 Arnold Grove was built in the 1890s as a two-up, two-down terraced house, just off Wavertree High Street.
It was (and is) very small, yet Harold and Louise lived there with their four children until George was about six years old.
The rent, they recalled, was ten shillings a week.

Arnold Grove
The house where George grew up.

George's memories of the house will strike a chord with many others brought up in the same era:

"The front room was never used. It had the posh lino and a three-piece suite, was freezing cold and no-one ever went in it. We huddled together in the kitchen, where the fire was, with the kettle on, and a little iron cooking stove"

The family kept cockerels for a time, in the paved yard at the back. It also contained 'a one-foot-wide flowerbed' and, of course, the toilet at the back and zinc bathtub hanging on the wall.

Harold and Louise had been on Liverpool Corporation's re-housing list for about 18 years when, in 1949, the opportunity came for them to move to a brand new council house on the Speke estate: at 25 Upton Green.

George continued to attend Dovedale Primary School, however, until progressing to the Liverpool Institute. A fellow pupil at Dovedale was John Lennon, though he and George were unaware of one another owing to the two-and-a-half year age gap.

In 1965, having become rich and famous, George bought his parents a bungalow in Appleton, outside Warrington.

Text © COPYRIGHT 2002 Mike Chitty

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