London: The National Trust has said that former Beatles star Ringo Starr’s birthplace is not worth saving because he only lived there for three months. The dilapidated three-bedroomed Victorian terrace at 9 Madryn Street in Liverpool has been under threat of demolition for several years under city council plans to improve the run-down area.
Campaigners claimed that the musician’s former home had been saved from the bulldozers thanks to a 2-million-pound Government grant, and suggested that the National Trust could add it to the two other Beatles-related properties it already owns.
However, Liverpool City Council insisted no decision has been made about the fate of 9 Madryn Street, and the Trust said it was “not in a position” to acquire the house.
Starr, 71, whose real name is Richard Starkey, was born in the terraced property on July 7 1940 but his family moved away when he was still a baby.
It is one of more than 400 houses in the Dingle area of Liverpool, known locally as the Welsh Streets because they have Welsh names, which have been earmarked for demolition since 2005.
Last year Grant Shapps, the housing minister, asked Liverpool City Council to halt the planned destruction of the properties while alternative schemes are considered.
Richard Kemp, the leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition on the council, said that 117 of the homes will be renovated instead of being destroyed.
“We will be bringing some of the Welsh Streets properties back into use, and one of those is number 9 Madryn Street,” a leading daily has quoted Kemp, who is chairman of Plus Dane, the housing association which owns most of the Welsh Street homes, as saying.
“These will be homes people want to live in and, although it wasn’t the original plan, times have changed. This is the right thing to do with the circumstances of the housing market at the moment. We are hoping that the National Trust will take on the property and run it as a tourist attraction,” he said.
The National Trust runs the Liverpool childhood homes of John Lennon – “Mendips” in Menlove Avenue – and Sir Paul McCartney – 20 Forthlin Road – as popular attractions for Beatles fans.
But a spokesman for the Trust said: “Unlike John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo resided at Madryn Street for a very brief period, early on in his life.”
“Consequently the significance of the house in terms of musical influence or development was insignificant compared to Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road.
“History tells us that the Beatles lived in more than a dozen houses during their collective childhoods and it would not be realistic for the Trust to try and acquire all of these buildings,” the spokesman added.
He added that no funds are in place to buy 9 Madryn Street and it is not certain that the house would generate enough money from visitors to cover all the costs of its future upkeep.