George Harrison: Blue plaque unveiled at Beatles icon’s childhood home

Rumeana Jahangir,BBC News

grey placeholderPA Media The Beatles - (Left to right) John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, at a press conference before a show in Gaumont, Kilburn.PA Media

George Harrison (second from left) was the youngest of The Beatles

A blue plaque commemorating the life of Beatles legend George Harrison is to be unveiled at his childhood home later – one of the first of its kind outside London.

His widow Olivia Harrison, who is due to reveal the tribute at the house in Liverpool, said it was “a source of family pride”.

Commemorative blue plaques began as a London scheme in the 1860s and have been run by English Heritage since 1986.

Initially limited to the capital, they inspired spin-off blue plaque schemes across the country but official blue plaques are now expanding nationwide by inviting members of the public to submit nominations until 19 July.

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Harrison compared his Arnold Grove upbringing to Coronation Street

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “For almost 150 years the London blue plaque scheme has celebrated figures from the past, helping the public to learn about and honour the rich history of the capital.

“Now everyone across the country has the opportunity to nominate the people who shaped their local area.”

Born in 1943, Harrison lived on 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree, until the age of seven.

In his memoirs, he said: “To look at, it is just like Coronation Street: no garden, door straight on to the street. It was OK that house, very pleasant being little and it was always sunny in summer.”

grey placeholderPA Media George Harrison on holiday in Italy with his wife, OliviaPA Media

Olivia Harrison said the new plaque was a “source of family pride”

Often called “the quiet Beatle”, Harrison’s song-writing credits include While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Here Comes the Sun. He was the first of the Fab Four to top the charts after their split with the single My Sweet Lord.

Deeply influenced by eastern traditions, the guitarist learned to play the sitar with legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar and staged fundraising concerts for Bangladesh during its 1971 war for independence, seen as a pre-cursor to the Live Aid campaign.

Harrison also went on to co-produce British comedy classics Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Withnail and I.

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