Stolen Penny Lane sign takes the long and winding road home to Liverpool Beatles museum

Video report by Tim Scott

A road sign that was stolen from the location made famous in the Beatles song Penny Lane has been returned to Liverpool almost a quarter of a century later.

The Penny Lane street sign was taken by drunk students in 1976, nine years after the road was made famous when the Beatles’ single of the same name was released.

Earlier this year, The Beatles Story museum was contacted by an anonymous former student who said he wanted to send the “totally pristine” sign back to the city.

The man, who described the petty thieves as “worse for wear” when they stole the sign, said: “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.“

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

The Beatles Story Museum on Liverpool's Albert Dock will be home to the returned sign.

The sign is not the only one to have been stolen from the road, in the Mossley Hill area of the city but museum bosses say it is the oldest one to be returned.

Cllr Dan Barrington, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for transport, 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."

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison Credit: PA

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “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.

“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.

A general view of the old bus shelter in Penny Lane, Allerton, Liverpool, which the Beatles sang about. Credit: PA

“It’s the nurse, banker, fireman and barber who all brought the street to life – they are the real treasure of Penny Lane.

“That being said, it’s great to see something which holds so much significance finally returned to its rightful home after nearly half a century.

“Penny Lane is in our ears and in our eyes – and this time it’s for keeps.”

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Released in February 1967, the lyrics to Penny Lane recall the sights and characters that Paul McCartney and John Lennon experienced in the area during their upbringing in the city.

Penny Lane reached number 5 in the charts across most of Europe

The road in the Mosseley Hill area was home to a bus terminus, where the young Beatles would meet en route to visit each other.

The sign is now go on display at The Beatles Story museum alongside the story of how it came back to the city.

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