We never know where our trawls through the archives will take us.
The Manchester Ship Canal collection has figured large in Gaynor’s workload recently. Whilst preparing images for our website, she came across a couple of photographs of a dead whale, beached on the lower reaches of the Ship Canal as it meets the River Mersey. The photos were taken in the 1950s. I decided to google to try and find out more about the unfortunate creature.
To my amazement I found a BBC website article about John Lennon and his friend going to see the whale. His friend had found a drawing John had done after the event.This was 1953, so they were both in their early teens.  Looking at the drawing, it looks to me like the whale was the inspiration for the yellow submarine.

Stranded Whale in Manchester Ship Canal 1953

We wondered if John and his friend could be in this crowd photograph. One of them could have been dressed by Aunty Mimi.

So – are these John Lennon’s knees?

Then we realised that December 8th is the anniversary of his death in 1980.
As I said, you never know where a trawl through the archives will take you.

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