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Ex-Beatles drummer honoured with Liverpool street name

by Michael Penkman. Published Wed 27 Jul 2011 09:22
Pete Best
Pete Best

Pete Best is to be immortalised after fans, friends and family drummed up support for a new Liverpool street to be named in his honour.

His contribution to Liverpool’s musical heritage will be recognised with the creation of ‘Pete Best Drive’, at Bellway Homes’ new Bellefield housing development in West Derby.

It follows a campaign which gained the support of over 10,000 people.

The new housing development, which began on-site in spring, was chosen as the best location as Pete hails from the area and the Casbah Club – where Pete and the Beatles began their careers - was located less than half a mile away.

The Casbah Club, which was started by Pete’s mother Mona in 1959, has now become synonymous with the band.

And it too will also be immortalised at Bellefield with the addition of Casbah Close.

Pete, 69, who has given his blessing to the initiative, will visit the development on Tuesday 26 July to see the street which will be named in his honour, as well as the street which is to become Casbah Close.

He will be joined by his manager and brother, Roag Best, and Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, along with Bellway Homes representatives and members of the group which campaigned for the street naming.

Pete said: “Now everything is finalised, and Pete Best Drive and Casbah Close are actually happening!

“I feel very humbled, very flattered and very honoured that the city of Liverpool, council members and the people of Liverpool have thought to honour me in such a fantastic way.”

Roag Best added: “I think it’s wonderful that Liverpool has recognised Pete’s and the Casbah Club’s contribution to our city’s great cultural heritage.

“It’s a pity our mother isn’t here to see it, as without her, none of it would have happened.”

Pete Best was born in India on 24 November 1941, moving to Liverpool in 1945.

He joined The Beatles in August 1960, one day before they travelled to Hamburg to play a season of club dates.

Best went on to do more than 1,000 shows with The Beatles, playing an integral part in their formative years.

But he was replaced by Ringo Starr in 1962, just before the Beatles hit the big time.

The married father of two, and grandfather of four, went on to work as a civil servant for 20 years, before starting The Pete Best Band in 1988.

Fifty years on from his first performance with The Beatles, Pete is still playing to thousands of people, including an estimated 30,000 at a recent concert in Brazil.

In 1981, streets in Kensington were named after John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr - but Pete had never received this honour.

Last year, a campaign was launched, led by Beatles fans, including fan club organiser Gene Grimes, for a street to be named after Pete.

A petition, run on Facebook, Twitter, and in Beatles-linked hotels and bars, has attracted more than 10,000 supporters from around the world.

Liverpool City Council began an exercise to identify the best location for the street naming - and also put forward further proposals for Casbah Close.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy and Councillor Wendy Simon then began talks with Bellway Homes over the issue, and wrote to Pete Best to ask if he was happy to be commemorated in this way.

Bellway Homes has formally agreed to these street names, and Pete Best has also given his approval.

The formal naming process is now being finalised.

Cllr Kennedy said: “We always consider the use of iconic Liverpool names when suitable new streets or public places are created, and we receive regular requests to pay tribute to individuals who have made their mark on the city.

“We only name a street after a living person if it is an exceptional case.

“Pete Best is certainly one of those exceptional individuals - he has made a significant contribution to the musical heritage of our city, and he is a worthy recipient of this honour.”

The Bellefield housing development will consist of 74 four and five-bedroom homes, with the first of the homes due to be completed in the winter.

David Williams, Regional Director of Bellway Homes, said: “Bellway are delighted that we are able to honour Pete Best’s connections with the area by naming a street after him.”



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"I have a signed photo by peter best with paul mccartney, george harrison, and john lennon, anyone interested email me. " dennis novinskey, detroit, michigan around 3 years, 4 months ago

"It's about time.."Best " wishes to Pete,Rory and Roag." Sharon K, Nebraska USA around 3 years, 4 months ago

 
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