Julia Baird (née Dykins) (born 5 March 1947) is the younger half-sister of English musician John Lennon and is the eldest daughter of John ‘Bobby’ Albert Dykins (1918 – December 1965) and Julia Lennon (12 March 1914 – 15 July 1958). she also had an older half-sister, Ingrid Pedersen. Her younger sister was Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Dykins (born 26 October 1949).
Lennon started visiting the Dykins’ house in 1951. After the death of Julia Lennon in 1958, Harriet and Norman Birch were appointed guardians of Julia and Jackie, ignoring Dykins’ parentage, as he had never legally married their mother. Lennon invited the Dykins sisters to visit after the success of the Beatles, when he was living in Kenwood, Weybridge, with his then-wife, Cynthia Lennon.
Julia Dykins (Baird) married Allen Baird in 1968 and moved to Belfast. They had three children together but were divorced in 1981. Baird worked as a special needs teacher, and after Lennon’s death she wrote John Lennon, My Brother (with Geoffrey Giuliano) and gave up working in 2004 to write Imagine This – Growing up with my brother John Lennon. She is now a director of Cavern City Tours in Liverpool.
Baird’s mother, Julia Lennon, was the fourth of five children in the Stanley family: Mary, known as ‘Mimi‘ (1906–1991), Elizabeth ‘Mater’ (1908–1976), Anne ‘Nanny’ (1911–1988), Julia ‘Judy’ (1914–1958), and Harriet ‘Harrie’ (1916–1972).
John Lennon was Julia’s first child by Alfred Lennon, although she later had a daughter called Victoria (renamed Ingrid) after an affair with a Welsh soldier while Alfred was at sea. Julia was forced to give up the child for adoption after intense pressure from her father and her sisters. Although they had known each other previously, Julia started dating Dykins while working in a café near Mosspits, which was Lennon’s primary school. Dykins was said to be a good-looking, well-dressed man who was several years older than Julia and worked at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool as a wine steward. Julia later moved into a small flat in Gateacre with Dykins, who had access to rationed goods like alcohol, chocolate, silks and cigarettes. The Stanley sisters called Dykins a “spiv“, because of his pencil-thin moustache, margarine-coated hair, and pork-pie hat, but the young Lennon called him “Twitchy” because of a physical tic and nervous cough Dykins had. Although Julia never divorced Alfred Lennon, she was the common-law wife of Dykins, although Paul McCartney admitted to being sarcastic to Lennon about his mother living in sin while Julia was still married. Julia’s sister, Mimi, called Julia and Dykins’ home—at 1 Blomfield Road, Liverpool—”The House of Sin” and her own house (where Lennon lived) “The House of Correction”. When Jackie was born prematurely on 26 October 1949, Julia went back to the hospital every day to see her, although she was often not allowed (by Mimi) to visit Lennon.