John Lennon was raised mainly by his Aunt Mimi, his mother’s sister who lived in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool. She was a huge influence on his life and famously did not care for his decision to become a musician. Nevertheless, he proved her wrong – but did he visit her before his death?

John Lennon was born in Liverpool on October 9, 1940, meaning he would have recently turned 80-years-old if he were still alive.

His parents had a tumultuous relationship and were not together for most of his childhood, so eventually he went to live with his Aunt Mimi.

His mother, Julia, still saw John regularly, when she would teach him about music and show him how to play some instruments such as the ukulele and banjo.

But Julia died in 1958 after being hit by a car, only a couple of years after John had formed The Quarrymen, his first skiffle band.

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Mimi – unlike Julia – was not a fan of John’s decision to become a musician, and according to David Stark, a Beatles superfan who met Mimi after John’s death, she had a plaque on her wall with a famous quote.

He said: “She was never convinced the band was gonna make it, which is why the other thing I saw there, she had hanging in the kitchen.

“In the kitchen was the plaque, which he’d had made for her using her own words.

“‘Playing the guitar is all very well, John, but you’ll never make a living at it.’”

The band did make it, however, when it became The Beatles, and John took off into superstardom – though he always had time for his Aunt Mimi.

According to David, he called her every week, but according to Mimi, John also returned to the UK to see her secretly, though little evidence has been found to confirm it.

David continued: “As far as we know, he never came back, even though he rang her every week and sent letters and postcards. So he obviously loved her a lot.

“And she said, ‘Yes, he did come in secret to visit me,’ which I thought was extraordinary. And she was absolutely adamant about this.


“I tried to ask her, ‘When did it happen? How did that happen?’ But she wouldn’t go into details, she just said, ‘Yes, he did visit me.’

“To this day, there’s never been any proof or evidence that he actually did. But it is possible. I mean, I’ve never ruled it out.”

David has since wondered about this, whether he would have been in disguise or when it could have happened, given, at this point, John had bought Aunt Mimi a house in Poole and would have been easily detected.

However, David had one theory about when that could have occurred.

He added: “He did go travelling on his own. That’s the thing, which makes me think, did he stop off in the UK?

“He went to South Africa, he stopped off in Spain, I believe. And I’m thinking, what if he came this far?

“Why wouldn’t he come back to the UK, especially knowing that Mimi wasn’t getting any younger? So who knows?”

David also felt Mimi was “in perfectly sound mind” when she revealed the secret visit, but it would have been quite the moment indeed if he did, given it is widely believed he never returned to the UK after 1971 until his death in 1980.

In 1955, while John was still living with Mimi, her husband George Smith died, so she sold Mendips, their family home, in 1965.

John bought Harbour’s Edge in Sandbanks, Poole, for Mimi and gave her a regular allowance for her to live on.

In 1981, the year after John’s death, Mimi told journalists he had spoken to her the night before he died, speaking of his hope to return to the UK.

But that was not to be, and on December 6, 1991, Mimi died at her home, which was later demolished and a new home, called Imagine, was built on the site.


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