The famous Beatles song, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, written by John Lennon and released in 1967, made this site a must-see for Beatles fans visiting Liverpool, along with Penny Lane, The Cavern, and Lennon and McCartney’s childhood homes, to name a few. The new visitor center will include a special exhibition about John Lennon’s connection to the site, as well as a cafe and gardens.
“The plans to open Strawberry Fields 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,” said Lady Judy Martin OBE, widow of Beatles’ producer, George Martin.
Strawberry Field was a manor house situated on Beaconsfield Road, Woolton. It was originally owned by Liverpool merchants and donated to the Salvation Army upon their deaths in the 1930s. The house and grounds were used as an orphanage for girls starting in 1935. Boys were first housed at the orphanage starting in the 1950s.
“Him and a group of lads used to come and whistle at the girls,” recalled Major Ida Cawthorne. “And unfortunately we had a very large tree in the garden with a thick, thick branch that they used to sit on and whistle to the girls.”
Starting in January 2018, demolition of the current buildings began to make way for the new visitor center. The buildings being demolished were built in the 1970s after fire damage led to the demolition of the original “Strawberry Field” mansion. Ironically, the original Victorian mansion looked a lot like The Dakota apartment building where John Lennon lived the last 7 years of his life.
The Salvation Army launched a fundraising campaign in November 2017 urging the public to donate to help make the new vision a reality. On their official website (http://www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com), you can donate and also order Strawberry Field merchandise like the t-shirts shown in the video below:
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