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A signed John Lennon drawing during a 1969 visit to Sutherland is coming up for auction in Lichfield.

Autographed ‘To Derek Peace + Love John Lennon 1969’, the framed picture is a sketch of Lennon and Yoko Ono in John’s characteristic caricature style.
‘Derek’ was the uncle of vendor Frank Massie, who inherited the work from his late father, also called Frank, to whom it was passed when Derek died.

The work will go under the hammer in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Antiques & Home Sale on Monday, November 1

Mr Massie said: “My uncle Derek was given this autograph and sketch personally by John Lennon when he visited Durness with Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon and Yoko’s daughter Kyoko in 1969.

“My uncle lived and worked in Durness and met John while he was there.”

It was around this time that Lennon crashed his Austin Maxi near Loch Eriboll on the north coast of Scotland, cutting short their visit and landing John in hospital for five days.
Mr Massie added: “It was originally in an old frame but I have had it re-framed. I’m nearing the end of my life so I’ve decided to sell it and get the best possible price on behalf of my children.”

John Lennon took childhood summer holidays in Durness and the song In My Life from 1965 Beatles album Rubber Soul is said to be based on a poem about the village penned whilst holidaying in the area as a teenager.

The village of Durness has a memorial garden to Lennon featuring stones engraved with In My Life lyrics.

However, the house where he stayed as a boy has now been demolished and replaced with a modern dwelling.
Ephemera specialist Robert French said: “John Lennon was one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century.

“His work with The Beatles, peace activism, solo career and tragic untimely death in New York have been intricately documented and he remains a source of fascination and inspiration for millions of people worldwide.

“Lennon’s love of Scotland started in his childhood and he wanted to share these formative memories with Yoko when they first became a couple.
“This drawing links these great loves of Lennon’s life and demonstrates his affection to his personal friends and acquaintances.

“We’ve guided this cautiously at £500 to £800 but there’s a strong possibility it could fetch between £2,000 and £4,000.”


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The estate of late singer George Michael has loaned the piano that John Lennon used to write Imagine to a museum in Liverpool, after it was bought by the former Wham star in 2000.
George Michael’s estate has continued the late singer’s wishes to put a piece of John Lennon music history owned by Michael on display.

On October 18 2000, George Michael bought the piano that John Lennon used to write the iconic song Imagine for an eye-watering £1.45 million, with the intention that it should be on display in Lennon’s home city of Liverpool.

George’s estate has now loaned the piano to Strawberry Field Museum in Liverpool, the site where a young Lennon used to play and the inspiration for The Beatles song Strawberry Fields Forever.

The late George Michael said to journalists at the time of purchase, “It’s not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people.”

He toured the upright Steinway model Z piano as a symbol of peace in the early noughties, and also composed on and played the piano on the title song of his album Patience.

The former Wham star and Faith singer broke the record for the highest amount ever paid for a piece of music memorabilia in the early noughties, when he purchased the piano, used by Lennon to compose the 1971 song Imagine.
Imagine’s lyrics of peace, love and politics are well-known throughout the world, and also featured in the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

This year marked the iconic song’s 50th anniversary, with a special event taking place at Strawberry Field Museum to commemorate the song’s anniversary.

A student from Paul McCartney’s performing arts school LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) played Imagine on the piano during the event.

They were joined by the Liverpool Signing Choir, along with John Lennon’s sister and Major Kathy Versfield, Mission Director of Strawberry Field, who signed the words to the song.



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The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be lighting in Iceland today – October 9th – in Tribute to John Lennon at 8pm Reykjavik time (9pm London, 4pm NY, 1pm LA).

IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be illuminated in memory of John Lennon on Viðey Island in Reykjavík, Iceland following a speech by Mayor Dagurb. Watch the live streams at

8pm Reykjavík 9pm London/Liverpool 4pm NY 1pm LA 5am Tokyo.

The installation of the Imagine Peace Tower is a collaboration of Yoko Ono, Reykjavík City, Reykjavík Art Museum, Reykjavík City Museum and Reykjavík Energy.


