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New course takes students on a magical mystery tour of UK heritage

University of Chester students at the Cavern and other Liverpool landmarks.
University of Chester students at the Cavern and other Liverpool landmarks.
Donna Jackson

Their cultural impact upon the world was monumental, and now history and archaeology students are learning about The Beatles’ musical heritage as part of their studies at the University of Chester in England, Dr. Donna Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University, tells Beatles Examiner.

Students in Mathew Street with a statue of John Lennon.
Donna Jackson

The students will also be learning first-hand from someone who was there to see Beatlemania taking hold of the UK, capturing some of their most infamous moments on film.

“We are very excited to announce that Leslie Woodhead, the journalist who took the only surviving film of the Beatles in the Cavern, will be talking to the students. We are also delighted that Cavern City Tours are allowing us to teach one of the classes in the Cavern itself, and that the students will be joining the Magical Mystery Tour around Liverpool. The students will be able to experience the musical heritage of the Beatles first-hand, and relate it to theories surrounding the study of heritage," she said.

The new “The Past in the Present” module in the University's history program takes the students from Byron to the Beatles, studying the major sources, theories and practices within heritage management with special reference to buildings museums, art, literature and music. Besides classroom-based sessions, the course will include field trips with students visiting a range of heritage sites.

Dr James Pardoe, Senior Lecturer in Heritage at the University, said: “The aim of the course is to engage with current debates in the field of heritage management and facilitate an in-depth understanding of the artistic, cultural and historical heritage, both tangible and intangible.”

This is not the first time that the university’s history students have been involved in projects connected to The Beatles and the late John Lennon. Earlier this year, eight students researched and produced a guide for St Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool, one of the essential stops for fans on The Beatles’ tourist trail, to tell the story of how John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney at St. Peter’s Church garden fete in 1957.

In 2010 and 2011, two separate groups took part in a research project to gather information to be used in the future to recreate the authenticity of the garden of Lennon’s childhood home, Mendips in Liverpool, with the assistance of the National Trust which looks after the property.


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