Inspiration for Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ to Reopen
A former children's home in Liverpool that became the inspiration for the Beatles' 1967 hit "Strawberry Fields Forever" will open to the public. First, the facility has to undergo renovations; it will eventually serve as a tourist attraction and support center for youth with learning disabilities.
As a child, John Lennon would hop the wall at Strawberry Field to play with the kids who lived there, and listen to the Salvation Army band. The site, which once included an old Victorian house donated to the charity in 1936, has remained empty since the children's home closed in 2005.
On hand for the Salvation Army's groundbreaking at the new site were John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, who helped bury a time capsule there. Judy Martin, the widow of Beatles producer George Martin, also attended.
“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,” Martin said.
The Salvation Army will not only make the grounds accessible, but plans to build a training and work-placement hub for young people with learning disabilities, though they're still looking to raise £1 million to complete the job.
"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.," said Major Roger Batt, 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."
Watch the Beatles' Video for 'Strawberry Fields Forever'