Cavern News

George Harrison’s wife Olivia unveils new Historic England Blue Plaque at Liverpool Birthplace to honour the late Beatle

Friday, 24 May 2024

Today, the late Beatles legend George Harrison was commemorated with a prestigious Historic England Blue Plaque at his birthplace and childhood home, 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree. The plaque was unveiled by his widow, Olivia Harrison, in a heartfelt ceremony celebrating Harrison’s profound impact as a music icon, songwriter, and humanitarian, and his deep connection to Liverpool. 

A series of events honouring Harrison’s legacy kicked off last night with a pre-unveiling gathering at the British Music Experience on Liverpool’s iconic Waterfront. The event was attended by a distinguished group of guests including Historic England’s Chief Executive Duncan Wilson, local Mayors, Councillors, and other dignitaries. 

This morning’s grand unveiling, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, saw Olivia Harrison and Lord Parkinson, Minister for Arts and Heritage at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, drawing back the curtain to reveal the blue plaque. The small, unadopted cul-de-sac of Arnold Grove was filled with local residents and devoted Beatles fans, all eager to witness the tribute to their beloved local hero. 

Live music added to the festivities, with Cavern Club Beatle Paul Jones performing George Harrison classics, including a crowd-pleasing rendition of “Here Comes The Sun.” Despite the cloudy skies, the rain held off, and the mood remained jubilant as attendees celebrated Harrison’s enduring legacy. 

Speaking at the unveiling, Olivia Harrison expressed her pride in the new blue plaque, calling it “a source of family pride.” Reflecting on her first visit to Arnold Grove, she described the area as a “cosy cul-de-sac,” and spoke warmly about George’s early years in Liverpool. “Despite the war at the time, George and his family managed to have a tight-knit, secure family life,” she noted. 

This is the first unveiling of the new Historic England scheme which had previously been limited to the capital city of London for 150 years.

Arts and heritage minister Lord Parkinson said he looked forward to “recognising more people who have made their mark on national life”.

Historic England’s national blue plaque scheme celebrates people throughout history who have made significant and positive contributions to human welfare or happiness. England is running the new national blue plaque scheme on behalf of the Department for Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS)

Magical Mystery Tour guide Jay Johnson was involved in the initial campaign which helped Historic England choose the appropriate site for George’s plaque.

Jay Johnson says “It’s great news for the City of Liverpool, for tourism and for Beatles fans all around the world. It will be a special day when the plaque is put in place, one that I will be proud of. Now when I’m on my tour – I’ll have a different story to tell the visitors and I won’t get asked the question “why is there no blue plaque?!”

Following the ceremony, guests moved to Wavertree Town Hall for a lunch reception, continuing the celebration of Harrison’s life and contributions to music and culture. The event not only honoured Harrison’s storied past but also underscored Liverpool’s ongoing pride in its musical heritage and the global legacy of The Beatles.