Sylvia Hall has been the custodian at Sir Paul McCartney’s former home in Liverpool for five years. Welcoming visitors from all over the world, Sylvia gives presentations about Paul’s musical journey from schoolboy to Beatle, tells McCartney family stories as relayed by Paul and Mike and gives background and social history. Visitor comments on Trip Advisor affirm that Sylvia ‘brings the house to life’.
Born in a Derbyshire mining village Sylvia went to Grammar school, became a ‘cub reporter’ for ‘The Derbyshire Times’ at the age of seventeen, worked for radio Derby and then gave up journalism to attend Nottingham University.
‘I so valued going to University because I went as a mature student and overcame a few barriers to get there. I had two children at the time and a first husband who opposed my doing a degree course. Earlier on my father had opposed me going into the sixth form at school. My GCE results weren’t great, I’d been too busy following bands and going to ‘all-nighters’ so my Dad took me to the Viyella factory to get me a job doing ‘piece work’. I negotiated hard with my parents and they agreed I could do a secretarial course. I was a lousy secretary but the shorthand and typing paid off because later I got a job at the local newspaper.
After acquiring a BA Honours degree, Sylvia took a post-grad course and taught English and Drama at secondary level in comprehensive schools and the private sector. She also taught in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Egypt and is a LAMDA qualified Speech and Drama teacher.
When Sylvia’s husband Colin was a Fullbright exchange teacher to Vashon Island in Washington State, Sylvia wrote a regular column for The Guardian about social, environmental and education issues in the USA.
It was on Vashon that Sylvia began her first novel on a borrowed and battered typewriter. Sitting overlooking the Pacific Sound toward the Olympic peninsular, Sylvia wrote, ‘When You Can’t Say No’, her first novel for young adults. This was published by Scholastic. Other novels followed, ‘Don’t Forget To Dance’; ‘No Fear’; ‘Knife Edge’ and The Maya Brown, ‘Circle of Fire’ series. Her short stories and poems have been included in published anthologies.
Sylvia has written plays with music, which have been performed in schools and by Youth theatre groups. One of the plays, ‘ The Making of Menaline Moon’ is about famous women in history and the fight for women’s suffrage. Sylvia wrote this after teaching sixth form at an all girls school and realising the girls were going out to conquer the world but had no knowledge of how hard women had fought for the opportunities they now enjoyed . Sylvia also reviews music and books for BBC radio Merseyside.
Sylvia’s husband Colin is from Liverpool and she has come to love her adopted city. She has three children. Alex, James and Hannah.