Saturday, February 1, 2014

25 Days Of Harrison- Day 1 Harold and Louise Harrison

 In honor of George's birthday month I'd like to dedicate 25 Days of Harrison (as done this past October for John). Each day will be information from George's family, music, and other interests.

George Harrison was born 25 February, 1943 at 12 Arnold Grove, a two-up, two-down town house where he and his family would live for six years.

Louise French

"My mother was from an Irish family called French, and she had lots of brothers and sisters. My mother was Catholic."- George Harrison
His mother, Louise French was born in 1912 to John French and Louise Woollam (which is most common in Yorkshire and East Anglia in the seventeenth century. It means ' dweller by the curved or crooked land'). John was born in 1870 to James Darby Ffrench and Ellen Whelan and lived a very poor life with his four siblings. By the end of 1906 both of his parents passed away, followed by his oldest sister four years later. The remaining children had now dropped the first 'F' in their last name making it 'French'. John then immigrated and joined Liverpool's police force. Later he was hired as a street-lamp lighter when he met Louise Woollam, the two moved into a home at 9 Albert Grove in Wavertree, the street next to Arnold Grove [Read more about the Harrison heritage here].

Harold Harrison
"My dad had been a seaman, but by then he was driving a bus"-George Harrison
George's father was Harold Hargreaves Harrison, born 28 May, 1909 to Henry Harrison and Jane Tompson .  Henry was a builder who constructed great Edwardian homes on Princes Road in Liverpool where doctors and those who could afford them lived.
"Perhaps my interest in architecture comes from my grandfather" -George Harrison
 Henry was born on 21 January,1882 at 12 Queen Street, West Derby to Edward Harrison and Elizabeth Hargreaves. Jane was daughter of an engine driver, James Tompson- they lived at 3 Wellington Grove. Henry and Jane were married on 17 August, 1902 in Holy Trinity Church, Wavertree.

Harold Harrison was a seaman but as work scattered he soon found himself driving a bus. The two met while Louise was working as a shop assistant as a teenager and started a home on 12 Arnold Grove settling down having four kids, one daughter, Louise, and three boys, Harry, Peter, and George.

George was the youngest of four and grew up in a house with parents who wanted their kids to pursuit their dreams and was always looking after them, especially George being the youngest. Even Pattie Boyd, George's first wife, talks about Mrs. Harrison saying,
"All she wanted for her children is that they should be happy, and she recognized that nothing made George as happy as making music."
 When George first started playing guitar regularly (around age 13) she would sit up all night listening to George practice, there's even a story that George and Paul (McCartney) were at a music store and Paul knocked a few things off the wall and Mrs. Harrison paid for it.

Mr. Harrison was as Paul once called 'A hero'. Back in school teachers used to cane students, Paul recalls this one experience as the teacher missing George's palm and got his wrist leaving the cane imprints. At dinner Mr. Harrison asked what had happened and George had told him the story, the next day the teacher was called out into the hall and George's father asked if he had been the one to hit his son then punched the teacher. George's dad also played the guitar when he was at sea, but sold it soon after he left. When George got interested in the instrument his dad had him take 'lessons' with an old friend of his.

It's been said by many people that out of any Beatles parents or family members, The Harrison's were the least private, inviting fans into their home and loved that their son had become successful by music.
"I was always waking up in the night, coming out of the bedroom, looking down the stairs and seeing lots of people having a party. It was probably only my parents and an uncle or two."- George Harrison
Louise unfortunately passed away at age 58 on 7 July, 1970 from a brain tumor, and eight years later Harold had emphysema and passed in May.

"Quite short and very Liverpudlian"- Pattie Boyd

"I have memories of being taken around by my mother when she went shopping on Saturdays. I used to be dragged around, seeing old ladies whom she always seemed to know and had to visit."

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