Bidding war erupts for John Lennnon's gypsy caravan

Published: 29 May 2013 11:301 comment

A BIDDING was has erupted over a piece of Beatles history. John Lennon's gypsy caravan, which was discovered in an Ascot garage, has attracted interest from prospective collectors across the world, since we revealed its whereabouts.

The 1967 Sgt Pepper's Gypsy Caravan

The 1967 Sgt Pepper's caravan has been hidden from public view for more than 40 years but it was acquired by Ascot resident Alan Carr, fundraising director of the Ascot Lawyers' Foundation.

In an exclusive interview, Mr Carr said: "I have been delighted with the international response so far from many major collectors of Beatles memorabilia.

"They have told me this is the moment they have all been waiting for."


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

When the news was first revealed, posters on this website suggested the caravan, bought for Julian Lennon for his fourth birthday, should be returned to Lennon's first-born son.

'Lenmac', said: "Since it was originally a gift by John Lennon to his son Julian, the right thing to do would be to return it to Julian, not sell it to him, if he wants it.

"While no doubt the Ascot Lawyers Foundation is worthy, it would be magnanimous of them to give it to Julian.

"Since Yoko Ono did not see fit to give it to him at the time of his father's assassination, nor any other memorabilia related to his father, forcing him instead to purchase from the general public any such items, it would be appropriate to give it to him now. I believe Ringo Starr would agree."

'Janew666', added: "This caravan belongs to Julian and should be returned to him. Especially since Yoko didn't see to it that he receive anything from his father's estate. Julian has had to purchase most of the things of his Dad's from auction houses at atrocious prices, so, yes this should be returned to him right away. It is part of his rightful legacy to him from his father. PLEASE see to it that this be given back to Julian, where it rightfully belongs."

Mr Carr said fans' sentiments were laudable, but as fundraising director of Ascot Lawyers Foundation, he was duty bound to raise as much for his charity from its sale.

He added: "I think it's fine if fans want it to go to Julian but we are determined to raise a specific value so the charity can do as much good as possible.

"As a fan I wish it could be in a museum in Liverpool and we are going to contact the local cultural authorities to discuss this very thing."

Originally called a Showman or Burton caravan, it was repainted at a garage in Chertsey to the specific designs of John Lennon and transported on July 24, 1967, to Lennon's then home in St. George's Hill, Weybridge, where he lived with first wife Cynthia and son Julian.

After a sojourn in Ireland, where Lennon bought an island with second wife Yoko Ono, it returned to Ascot to stand in the garden of Tittenhurst Park, Sunninghill.

Tittenhurst Park was bought by John Lennon with Yoko Ono in May 1969 for £145,000. The couple moved to the USA in August 1971 and never returned to their Ascot home again.

The 26-room Georgian Mansion was sold to Ringo Starr on September 18, 1973.

The couple never returned to Tittenhurst near Ascot and that is where his gypsy caravan vanished from view.

Plans to restore the remains could include repainting the Sergeant Peppers logo on the caravan's rear panel.

Alan Carr added: "The copyright for the logo is still owned by the original artist but I have a mutual friend who knows him very well and it would be wonderful to get permission to bring it back to life for all the fans to see."

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