On September 14, the Strawberry Field site in Liverpool, England, will open to the public for the first time as an addition to the world of Beatles tourism.
While many Americans think of Central Park in New York City when Strawberry Fields is mentioned, the original location mentioned in the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” is in the Beatles’ hometown of Liverpool. Loudersound is reporting that the Strawberry Field site (mentioned in the singular and plural form in British land documents) made famous by the Fab Four will finally open to the public as a tourist attraction and a center for children and young adults with learning disabilities.
A fundraising venture was started last year to redevelop the site, which has lurked behind red wrought iron gates for years after the Woolton estate was demolished in the 1970s. The Salvation Army was looking to open up the site to the public while aiding youth with learning differences.
Strawberry Field project honorary president Julia Baird — John Lennon’s sister — launched a “buy a brick” program, and the finished site will open on September 14. The website for Strawberry Field offers tickets and related merchandise which ships internationally and gives some background on the property, which will open Saturday for visitors.
The website shares the history of Strawberry Field, and what it meant to the band.
“Strawberry Field and the original Victorian house were gifted to The Salvation Army in 1934. In 1936 it was opened as a children’s home for girls later accepting boys. From then on, for nearly 70 years, it gave some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable children a refuge from turmoil and unhappiness – a safe, calm and spiritual home.”
According to People Magazine, Strawberry Field was a refuge for Lennon, who had a tumultuous childhood. Baird, 72, recalled that the property was Lennon’s happy place where he could escape what was going on at home.
“John found it was a sanctuary when he was going through troubled times that nobody explained to him and were inexplicable to anyone else.”
While Lennon has passed away, the two surviving Beatles members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, continue to perform, according to The Inquisitr. In July, as part of his tour, McCartney had Starr take the stage with him at Dodger Stadium for the first time in five years.
Starr played the drums on two songs with McCartney, and the two Liverpudlians were photographed embracing onstage in front of the crowd.