An old children’s home in the city of Liverpool which became the inspiration for the Beatles’ 1967 classic “Strawberry Fields Forever” will re-open to the public. The Salvation Army facility needs to undergo renovations but then it will serve as a tourist attraction and support centre for young people with learning disabilities.
As a young lad, John Lennon would often jump the wall at Strawberry Field to play with the children who lived there. The site once comprised of an old Victorian house which was donated to the charity in 1936. The entire premises has been empty since the children’s home closed back in 2005. In attendance for the Salvation Army’s groundbreaking at the new site was John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird, who helped bury a time capsule there. Also in attendance was the widow of Beatles producer George Martin, Judy Martin.
The ceremony began with a cake cutting by Lady Judy Martin and Julia Baird. Lady Martin said, “The plan to open Strawberry Field to the public for the first time – so people can see a unique exhibition about the home, how and why the song was written by John, and allow visitors to explore the grounds as John did as a child – is very exciting,”
— Liverpool T.I.C. (@moreLiverpool) July 31, 2018
The Salvation Army will not only make the grounds accessible to the public, but there is intention to develop a training and work-placement hub for young people with learning disabilities. The charity says they’re still looking to raise £1 million to complete the job.
Speaking at the event Salvation Major, Roger Batt said, “As custodians of the site for the people of Liverpool and Beatles fans the world over, we want to transform Strawberry Field and reopen it for the good of young people in the North West who would benefit from access to support, as well as encourage more similar projects across the U.K.
Northwest divisional leader for the charity. “It is our firm intention that Strawberry Field will also be a place for spiritual reflection with an opportunity to explore the grounds and create new memories for each and every person who comes to visit.”
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— Robert Galbraith (@robertgal2107) July 12, 2018