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The Beatles’ Penny Lane could be renamed due to potential slave trade link

Liverpool’s iconic Penny Lane, famously immortalised by The Beatles, is at risk of being renamed if allegations of its links to notorious 18th century slave trader James Penny are proven true.

Investigations into the origins of the name have reignited after road signs were vandalised last week, part of a series of attacks on monuments that have taken place in light of the Black Lives Matter protests and the death of George Floyd.

Penny Lane

Liverpool’s Penny Lane, made famous by the Beatles, could be renamed if potential slave trade connections are proven true.

Liverpool’s metro mayor, Steve Rotherham, confirmed that direct action will be taken if the slave trade connection is conclusively proven, though it remains speculative for now.

“If the vandalism is a direct consequence of that road being called Penny Lane because of James Penny, then that needs to be investigated,” Mr Rotherham told Sky News.

However, Rotherham added that there is currently “no evidence of the fact”. Having admittedly “done a bit of reading on this“, the mayor claimed that he instead thought it was more likely the name was associated with a toll that was once paid in pennies to cross the road.

For now, the evidence supporting the allegations is sparse despite ongoing investigations, and it seems Penny Lane will live on another day.