The Beatles Story celebrates its 25th birthday
By Catherine Jones
26 April 2015
25 facts about the Beatles Story on its silver anniversary
The Beatles Story
The Beatles Story celebrates a special landmark this week when it turns 25.
It was on May 1, 1990 that the Albert Dock attraction – the brainchild of Merseybeat musician Mike Byrne and his wife Bernie – first opened its doors to the public.
And since then the museum of all things Fab Four has welcomed more than four million visitors and boosted the Liverpool economy by an estimated £300m.
The Beatles Story remains the world’s largest permanent exhibition purely devoted to the lives and times of the Liverpool band.
A special celebratory event is due to take place on Friday evening, at which the 25 ‘Beatles Story Ambassadors’ – chosen from fans all over the world – will be announced, along with the overall winner of the title who will receive a host of goodies on a VIP trip to the city.
To mark the silver anniversary, here are 25 fab facts about the venue.
1. By royal appointment – The Duchess of Cornwall made a personal request to visit the Beatles Story and sat on The Beatles Story throne.
2. In 2012 the Beatles Story became a Guinness World Record holder for the most people singing (1,631) a Beatles song in a round.
3. In 25 years the Beatles Story has welcomed more than four million visitors.
4. At present, the highest percentage of overseas visitors to the Beatles Story hail from USA.
5. The Beatles Story has contributed £302 million to the visitor economy since opening in 1990.
6. The Beatles Story welcomed 253,096 visitors in the financial year 2014/15 from all corners of the world – a record breaking number.
The Duchess of Cornwall visits the Beatles Story
7. John Clarke is the Beatles Story’s longest serving staff member and was here when we opened the doors 25 years ago.
8. The Cavern stage was used to film for the video of Free as a Bird 20 years ago.
9. The Beatles Story holds a wedding license meaning superfans can get married in the recreated setting of The Cavern.
10. John Lennon’s peace monument from the USA was unveiled by Cynthia and Julian Lennon in Chavasse Park in 2010, and The Beatles Story is custodian of the statue which now stands next to the ECHO arena.
11. There is a pair of John Lennon’s Glasses on permanent display, just one of the many authentic artefacts at the venue.
12. The Beatles Story is a firm favourite with famous faces and has had visits from a number of celebrities including Luis Suarez, Neil Diamond, Duran Duran, Chris Moyles and Noddy Holder.
13. The attraction is the third world-wide affiliate of The GRAMMYS Museum in LA and opened the British Invasion exhibition in the Pier Head last year.
14. Nick Knowles (DIY SOS) once filmed in the famous White Room at the attraction. The team dressed like John and Yoko!
15. Staff are so invested in The Beatles and their legacy that a number of staff members have completed Beatles degrees at Liverpool Hope University.
16. The Beatles Story was awarded gold in the Smoke Free awards which was presented in a special ceremony in the House of Lords.
Fixing the sign for The Beatles Story ahead of its opening in May 1990
17. The venue has been featured on a number of national TV programmes including the Big Breakfast and GMTV. The Beatles Story has also been on Antiques Roadshow, Strictly Come Dancing, Soccer AM, Blue Peter, The One Show, The Xtra Factor and many more.
18. The American Ambassador once visited the Beatles Story accompanied with no fewer than six bodyguards.
19. In 2014 a couple got engaged at the Beatles Story.
20. In 2014 famous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his puppet visited.
21. The venue is celebrating being short-listed in two categories in this year’s prestigious Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards. It has been nominated for both Large Visitor Attraction of the Year and for Tourism Marketing Campaign of the Year for its British Invasion exhibition.
22. Over the past 25 years, 16 babies have been born to the staff of the Beatles Story.
The daughter of Beatles Story commercial general manager Mary Chadwick.
23. The second site at the Pier Head opened in 2009.
24. The attraction has two Fab Four cafes (one at each site) and has expanded its retail sections in both sites.
25. To celebrate the arrival of the British Invasion to the Beatles Story, The Zombies performed on a MerseyTravel ferry as it sailed down the River Mersey.