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Save Ringo’s Home’ campaign drums-up support in Liverpool

November 23, 2010

These pictures are ones that Beatles fans aim to make a reality… Ringo Starr playing a roll of the drums outside his childhood home.

Uncanny double, Max Frudd, acted as a stand-in for the world’s most famous drummer at the launch campaign to save the house where Ringo was born from destruction.

The campaigners aim to halt Liverpool City Council’s plans to demolish 9 Madryn Street as part of a regeneration plan for the Dingle area of the city.

The humble terraced house is where Richard Starkey entered the world on 7th July 1940 and where he lived in the early years of his life.

The SMS campaign believes number 9 Madryn Street is a vital and irreplaceable element of Liverpool’s Beatles heritage.

They argue that it is a stopping-off point for thousands of tourists each year and say the news that it has been scheduled for destruction has stirred a storm of angry protests from fans in Liverpool and around the world.

But is one of a small estate of “Welsh Streets” that have been scheduled for destruction in a housing regeneration scheme.

However, SMS want to see the whole of Madryn Street conserved because of what they describe as its “unique historical importance” as the birthplace of Ringo Starr.

Ringo look-alike Max Frudd, of West Yorkshire, said: “No-one can understand how the council can even think about knocking Madryn Street down.

“It is tantamount to the council in Stratford suggesting that they should demolish Shakespeare’s Birthplace. It’s just plain crazy.”

Founder member the SMS Campaign, Beatles Tour Guide, Phil Coppell said: “We are going to fight tooth and nail in Liverpool, and around the world, to call a halt to this crazy decision to demolish Madryn Street.

“The homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon are already preserved and Ringo is no less important.

“He was twenty-five per cent of the Beatles and this was his actual birthplace, not just a place where he lived, so it could be argued that it is more important than Paul’s house in Forthlin Road or John’s at Mendips.

“The Save Madryn Street campaign will be seeking public and political support to realise a viable scheme to save Madryn Street and preserve it for posterity.

“The Madryn Street houses are not falling down and we have already spoken to developers who say they could easily be renovated to provide a major tourist and residential resource.

“We want to see Ringo’s birthplace conserved and turned into proper tourist destination and we are also taken by the idea that some of the houses could be converted for tourist lets.

“Back in the 1970s the city council sanctioned the demolition of The Cavern Club, to make way for a railway ventilation shaft that was never even built.

“Today no-one can understand how that was ever allowed and it is a source of great shame to the city.

“We are not prepared to stand by and let them demolish Madryn Street because it happens to be part of a clearance programme and the town hall planners think it would be inconvenient and would spoil their neat blueprint to keep it standing.

“That would be the kind of mindless municipal vandalism that resulted in the demolition of The Cavern and it has to be stopped.”

Another member of the SMS Campaign Steve Barnes, runs the Hard Days Night Hotel Shop.

He said: “We already have interest expressed from hotel operators who would be keen to look developing part, if not all, of Madryn Street as accommodation.

“We are going to raise a petition to stop the demolition to be presented to the city council and we will be lobbying councillors and MPs in our campaign to get a change of policy to ensure it is preserved.

“Number nine Madryn Street is at the very heart of what we call ‘Ringoland’ on our guided tours of Liverpool.

“If they knock down down it will be a real source of shame for the city. If we let them knock it down it will be gone forever.

“Future generations will just not understand how we could do that. The demolition cannot be allowed to go ahead, even if we have to sit in front of the bulldozers.”

One German tourist in Madryn Street was horrified at the prospect of its demolition.

Marketing worker Ursula Deutsch, 43, of Heidelberg, was on a 9-day visit to Liverpool with her husband Carsten, 47, and their son Aaron, 10.

Said Ursula: “We heard that it was on German TV about the threat to demolish the place and everyone is horrified that it might happen.

“The Beatles are unique. I don’t think the people in Liverpool know just how special they are and how much they are loved and respected around the world.

“There is only one birthplace of Ringo Starr and it should be preserved for ever.

“If the street could be transformed inot a hotel or apartments that would be so special.

“To be able to say that we stayed in the same street where one of the Beatles was born. It would be a dream come true and we would definitely want to book it for another holiday.”