Penny Lane road sign returned after 47 years after drunk Beatles fans stole it

29 November 2023, 14:34 | Updated: 4 December 2023, 12:42

The Beatles’ Christmas Records box set trailer

By Mayer Nissim

The stolen sign is the oldest to have been returned to Liverpool council.

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"Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes..." and also in the home of some former students for nearly half a century, until now.

A Penny Lane road sign has finally been returned to Liverpool, 47 years after it was stolen by some drunk Beatles fans, BBC News reports.

"Because I am getting on a bit now, I want to return it to the Pool, where I spent six very happy years as a student, undergrad then postgrad, including meeting my wife of 44 years," said the unnamed student, who got in touch with the city's The Beatles Story museum

"Obviously, Liverpool is where the sign should now spend the rest of its days."

Museum bosses note that the sign isn't the first to be nabbed from the area, but having been nicked in 1976, it's the very oldest to be returned. It is now on display at the museum on Liverpool's Albert Dock.

Penny Lane road sign in Liverpool
Penny Lane road sign in Liverpool. Picture: Alamy

Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for transport Councillor Dan Barrington said: "The removal of street signs is a criminal offence which can lead to a prison sentence.

"However, given the history of this case and the fact this Penny Lane has got back to where it belongs after what looks like a long and winding journey, then I think we can all agree to just let it be."

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram added: "Penny Lane is so much more than a simple street that inspired a song all those years ago - it's a music time capsule immortalised by those four boys who shook the world.

The Beatles - Penny Lane

"But the true meaning of the song isn't in the street name or sign - it's the sights and characters that Paul McCartney recalled from his time growing up here. Penny Lane is in our ears and in our eyes – and this time it's for keeps."

Written primarily by McCartney and credited to the Lennon/McCartney partnership, the song was released as a double-A-side single with 'Strawberry Fields Forever' ahead of the Sgt Pepper album in 1967.

It was the first Beatles single since 'Please Please Me' not to top the "official" singles chart, being kept from the number one spot by Engelbert Humperdinck's Release Me'.