The 17-bedroom Penny Lane Hotel in Penny Lane, Liverpool is up for sale at £950,000

The sellers, Christie and Co., are stretching the Beatles connection to breaking point, gushing that the hotel, as well as bearing the name of 1967 Beatles song, is close to some Beatle’s childhood homes, the Beatles Story museum and the (newly re-built) Cavern Club.

What Christies are not telling prospective buyers is that Penny Lane was named in honour of a seriously vile piece of 18th century work called James Penny, a slave-ship owner and operator who made his fortune, and derived his power in Liverpool from capturing male and female West Africans, 600 at a time, and transporting them for forced labour on plantations in the West Indies. Penny had no sense of shame about how he was making his fortune, describing the enslavement as “humane”, fighting abolition of his meal ticket and wrongly predicting the collapse of Liverpool if it was taken away.

In 2006 it was proposed by Liverpool councillor Barbara Mace to change the names of all Liverpool streets named in honour of slavers (Bold Street, Blackburn Place, Cropper Street, Parr Street, Penny Lane, Roscoe Street, Sir Thomas Street, Tarleton Street) but the plan was withdrawn on the basis that it was wrong to “airbrush negative parts of history”.

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