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18th September, 2019

Strawberry Field: now open to the public

Liverpool’s world-famous Strawberry Field, a place immortalised in song by The Beatles, is now open to the public for the first time in 70 years, thanks to The Salvation Army.

Visitors from around the world are now able to step through the iconic red gates and into a new development featuring an interactive exhibition, cafe, shop, gardens, and hub for The Salvation Army’s meaningful ‘Steps to Work’ programme.

 

A young John Lennon would often play in the grounds of Strawberry Field, which was a Salvation Army children’s home at the time found near his childhood home in the Woolton area of Liverpool. In late 1966 Lennon wrote ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ as a nostalgic look back at the area he would often play as a child.

 

 

The new development will include a visitor attraction that commemorates John Lennon’s link with Strawberry Field but also provides a place for spiritual reflection. Money raised from the site will support ‘Steps to Work’, a Salvation Army project that helps local young people with learning difficulties find employment.

 

 

The original red gates, which were previously on display at The Beatles Story in order to raise awareness and funds for The Salvation Army’s project, have returned home and can be found within the grounds of the site.

Julia Baird, John Lennon’s sister and Honorary President of the Strawberry Field project, said: “I’ve been really impressed by The Salvation Army’s vision and now there is huge potential to make a real change in the lives of young people who will grow in the precious soil of Strawberry Field.”

 

Salvation Army Territorial Commander, Commissioner Anthony Cotterill said: “John Lennon found sanctuary here as a child and that’s exactly what we want to offer by opening the Strawberry Field gates for good.

“We know thousands of Beatles fans already visit the site and we saw an opportunity to channel that interest into a responsible tourist attraction that will support local people and businesses.

 

“The Salvation Army ran a children’s home at Strawberry Field from 1936 until 2005. In that time, we helped some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable children. 70 years later, we are using Strawberry Field to give Liverpool’s young people a step onto the employment ladder. I like to think that John Lennon would be pleased that his special association with Strawberry Field is being used in this way.”

To find out more about Strawberry Field, please visit: strawberryfieldliverpool.com

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