Beatles Church For Sale?
|Published: 20th February 2012 10:13|
Beatles fans the world over will be looking to add another piece of memorabilia to their collections soon, as a limited edition model of the so-called 'Beatles Church' goes on sale.
Artist and sculptor John Moreton, born and brought up in Neston on the Wirral and now based in West Kirby, has seen his hobby turn to a labour of love and on into a viable business.
Having created a number of collectable cast sculptures of significant landmarks from his local area, he has now used his talents to create models of St Peter's Church in Woolton, Liverpool, and the Church Hall next door, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met on July 6th 1957.
The grounds of the Church are also famous as being the location of the graves of Eleanor Rigby, Bob Paisley and John Lennon's Uncle, George Toogood Smith.
A limited edition of the models (both buildings will be mounted together) will go on sale soon.
John Moreton's prototype models of the 'Beatles' Church and church hall in Woolton, Liverpool.
John started his hobby a few years ago. He begins by taking photos of the building he is going to recreate, then makes a form of it out of wax. Next, he casts it in a silicon block and then in plaster polymer. Once cast, the models are individually hand-painted and include such details as tiny individual roof tiles.
He has made several models of churches, including St Peter's in Lower Heswall, St Paul's in Hooton/Childer Thornton and, in one of his more ambitious projects, Chester Cathedral. Several churches have since bought the models which they sell on to parishioners and visitors, with proceeds going back into the communities in which they are situated.
He has also made models of some other notable buildings - of interest to local residents will be his renditions of what is now the Devon Doorway pub in Gayton, and the Wheatsheaf (known locally as 'The Thatch') in Raby.
John was born in Clatterbridge and raised in Neston, in the former Plough Inn in Park Street. He has fond childhood memories of his familiy's association with St Winefride's Church in Neston, where he also attended school, and which may well be a future project for him. He can remember helping both his grandfather and father create the Christmas crib at the church. He also clearly remembers a fire in the oil yard behind Park Street back in the sixties, when the whole street had to be evacuated - the explosion was heard as far away as Heswall.
He worked as an apprentice electrician in Neston then at the Morgan's Ceramics plant in Neston, now the site of the Liverpool Road estate. After that he spent most of his working life in manufacturing of one sort or another before turning his hand to sculpting.
So, back to the project in hand. What made John decide to recreate the 'Beatles Church?'
"I visited the church and met the caretaker there," said John. "He told me that he used to play in the churchyard with John Lennon as a child. He then told me that John was playing with his band The Quarrymen on a makeshift stage in a field behind the church on the 6th July 1957, and that was when Paul McCartney first saw him. Paul went to the dance in the Church Hall later that night, was introduced to John by Ivan Vaughan, and the rest, as they say, is history.
"Of all the churches in the area I could create a model of, this one seemed to have the most resonant social history relating to the era I grew up in.
"Another interesting thing is that there was a fire in the Church Hall in the 90s, and the only thing that survived intact was the stage - part of which is now on display in the new museum in Liverpool."
John's model of the 'Beatles Church' will be going on sale soon. If you would like more information, or to see more of John's work, please visit his website here.
Special Offer for AboutMyArea readers
St Bridget's, West Kirby, by John Moreton
John's model of St Bridget's Church in West Kirby is on offer to our readers for just £29.95 (plus postage, though delivery to Wirral addresses is free).
The usual price for this charming model is £39.95, and the offer is available only until March 20th. Please contact John for more information on email@example.com quoting reference TJKA20212.
Chester Cathedral by John Moreton
Heswall landmarks 'The Devon Doorway' and St Peter's Church, by John Moreton.
'The Thatch' at Raby, by John Moreton