The Beatles: John Lennon and Yoko Ono, an angry vicar, a drunken fan and pair of stolen acorns

Liverpool Beatles Museum unveils tiny item with big history and incredible backstory.
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Liverpool Beatles Museum has unveiled its newest addition. Already home to one of the largest Fab Four collections in the world, its latest acquisition is also one of its smallest.

Two acorns from John Lennon and Yoko Ono's first-ever peace event have been given to the Mathew Street venue nearly 56 years after they were planted and then stolen by a young fan. On 15 June 1968, the Beatles singer and wife planted the seeds next to a wrought iron bench as part of a 'living sculpture' at Coventry Cathedral.

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The acorns were later found by police, wrapped in the handkerchief of a 20-year-old fan who had been arrested for drink driving.

John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, who presented the items to fans of the Fab Four, told LiverpoolWorld: "I’m stunned. They’re bigger than I thought they were going to be, sort of quite chunky. Obviously whoever picked them would’ve chosen ones that they would think had a good chance of surviving and growing."

A wrought iron bench surrounding two acorns that would subsequently grow into oak trees had been submitted by John and Yoko for a sculpture exhibition. The acorns were planted in easterly and westerly positions to symbolise the couple's relationship. The plaque on the bench read, 'Yoko by John – John by Yoko.'

The Canon of the Cathedral was not happy with the installation being on consecrated ground as he did not consider it 'art' and had religious concerns that both John and Yoko were still married to other people. A week later everything was moved to the Cathedral gardens and shortly after the acorns and the plaque were stolen. A disagreement followed, and Lennon's driver was sent to retrieve the bench.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono planned to send the acorns to world leaders as a symbol of peace. Image: Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono planned to send the acorns to world leaders as a symbol of peace. Image: Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
John Lennon and Yoko Ono planned to send the acorns to world leaders as a symbol of peace. Image: Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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Around the same time, a 20-year-old Beatles fan had failed a breath test and was under arrest at a police station in Nuneaton. Upon searching the young man, police found two acorns in his possession, wrapped in a handkerchief and coated with clear nail varnish to preserve them.

When traffic sergeant Mike Davies retired in 1980, he rediscovered the two acorns in his desk drawer. Mike sent the acorns and his evidential covering letter to the Liverpool Beatles Museum in November of 2023.

  • Watch the video above to see Liverpool Beatles Museum's newest addition and to hear more about their incredible story.

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