Tittenhurst Park

This Tittenhurst Park blog is dedicated to John Lennon's home in Sunningdale, near Ascot, Berkshire between 1969 and 1971. The aim is to gather as much material relating to the estate as possible - obviously with the emphasis on the Lennon-era, but also concerning Tittenhurst Park as it was before and after John Lennon's ownership. In addition, there will be posts about and associated with the Beatles, plus any other rubbish I feel like. The blog is purely meant for the entertainment of anyone (assuming there is actually anyone) who, like me, has an unhealthy interest in one particular Georgian mansion. Those with anything interesting to contribute in the way of links, photos, scans, stories etc. please do contact me: tittenhurstlennon@gmail.com
(Legal: this blog is strictly non-commercial. All material is the property of the photographer/artist/copyright holder concerned. Any such who wishes a picture etc to be removed should contact me and I will do so. Alternatively, if someone is happy to see their photo on here, but would like a credit/link then let me know and I'll be happy to provide one).


Guests: Michael De Freitas / Michael X / Michael Abdul Malik

Black House

A guest at Tittenhurst Park by request of John and Yoko was Michael X and his wife Desiree, who stayed in a Tudor Cottage on the Tittenhurst Park Estate. 'Michael X' was a Trinidadian hustler who discovered London just as the postwar generation was trying to construct a new politics based on the pursuit of pleasure. Notting Hill was home to the hundreds of prostitutes that, in the Fifties, lined Park Lane and Bayswater, as well as the centre of the drugs trade. Michael became the face of Black Power in Britain after befriending Malcolm X, who began recommending him as his "brother". This figure of speech was taken literally; De Freitas embraced the error, and became Michael X. His Black Power speeches were little more than comic routines. After a typical knockabout speech peppered with outlandish threats to the whites, he was charged under the Race Relations Act and received an eight-month prison sentence. Emerging in the post-Sixties hangover with his mood as dark as the times, he set up a separatist centre, the 'Black House', funded by John Lennon. A radical who counted John Lennon as a supporter (Lennon paid his bail on a 1971 extortion charge in the "slave collar" incident, which is shown in the movie), he returned to Trinidad a month after being charged. He was hanged there in 1975 for the 1972 murders of Gale Ann Benson (who, as the movie shows, really was the daughter of a conservative Member of Parliament) and of Joseph Skerritt (not shown in the movie), the latter for reportedly refusing an order to attack a police station.

Michael X, John & Yoko

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