Tourist In Your Own City: Magical Mystery Bus
One of the first places that most international tourists visit in Liverpool is the Magical Mystery Tour, operated by Cavern City Tours. But how many of us have seen the bus and just assumed we already know what it is all about?
I am a huge Beatles fan and I felt I had already seen all the sights so I probably wouldn’t appreciate it – but I was so wrong! What followed was me being shown sights and places I wasn’t aware of, and being told facts that I didn’t know – and even the ones I did filled me with a fresh enthusiasm.
Tony was our tour guide, with Ray our driver. Tony had knowledge of not only the Beatles but the City that was second to none. Even though I was near the back of the bus (where all the cool kids sit) I kept of trying to get a good look down to the front to see if he was reading off a piece of paper that I couldn’t see – Every time I looked he wasn’t.. The dates he had memorised and the knowledge of our cathedrals, pubs and of course – The Beatles – was not only impressive, it made me hugely envious!
Now I don’t want to spoil the tour for anyone, so I will keep this purposely brief and I won’t tell you all the facts that I loved hearing. The Tour starts at the Albert Dock, right by The Beatles Story and not far from the big wheel. Its first stop is Ringo’s childhood area and both his homes in the Dingle, it then moves to the south end of the city to enjoy sights at Penny Lane, Arnold Grove (Harrisons childhood home) in Wavertree, Strawberry Fields, Mendips (Lennon’s childhood home) in Woolton, Forthlin Road in Allerton, St Peters Church in Woolton (Where John and Paul first met) – And more when driving through the south end of the city and back to the city centre.
At each place you are told all the background information, as well as all sorts of other facts about people surrounding the Beatles and the Merseybeat movement – This I found fascinating! While driving through the south end of the city we were passing houses and places of such significance to what gave birth to the greatest period in popular history. Not only this – but when we got to the city centre and around Hope Street particularly, that is when I started to feel proud of the great city that I live in.
Many of us don’t fully appreciate the things many of our tourists love – Be that the Beatles or our city’s great and rich history and worldwide significance. What this tour managed to do for me is reignite the passion for our city that is so often dampened. It made me realise just what four normal working class lads from Liverpool could do and subsequently pay forward to future generations. Not only did I feel that the Beatles will forever be timeless – It reminded me that they will always be known as “four young men from Liverpool” – and for that I am proud.
By Dale Roberts
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