Beatles Tour Guide Notes Something Suspicious About Penny Lane Vandalism
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
June 23, 2020
Researchers have found no evidence linking Liverpool, England's Penny Lane to a 17th century slave trader, but recent vandalism of the street would have you believe otherwise.
The International Slavery Museum, headquartered in Liverpool, dispelled the rumors recently, as questions about the origins of the street resurfaced along with Black Lives Matter demonstrations taking place worldwide.
Beatles tour guide Jackie Spencer explains to Q104.3 New York's Ken Dashow that the question of Penny Lane's namesake came up well over a decade ago.
There was no evidence at the time tying it to slaver and anti-abolitionist James Penny, and none has been uncovered in recent years.
"There are streets and there are monuments to people [in Liverpool] who definitely were into the slave trade, but none of those were defaced," Spencer says. "So let's think about it: it's either somebody misguided or somebody with another agenda and they kind of put the Black Lives Matter movement into disrepute maybe."
Much of Liverpool's economy in the 18th century was built around the slave trade and there are vestiges of that period throughout the city. One can even tour historical sites in the city with links to slavery.
Spencer continued that given the option, no one with noble intentions about relegation the city's ugly history would target Penny Lane.
"Just say for example, we renamed or they defaced a street called Rodney Street. Would that mean anything internationally? No. But Penny Lane does," she adds. "And so it was either a very clever PR exercise or somebody misguidedly who is facing racism decided to take it upon themselves. But there are so many other places that could have been targets in Liverpool rather than a wrong target of Penny Lane."
Watch the full conversation between Spencer and Dashow in the player above.
Chairman of the Association of Liverpool Tour Guides Paul Beesley told BBC that he had never seen evidence linking the famous street to the slaver.
He added that "That road was named about 50 years after he died and although the origin is confused, none of the possibilities relate to James Penny."
Photo: Getty Imagesi