Wednesday, 26 August 2015

HOUSE IN RESORT WHERE JOHN BOUGHT A BUNGALOW FOR AUNT MIMI GOES ON SALE

A house in a millionaires' seaside resort where John bought a home for the beloved aunt who raised him as her own son has been put on the market for £4.5 million.

The Beatle bought his dear Aunt Mimi a bungalow on the exclusive Sandbanks peninsula in Poole Harbour in 1965 for the, at the time, princely sum of £26,500.
Mimi Smith lived at Harbour's Edge Mimi until her death aged 85 in December 1991 and her humble home, which had fallen into disrepair, was bulldozed by property tycoon Geoff Kaye after he paid £410,000 for the site the following year.

Mr Kaye spent another £500,000 building a modern home on the plot with floor-to-ceiling windows with 180-degree views across Poole Harbour, four en-suite bedrooms and a swimming pool.
Now, after living there for 21 years, Mr Kaye and his wife are selling up, giving Beatles fans a chance to own their own slice of rock 'n' roll history. 

The only original part of Mimi's property are the front gates.  Lennon, who was shot dead in New York in 1980, once described his aunt's house as the most beautiful place he ever visited and often returned to stay.
It is being sold with planning permission to extend the existing house to 8,669 sq ft or build a new state-of-the-art four-storey home.
Adrian Dunford, of Tailor Made estate agents, which is marketing the property, said: 'Most of the houses in Sandbanks were single storey because it was very difficult to build on sand, but building techniques have changed a lot since Lennon bought this.

'When Mimi's bungalow was knocked down, this was the property that replaced it.
'It's a very modern glass and concrete structure.
'I think the only original items retained from her house are the front gates, they were bought by John Lennon for his aunt.
'Even though the gates are probably too narrow for what most people would want, the fact they have this great history means everybody looking at the property says they would retain them.
'It's a chance to own a bit of rock 'n' roll history. John Lennon visited his aunt here a lot.
'It also has direct water access and it's Sandbanks - the views are just amazing. The property probably has the best views along that stretch because it sits proud of the other houses.
'Because it pokes out in front of everybody you get these incredible 180-degree panoramic views and you're not really aware of your neighbours.'
Mary Elizabeth Smith, known as Mimi, was John's parental guardian for most of his childhood, after she reported her sister, Julia Stanley, to social services to complain about the infant sleeping in the same bed as his mother and her new partner.
Julia eventually agreed to let Mimi and her husband George, who had no children of their own, look after John.

When Beatlesmania was at its peak in the 1960s she was constantly pestered by fans at the home he grew up in in Liverpool so Lennon bought her Harbour's Edge in Sandbanks in 1965, a time when the average house price was £3,500.
Mimi was said to be in a bad mood the day Lennon and his ex-wife Cynthia took her house hunting and she rejected the first three they viewed but cheered up after deciding Harbour's Edge, the final one they were looking at, would do.

John had a balcony made with a painted wrought-iron balustrade of seven hearts to show his love for his aunt, which Mimi would sit and watch the boats from.
John would visit his aunt there regularly when he needed to escape the limelight and enjoyed spending time on the beach and looking over the harbour.
Looking out over Poole Harbour, John once told Mimi 'of all the places I've visited, this is the most beautiful'.
In the summer of 1965 his aunt also encouraged him to go sailing with Peter Sandeman, a neighbour who had a boat.
Mr Sandeman maintains their trips inspired Beatles hit Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which starts with the line 'Picture yourself in a boat on a river'.




The only original part of Mimi's property are the front gates but the plot's legacy remains. When Beatlesmania was at its peak in the 1960s she was constantly pestered by fans at the home he grew up in in Liverpool so Lennon bought her Harbour's Edge in Sandbanks in 1965, a time when the average house price was £3,500





John never returned to the UK after he moved to New York in 1971 and lost touch with several family members but stayed in contact with Mimi, calling her every week.
Three days before he was murdered by fanatical fan Mark Chapman outside his Manhattan apartment in December 1980, John told her he was homesick and planning a trip back to the UK.
After his death, Mimi was furious when she found out he had never transferred the ownership of the house over to her, which meant Lennon's widow Yoko Ono owned the house and could sell it at any time.
But she lived at Harbour's Edge until she died aged 85 in 1991 and Ono put the house up for sale on the same day as Mimi's cremation.
For almost the same money someone could buy a sprawling 32,000-acre sporting estate in the Highlands of Scotland with two lochs, six miles of salmon fishing, deer stalking and game shooting.
Loch Choire in Sutherland is on the market for offers over £4.25million and comes with three estate dwellings and a site for a lodge.

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