Friday 20 March 2020

Yes, I'm gonna be a star...

35 Hardman Street
L1 9AS

Blakes Ford dealership, Hardman Street (on the left) 1963 

Now the Flute pub this was formerly the premises of Blakes Ford Dealership. By early August 1962 the Beatles were making enough money that Paul McCartney was able to buy his first car here, a brand new Ford Consul Classic in Goodwood Green.  He later admitted that despite his new found wealth he bought the car on hire purchase, ‘the never-never, and was always very worried about making the payments’. 

It was the scene of a fantastic anecdote that both Paul and George liked to tell, perhaps George even more so.   

Just as Paul was leaving Blakes who should be standing on the pavement outside but Jack Edwards, his former headmaster at the Institute who’d denounced any pupil who didn’t qualify for Oxbridge as a failure.  And yet here was one of those Oxbridge failures driving a brand new car out of the showroom right before his eyes!

J.R Edwards, the dreaded 'Baz'* 

In the Beatles' Anthology George recalled: Paul looked at him like, ‘Ha ha, yes, it is me and I do have my own Ford Classic.’ It was f- you. We made it in spite of the teachers.   

The Beatles on the Strand in front of Canning Dock, September 1962 with Paul's Ford Consul Classic. (Photo: Peter Blake/Les Chadwick (c) Apple)

The Ford Consul Classic was launched in May 1961 and built by Ford UK from 1961 to 1963. It was available in two or four door saloon form, in Standard or De Luxe versions, and with floor or column gearshift. 

Allerton Golf Course, 25 March 1963: Hiding behind Paul's Ford Consul in home-movie footage. 

Boys and their cars: George with his Ford Anglia (left) passing the Consul.

Paul on Mather Avenue heading for home, 25 March 1963


Paul eventually gave the Ford Classic to  his brother Michael who photographed it outside their house at 20 Forthlin Road in 1964.


* The 'Baz' - short for The Bastard,  personally administered Corporal punishment to both Paul and George during their time at Liverpool Institute.

As a consequence he was not fondly remembered.


  1. Although the second photo of Paul in the car is Mather Ave, ahead of turning to go up Forthlin. I’m pretty sure the first is Cleveley Road, heading up to the gold course. (Love your time and attention to this - a huge thank you!)

  2. Personally I've always thought it was Moorcroft Road given the proximity to the Golf course drive and the distance Paul seems to drive on Mather before turning back on himself but you could be right (it could also be Wheatcroft Road I suppose!)

  3. J. Blake & Co. Ltd. were horrible employers. I left there after 4 years of misplaced loyalty to join Tate & Lyle and quadrupled my wages. Tate's had a couple of vans on contract hire from Blakes, and I persuaded the boys at the Transport department (T+LT, based at Lockfields) to transfer the account to another Meseyside vehicle dealership. Sweet revenge, one might say.

    Incidentally, the geographical post code for Blakes at Hardman Street given in this articke is correct, but its business postcode was L69 1BU.

    1. Oh, Blake's! Dear Me! The general office manager there, Reg Davies (he will be long dead now) was the business equivalent of 'The Baz'. One of his aims in life was to make everyone under 30 years old who worked under him miserable. He once sacked eight girls for taking part in a swimming competition that was held on a Friday night and well outside working hours