British government bids to save Beatle's birthplace

2nd January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The British government stepped in Sunday to stop Beatles legend Ringo Starr's birthplace from being bulldozed.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has written to Liverpool City Council urging a temporary reprieve for 9 Madryn Street, in the Dingle district, which is scheduled for demolition.

The childhood homes of bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney are popular tourist attractions in the northwest English city, run by the National Trust, which looks after many of Britain's most treasured buildings and beauty spots.

Liverpool City Council says 445 pre-1919 terraced houses in Dingle are "beyond economic repair" and has decided to tear them down.

The decision was taken in August but a planning committee is to discuss the details this month.

Shapps said he wanted viable local proposals to preserve Starr's childhood home to be given full consideration and said the people of Liverpool should have the final decision.

"Any regeneration project will generate strong feelings," he wrote.

"But when what many people consider to be a culturally important building -- such as the birthplace of the drummer in the world's most famous band -- is at risk then feelings are going to be even stronger.

"That is why, before a single bulldozer rumbles along Madryn Street, I want to ensure that every option has been considered."

A council spokesman said local residents had been extensively consulted and were "absolutely sick of the delays and the conditions they have to live in.

"They want the city council to demolish these properties as soon as possible so that they can get on with their lives," he said.

The Beatles -- Starr, rhythm guitarist Lennon, bassist McCartney and lead guitarist George Harrison -- burst out of Liverpool to dominate pop music in the 1960s.

Harrison's childhood home remains a private house, while the home where Starr spent most of his upbringing is still standing.

Starr, now 70, sang lead on Beatles favourites like "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Yellow Submarine" and "Octopus's Garden".

© 2011 AFP

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