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Beatles tourism to increase with help from 2012 Olympics

With the 2012 Olympics coming to London this summer, tourism is expected to increase all across the UK. This increase is expected in areas like Liverpool and its many Beatles locations.

Marketing research data shows that the Olympics can increase tourism for up to 10 years for the host city following the event, as it did in Sydney, Australia following the 2000 games. This “legacy” effect is projected to be felt in the UK for the post-Olympic games period, especially from 2013-2017.

In addition to the Olympics, The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool is anticipating increased attendance beginning in 2012 due to 50th anniversary celebrations of The Beatles. On April 4, 2012, Camilla, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, visited The Beatles Story in Liverpool to unveil a special plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Beatles.

Have you made your pilgrimage to the Beatles’ Liverpool yet? Take your own virtual magical mystery tour by clicking here to see a great slideshow of famous Beatles sites in Liverpool featuring Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, The Beatles’ childhood homes and more!

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White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon exhibit launched by Julian and Cynthia Lennon

(from Press Release)
WF-JulianLennonOpening on June 17, 2009 in Liverpool, the world famous Beatles Story gives visitors the opportunity to experience a unique personal narration of life with John Lennon – by his son Julian, and Julian’s mother, Cynthia, with the opening of “White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon.”

(Photo © Mark McNulty)

Beginning in Merseyside with the meeting at art college of John and Cynthia, it follows the journey from their clandestine marriage and the birth of Julian, both of which coincide with the sharply increasing trajectory of the band’s fame and fortune. The exhibition culminates in the story of Cynthia and John’s separation and divorce, giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the personal journey of a normal family’s struggle to cope with the effects of fame thrown upon them; particularly relevant in today’s celebrity conscious society.

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John Lennon’s Help! cape
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)

Nothing demonstrates this more acutely than the title of the exhibition, ”White Feather”. During a tender moment when Julian was a child, John first spoke to him about the white feather.

As Julian explains: ”The white feather is so prevalent in my life. One thing for sure is that it’s always represented peace to me. And one of the things my father said to me was that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be ok, or that we were all going to be ok, it was by in some way, shape or form presenting me with a white feather.”

Then, around ten years ago while Julian was on tour in Australia, a group of Aborigines presented him with a white feather, asking him to be the voice for their plight. It was a breathtaking and inspirational moment for Julian. This episode motivated Julian to set up The White Feather Foundation, a charity that embraces environmental and humanitarian issues and helps to raise funds to improve the life of others.

Julian Lennon says: ”John Lennon is an idol to millions of people who grew up loving his music and ideals, but to me he is the father I loved and lost. I hope this exhibition lets people see another aspect of his life and our time together as a family. This collection represents something of great importance to us as it is part of our history.”

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Postcard from Julian to John
(Courtesy of Cynthia Lennon Collection)

“Rather than have everything locked up in storage in a safe packed away for no one to see I felt it would be better to be outside, especially in this city, the city of Liverpool for the fans to see,” Julian said.

He also spoke emotionally about how the personal possessions have been brought back into family ownership: “Slowly but surely I have been gathering things. Nothing was passed down to me after Dad passed. The only way I could actually regain any of my dad’s belongings, or the Beatles work, was to go out and buy them myself. I felt that not only for my sake but also if I have a family of my own, whether it’s in their personal possession or at an exhibition like this, they have a chance to see their family history”.

“White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon”, takes place at the recently expanded world famous Beatles Story within the new Mersey Ferries terminal building on Liverpool’s renowned waterfront before touring worldwide.

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John Lennon’s Afghan coat
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)

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Electric guitar with inscribed plaque reading
‘To Julian from Daddy Christmas 1973’
(Courtesy of Julian Lennon Collection)

Items include:

• John Lennon’s Afghan coat
• John Lennon’s Help! cape
• *Paul McCartney’s recording notes for Hey Jude
• John Lennon’s Honda ‘monkey bike’ motorbike
• Electric guitar with inscribed plaque reading ‘To Julian from Daddy Christmas 1973’

Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, which owns the Beatles Story, says: “This is a story about a family; but it is also a story of global significance and one that opens up the lives of John, Cynthia and Julian in a way never seen before. We are in the business of creating the world’s number one Beatles experience at the Beatles Story and to have this exclusive on our doorstep – John’s home town – is a privilege.”

White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon is presented by The White Feather Foundation charity. The White Feather Foundation is currently being set up by Julian Lennon.

The White Feather exhibit runs from June 17 to December 31, 2009
http://www.whitefeatherexhibition.com/