The Beatles' Penny Lane could be renamed if slavery links are proven
(Credit: Sefton Park walk)

The Beatles’ Penny Lane could be renamed if slavery links are proven

Liverpool’s Penny Lane, which was made famous across the world by The Beatles song of the same name, could set to be renamed if links to slavery are proven to be true.

Last week saw the Penny Lane road signs at the Liverpool location vandalised after links to slavery were claimed, with people suggesting the road is named in tribute to the 18th-century slave trader James Penny.

Steve Rotherham, Liverpool’s Metro Mayor, has admitted that the road could be renamed if the connection with James Penny is proven to be accurate. Speaking to Sky News, the Mayor said: “If it is as a direct consequence of that road being called Penny Lane because of James Penny, then that needs to be investigated.”

Rotherham continued: “Something needs to happen and I would say that sign and that road may well be in danger of being renamed.” But he also added, “there is no evidence that is the fact.”

He said: “Just imagine not having a Penny Lane and the Beatles’ song not being about somewhere. I don’t believe it is associated with James Penny.”

Mr Rotheram then claimed to have read up on this matter and suggested that he believes it’s heritage may instead be linked to a toll that was once paid in pennies to cross the road.

He added: “It’s for other people to decide whether they think it’s appropriate that road sign is taken down if indeed there is any link to either slavery or other incidences. I’m not pretending or I wouldn’t presume to tell people in communities in the Liverpool city region what they should be thinking.

“It needs to be investigated and then, if it’s found as a direct link then action can be taken.”

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