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£105m Surrey mansion where John Lennon once played ‘Imagine’ on a white grand piano before selling it to Ringo Starr is being extended by billionaire sheikh

John Lennon purchased the Georgian mansion in Berkshire for £145,000
He composed Imagine in a bedroom in the luxury property before selling it on
John sold the property to fellow Ringo Starr and moved to New York
A middle east royal family are seeking planning permission to extend the house

A mansion once owned by John Lennon before he sold it to Ringo Starr is being extended to accommodate guests of a Middle Eastern royal family.

Lennon composed one of his greatest hits Imagine in his bedroom in early 1971 while living with wife Yoko Ono at 18th century Tittenhurst Park at Sunninghill near Ascot, Berkshire.

The former Beatle was filmed and photographed while playing his hit on a white piano in the 18th century house which is now said to be worth £105million.

Lennon bought the white-painted Georgian mansion and its 72 acres of grounds for just £145,000 in 1969, but spent twice the sum on renovation work and refurbishment.

The last ever photo session for the Beatles took place at Tittenhurst Park in August 1969, producing pictures used on the front and back covers of the Hey Jude album in 1970.

John Lennon built a recording studio in the grounds before he and Yoko moved to the United States, and he later sold the house to his former bandmate, drummer Ringo Starr in 1973

The spectacular Georgian property was sold on to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, for £5million in 1988.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has given planning consent to build a three bedroom extension to the majlis – or meeting house – that was originally built as a gift for Sheikh Zayed in 2002 at an estimated cost of £2million.

The extended building will include a new eco friendly green roof, and landscaped gardens with seating.

The majlis already comprises several guest bedrooms including VIP rooms and en-suite bathrooms, as well as a ‘plant room’, staff quarters and lower and upper terraces complete with an outdoor pool.

A design and access statement accompanying the planning application stated: ‘The guest accommodation will see the introduction of a modest extension located on the existing paved terrace.

‘There will be an additional three en-suite bedrooms and a corridor link to the existing building, a total of 106.4 m2 of additional floor area.

‘The proposal for additional guest bedrooms is required to support the continued social and political entertainment expected of the middle eastern royal family. The design and scale of the suites match the layout of the existing retained bedrooms.

‘Although increasing the building footprint, there is a reduction in the hard surfaces of the development by the inclusion of a planted roof, which increases the green footprint.’

The document adds that all three new bedrooms will have small stone patio areas outside, broken up by low level planting with small trees and bushes offering screening.

It goes on to say that the new extension will match the design of the historic home and will ‘blend in and sit harmoniously with its immediate surroundings’.

The document states: ‘The proposal for the additional guest bedrooms sits comfortably within the overall scale of the estate, respecting the existing façade treatment of its surrounding buildings and the general openness of the green belt together with increasing the landscaping footprint of the grounds.

‘We consider this to be an acceptable solution for this small development.’

Sheikh Sayed was the force behind the unification of seven emirates to create the UAE in 1971 and became its first President until his death in 2004.

He also served as the ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1966 until his death.
His son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, now serves as president of the UAE and emir of Abu Dhabi, and is reported to have an impressive UK-based property portfolio estimated to be worth £5 billion.
Land Registry documents reveal that Tittenhurst Park is currently owned by Edelweiss Properties Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands.

But it was reported earlier this year that the house is still ultimately owned by Sheikh Khalifa’s family. It is said to be used regularly to accommodate family members on special occasions such as Royal Ascot.

The planning documents state that a tree protection plan will be put in place to make sure that trees in the acclaimed grounds are not damaged during the development work.

The grounds of Tittenhurst Park include rare Chinese palms, Nevada redwoods, cedars of Lebanon, weeping cherry trees from Japan, monkey puzzle trees, copper oaks, beeches and cypruses, as well as rare camelias and 30 varieties of magnolias.



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What would have been John Lennon’s 81st birthday will be celebrated with the Dear John Concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9.

Appearing this year are Peter Frampton, Yola, Earl Sick, Matt Sorum, Matt Lucas, actor Martin Freeman, fashion Designer Pam Hogg and others. BBC personality Bob Harris will host, with proceeds going to War Child for its continuing efforts to help young people in areas of conflict.