At the beginning of the 70’s, my friend Roy and I found ourselves in the grounds of a huge rambling ‘manor’ just off the London Road in Sunningdale near Ascot , Berkshire. The gardens and woodland area’s made up something like 72 acres of this beautiful estate called Tittenhurst Park. At its heart is a grade II listed early Georgian country house that looks out onto the distant lakes complete with boathouses and the odd island or two. Recently I came across the signature of someone who lived in this home from around 1869 until his death in 1883, a man whose wife’s brother in law was a man called George Martin.
Thomas Holloway, Victorian Philanthropist and the founder of the Holloway Sanatorium in Virginia Water and the Royal Holloway College, a part of the University of London, had lived there with his wife Jane, his sister Matilda, Jane’s Sister Sarah Driver, along with her aforementioned husband George. Since the early 70’s there is a remarkable coincidence that appears to have evaded most if not all commentators on the subject of this amazing house, that being the connection between its occupants from May 1969 until August 1971 and another recently sadly departed and legendary record producer and composer Sir George Martin. I wonder if John Lennon or Yoko Ono were ever aware that somebody that shared that name had once lived under the same roof. I can’t help but imagine that one such as John would have been more than a little fascinated; after all it would be almost as improbable for Paul McCartney to have bought his home in Scotland only to find that it had originally been built or occupied by a man called Brian Epstein. All of that said, Ringo Starr then moved into the house in 1971 having bought it from the Lennon’s following their departure for America, yet still no connection was made. It’s probably just another unearthed little Beatle fact to intrigue and ponder.