15th July 1958: Julia Lennon is knocked down and killed

John Lennon with his mother, Julia
A young John Lennon with his mother, Julia

Just three days after making their first record at Percy Phillips’ studio in Kensington, Liverpool, tragedy was to strike John Lennon once more.

In the June of 1955, his Uncle George had died suddenly. The 14-year-old John took it badly. However, what did help him was the re-establishing of a relationship with his mother, Julia. She had bought him his first guitar, taught him to play a few songs using banjo chords and even let The Quarrymen rehearse in her house. She encouraged his love of music.

“I Lost her Twice”

On 15th July 1958, he was to lose his mother for the second time; this time it was forever. Having been taken away from his mother at the age of five, he longed for a relationship with her again in his teens. When making “Looking for Lennon”, our documentary feature film, we interviewed and filmed Nigel Walley, John’s childhood friend and eyewitness to Julia’s death.

Julia often used to take the bus to Mendips to see her sister Mimi, and on this occasion, John was in his mother’s house. Nigel called at Mendips just as Julia was coming out of Mendips, and walked to the corner of Vale Road with her. After saying goodnight, Nigel headed down Vale Road to his house, while Julia crossed the road and headed for the bus stop. As she crossed the old tram tracks and stepped onto the road, a car, driven by an off-duty policeman who didn’t have a full driving license, slammed on its brakes, but it was too late: the car hit Julia and sent her flying through the air. Nigel heard the brakes and turned round to see his best friend’s mother in the air and slamming onto the road. He ran over, but he knew she was dead. He can still picture her red hair blowing in the wind.

John opened the door…..

John answered the door of his mother’s house to the police, exactly like it is in the movies he said. He was devastated. The mother he adored was gone, and he spent the rest of his life seeking something for fill the void left by her. He immortalised her in song “Julia”. Some would say he never recovered from her loss.

Instant Karma

The policeman, Eric Clague, eventually left the police force and, in a strange twist of “instant karma”, became a postman, delivering Beatles fan mail to 20, Forthlin Road, the McCartney house.

Looking for Lennon

You can see the footage we shot with Nigel Walley, and the affect it had on him according to those who knew him best, and they didn’t all agree on how it affected John, in Looking for Lennon.

It is available on digital download worldwide on various platforms, on DVD/Blu-Ray in the US and will be sold all round the world. It should be out on DVD/Blu-ray in the UK soon, and is still available to watch on SkyTV.

Find out more here

David Bedford

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Home – Liddypool Dave

David Bedford, Beatles author and researcher
David Bedford

David Bedford is the author of “Liddypool” (2009) and “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” (2013). He has also published his latest book, with Garry Popper, “Finding the Fourth Beatle” (2018).

He collaborated with the Beatles’ only official biographer Hunter Davies on “The Beatles Book” (2016), and is working on a number of new projects.

Beatles History

Liddypool Birthplace of The Beatles by David Bedford
Liddypool by David Bedford

David’s website aims to chart Beatles History through his interviews and research that have contributed to his books. Simply select Beatles History and either look at the main page, or select the appropriate year in Beatles History. This will be added to regularly to build a unique insight into Early Beatles and Quarrymen history.

Beatles Detective

The Beatles Detective looking at The Beatles History
The Beatles Detective

In a branch off The Beatles trail, David has published his first crime detective novel, Inspector Rocke, which is set in Liverpool, 1960, and features The Beatles too! Because of his forensic way of analysing Beatles history, in 2019, he launched a new Blog called “The Beatles Detective”, where he examines aspects of Beatles history, and searches for the evidence to solve the mysteries, like The Beatles names, Beatles members and other Beatles history. You can follow that at Thebeatlesdetective.com

He was Associate Producer and Historian on the documentary “Looking for Lennon” (2018), which was nominated for a National Film Award.

David is a Beatles historian, author and researcher, and a guest at Beatles events in the US, UK and Europe. He makes regular appearances on Radio, TV and Beatles Podcasts.

“David is defining and refining Beatles history” – Edd Raineri, Beatledd Fab Four Hour

Beatles Historian and Researcher: Discoveries

As well as many interviews with people connected with The Beatles, David’s original research has uncovered people, stories and events that no other author/historian has discovered:

Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles, Beatles members and Beetles names
The Fab one hundred and Four

The only book on The Beatles and Liverpool (Liddypool)

The real meaning behind the Beatles song “Penny Lane(Liddypool)

Discovered Geoff Lee, who suggested to John Lennon that he should start a skiffle group; The Quarry Men (Fab104)

Has the only biography and photographs of Beatles drummer Norman Chapman; (Fab104)

The most complete biography of Silver Beatles drummer Tommy Moore; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

Established that George Harrison joined The Quarrymen in December 1957, not 1958; (Fab104)

Established when the first colour photograph of John, Paul and George was taken; (Fab104)

Discovered who the “man on the flaming pie” was (Fab104)

Drummer Alan Leyland drummed with The Beatles in 1961; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best signed a legal partnership agreement in 1961; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That Pete Best WAS NOT sacked and what really happened; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That The Beatles were not under contract at EMI in June 1962. (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

The between 1956 and 1970, 23 different drummers played with The Beatles at different times. (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

And much, much more, with many interviews being unique to him too.

Purchase David’s books in the Beatles Bookstore

David's Social Media
David’s Social Media

FACEBOOK FEED

David Bedford
David Bedford
A puzzle! Why, the day after Ringo was offered the job, on the day Pete Best was told he was being replaced in The Beatles, did Brian Epstein offer Johnny Hutchinson the job?
David Bedford
David Bedford
Beatles biggest mystery solved. Find out why Pete Best was not fired/sacked by Brian or the Beatles, with an exclusive interview with Epstein's lawyer by David Bedford
David Bedford
David Bedford
Discover how Ringo Starr became The Beatles drummer in his own words.
#Beatles #ringostarr
David Bedford
David Bedford
Ringo Starr was the missing piece of the Beatles jigsaw, but it took them a long time to get there. Read the account from Beatles expert David Bedford.
David Bedford
David Bedford
A second drummer was asked to replace Pete Best, and he turned The Beatles down too. Find out who he was and why he said no.
David Bedford
David Bedford
New Post: The Beatles last appearance at The Cavern on 3rd August 1963 had a problem, and a glimpse of a song that would be a hit years later. #thebeatles #thecavern
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