Profile Bio Text
(August 23, 1962 - November 8, 1968) (divorced) (1 child)
Relationship with John Lennon
After a college party to celebrate the end of term, Lennon asked Powell if she would like to "go out" with him. She quickly replied that she was engaged to a young man in Hoylake, so he stormed off, shouting, "I didn't ask you to fuckin' marry me, did I?" He later approached her and asked if she would go to the Ye Cracke pub. She was confused when he ignored her all evening, but as she was ready to leave, he grabbed her hand and they went to a room Lennon's fellow student, Stuart Sutcliffe, was renting, where they had sex for the first time.
They began dating, with Lennon now referring to her as "Cyn". In the autumn of 1958, she ended her engagement to be with him, and he ended his relationship with another art student, Thelma Pickles. During the beginning of their relationship, they sometimes had intercourse in alleyways or shop doorways if Sutcliffe's room was not available. Powell had to be careful of Lennon's angry reactions at the time, because of his "jealous anxieties that made him turn pale, clench his fists and make exasperating scenes", if she greeted another art student. His jealousy could also manifest itself in violent behaviour towards her, as when he slapped her across the face (causing her head to hit a wall), after watching her dance with Sutcliffe. After the incident, she broke up with Lennon for three months, but resumed their relationship after his profuse apology. Another time a cleaning woman at the college caught Lennon hitting her and suggested she stay away from him.
Her work at art school began to suffer, and teachers told her the relationship with Lennon was doing her no good. Lennon continued to be casually inconsiderate towards her, later saying, "I was in sort of a blind rage for two years. I was either drunk or fighting. It had been the same with other girl friends I'd had. There was something the matter with me." Tony Bramwell—a friend of Lennon's since his youth—later said: "Cynthia was beautiful, physically, and on the inside. Although she knew he [Lennon] was apt to find love on the road, she was totally dedicated to his success... and extremely influential. He was insecure and Cynthia was there to pump him up, to buttress, sort of, his weak side."
The Beatles' first Hamburg residency took place in 1960, with Lennon writing frequent and passionate letters back home to Powell. After returning home, Lennon's aunt and legal guardian, Mimi Smith, threw a hand-mirror at him for spending a lot of money on a suede coat for Powell. Smith later referred to her as "a gangster's moll", and was often unpleasant towards her. The Beatles went to Hamburg for a second time in 1961, and both Powell and Dot Rhone (Paul McCartney's girlfriend at the time), visited them two weeks later, during the Easter holidays. They had to stay up all night because of the long sets, with both taking Preludin to stay awake, which the group were also taking. Lennon and Powell stayed with Sutcliffe's girlfriend, Astrid Kirchherr, at her mother's house. After the trip to Hamburg, Powell's mother Lillian said Powell's cousin and husband were emigrating to Canada with their new-born baby, and that she, Lillian, would be going with them while they studied to become teachers. Powell waited until Lennon came back from Hamburg before she asked Smith—who had taken in lodgers before at 251 Menlove Avenue—if she would rent a room to her. Smith rented out the box-room above the front door (which had been Lennon's bedroom), but insisted she also do chores around the house. To pay the rent, she took a job at a Woolworths store in Liverpool, after her student grant had run out. In the same year, when Lennon was 21 years old, he received £100 from his aunt Mater who lived in Edinburgh, and went to Paris with McCartney. Powell could not accompany them as she was studying for her final exams.
When Lennon went to Hamburg again in April 1962, she found a bedsit in a terraced house at 93 Garmoyle Road, Liverpool. Shortly after having failed her art teacher's diploma exam, in August 1962, she found she was pregnant with Lennon's child. She later explained that she and Lennon had never used contraception, had never talked about it, and didn't think about it at the time. When she told Lennon he said, "There's only one thing for it Cyn, we'll have to get married".
Marriage and Julian
The Lennons were married on 23 August 1962 at the Mount Pleasant Register office in Liverpool. Fellow Beatles McCartney and George Harrison were in attendance, as was their manager, Brian Epstein, who was best man; no parents were there. The wedding was farcical, because as soon as the ceremony began a workman in the backyard of the building opposite started using a pneumatic drill which drowned out anything the registrar, Lennon, or Powell said. When the registrar asked for the groom to step forward, Harrison stepped forward instead. With no photographs or flowers the wedding party celebrated afterwards, at Epstein's invitation, in Reece's restaurant in Clayton Square, which was the same restaurant where Lennon's parents, Alfred Lennon and Julia Lennon, had celebrated their marriage in 1938. Lennon was 21 years old, and Powell 22. The newlyweds had no honeymoon, as Lennon had to play an engagement at the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester the same night, although they did travel to the Hotel George V in Paris, for a belated honeymoon on 16 September, but were accompanied by Epstein, even though he had not been invited to join them.
During her pregnancy, Epstein offered the couple the use of his flat at 36 Falkner Street, and later paid for a private hospital room when the pregnancy was coming to term. Although still completely unknown outside of Liverpool, by now the Beatles had a fanatical following among girls within the city. Epstein had one condition which the Lennons had to follow: the marriage and the baby were to be kept a close secret, so as not to upset any of these fans. One time when news of the wedding leaked out, the group denied it. Cynthia was happy to keep a low profile, not wanting to be the subject of public attention the way her husband was.
The Lennons' son, John Charles Julian Lennon, was born at 7.45 am on 8 April 1963, in Sefton Hospital. Lennon, being on tour at the time, did not see his son until three days later, and when he finally arrived at the hospital, said: "He's bloody marvellous, Cyn! ... Who's gonna be a famous rocker like his Dad then?" He then explained that he would be going on a four-day holiday to Barcelona, with Epstein. Lennon later referred to Julian as a "Saturday night special; the way that most people get here", or said he "came out of a whisky bottle".
Where/How First Met
students at the Liverpool College of Art
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