Planet 228

Peter Barry reviews
Penny Lane and All That
by Ann Carlton

Penny Lane and All That

Y Lolfa, £9.99

Ann Carlton’s account of growing up in the Penny Lane district during the 1950s and ’60s is the latest addition to the well-established genre of Liverpool childhood memoirs, but it differs from most of the rest because she is ‘Welsh but from Liverpool’. Also, she was not born into poverty (unlike her father, who rose to become Town Clerk of Liverpool) but brought up in a middle-class household in leafy south Liverpool, beneath those ‘blue suburban skies’ mentioned in the Beatles song. She remarks in her opening chapter that Liverpool, though in England, ‘is not an English city’, having been ‘multicultural before that term was invented’.

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