Unsigned musicians offered a chance to play in Paul McCartney’s front room

The Forthlin Sessions from the former Beatles’ childhood home are due to be broadcast in June.

Budding musicians are being offered the opportunity to perform in the childhood home of Sir Paul McCartney and his brother Mike.

The National Trust has announced plans to open up 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton, to unsigned artists.

The McCartney family moved from Speke to a post-war terraced council house in Forthlin Road, in 1955.

Sadly, within a year Mary McCartney died, leaving husband Jim to raise 14-year-old Paul and 12-year-old Mike alone.

In 1957, Paul McCartney was introduced to John Lennon at the St Peter’s Church fete in Woolton, halfway between their two homes.

An image of 20 Forthlin Road shot in 2022. Photo: Annapurna Mellor

Around 30 of the world’s most famous songs were created and rehearsed at Forthlin Road, including Love Me Do,I Saw Her Standing There, Hold Me Tight, I’ll Follow The Sun and When I’m 64.

It is also where Sir Paul wrote his first song, I Lost My Little Girl.

To be part of The Forthlin Sessions, which are due to be broadcast free on YouTube and social channels on June 17, entrants must be an unsigned, UK-based music artist and over 18.

Entries will be reviewed by a selection panel including Mike McCartney, independent Beatles expert Peter Paphides and National Trust representatives.

Mike McCartney with instruments in 20 Forthlin Road front room. Photo: Mike McCartney

The winners will also receive mentoring from experts and the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts for six months after the performance.

The year 2022 is special to the Beatles, with Sir Paul’s 80th birthday in June and the 60th anniversary of the Beatles debut single Love Me Do in October.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon writing I saw her standing there, 20 Forthlin Road, November 1962. Photo: Mike McCartney

Mike McCartney drummed for the Quarry Men until an accident at scout camp stopped his career, he then turned to photography.

A poem film featuring Mike McCartney and local people called An Ordinary House, An Ordinary Street, about 20 Forthlin Road, has also been created.


Speaking about his childhood home, Mike McCartney said: “It was just a normal family home. We were school kids. There was no music except that my dad would tickle – as he called it - the ivories after a hard day at work.

“At the beginning, there was no music other than dad and no photography. There wasn’t any thought of showbusiness, I can assure you.

“After we lost our mum, dad was bringing up his two little boys who were growing bigger all the time, on £10 a week. We were poor. The idea of getting into photography or music was unthinkable for working class lads back then, but Dad saw how creativity could help us through our grief.

Mike McCartney at 20 Forthlin Road in 2022. Photo: Annapurna Mellor

“Everything that was created here – the music, the photography - was created from love. I’m delighted our house and our family can inspire new generations to follow a path that might surprise people, and that it’s been part of so many lives, not just ours.”

Simon Osborne, National Trust manager for the charity’s Liverpool properties, says: “20 Forthlin Road’s story has some uncanny parallels with today – hope rising from grief and change from a time of crisis. What happened here has inspired many musicians and famous faces.

“Acts like Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran, the Gallaghers, Paul Weller, Stormzy, comedian Harry Hill and TV host and actor James Corden have all talked about the impact of what came forth from Forthlin had on the creative industries and beyond.

“We want to tell the story of this ordinary house in an ordinary street, to continue to inspire new generations of creativity. Imagine the chance to write and play on the exact spot where ordinary lads from Liverpool changed the world.”

On May 17, successful applicants will be given access to a wide range of memories, thoughts and stories about the Beatles supplied by the public via the social media campaign #TheForthlinSessions.

From these, the artists will have the opportunity to create a new song to perform at 20 Forthlin Road on June 17.

Applications close on April 30. For more details go to nationaltrust.org.uk/the-forthlin-sessions.

The public can visit 20 Forthlin Road via prior booking, between March and December. The National Trust asks that people only visit on official tours, which can be booked at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles-childhood-homes.