Acorns 'stolen' from Coventry Cathedral after being planted by John Lennon go on display

More than 55 years after they were planted, the two acorns made their way to the Beatles Museum in Liverpool in an envelope sent by retired police officer Mike Davies. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Two acorns, planted by John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Coventry Cathedral 55 years ago, have gone on display at the Beatles Museum after being seized from a drunk driver.

The couple visited the cathedral in 1968 to create a living art sculpture at the start of their campaign for peace, with a wrought iron bench to surround where the two oak trees would grow.

However the sculpture reportedly caused upset with the cathedral canon, and within a week the acorns had disappeared and Lennon removed the bench.

Now, more than 55 years after they were planted, the acorns have made their way to the Liverpool Beatles Museum, in an envelope sent by retired Warwickshire police officer Mike Davies.

The acorns are now on display at the Beatles Museum in Liverpool, along with photos of the nuts being planted at Coventry Cathedral. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Mr Davies said they had been brought into Nuneaton police station by a man, of about 19 or 20, who had been caught drink-driving outside Bedworth a few days after the acorns were planted.

The 88-year-old said the driver, who looked like a 'typical lad about town', and his girlfriend were Beatles fans who had returned to the cathedral after the planting ceremony and stolen the acorns, coating them in clear nail varnish to preserve them.

Because the acorns had no owner and, at the time, no value, Mr Davies said he could not charge the couple with theft.

He said: “They walked and the acorns were left. It was no good taking them back and replanting them because they were covered in nail varnish so wouldn’t grow.

"They were in my desk until I retired in 1980 when I put them in a cardboard box and that’s where they remained until I decided to start clearing out my own personal things.”

John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, with the two acorns that John Lennon and Yoko Ono planted at Coventry Cathedral. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

When Mr Davies came across the acorns last year it took him a moment to remember the story behind them.

“They were two seconds off going in the waste bin when I thought ‘that was John Lennon and Yoko Ono’,” he said.

The great-grandfather, from Nuneaton, said he was not a fan of the Beatles, and preferred the music of American tenor Mario Lanza.

He searched Google for the details of the Beatles museum and decided “for the sake of a stamp” to post the acorns there to see if they were of interest.

In the letter he sent, he said: “If not, just bin them. I certainly have no interest in them being returned.”

On Thursday, the acorns went on display at the museum following an unveiling by Lennon’s sister Julia Baird.

Museum owner Roag Best, brother of the original Beatles drummer Pete Best, said: “John Lennon and Yoko Ono kicked off their whole peace movement with this art installation, where the acorns were planted.”

Lennon and Ono, who famously held “bed-ins” as part of their anti-war message, went on to send acorns to leaders across the world to promote peace.

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