Strawberry Field gates to return

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The famous Strawberry Field gates. Pic © Rept01x / Wikimedia Commons

The famous Strawberry Field gates. Pic © Rept01x / Wikimedia Commons

The Strawberry Field gates at the site of the old Salvation Army children’s home made famous by The Beatles are set to return.

Replicas have been in place since the gates were removed for safe keeping and restoration, but the originals are now due to come back.

The Woolton landmark in Beaconsfield Road has become something of a pilgrimage for Beatles fans from all over the world, along with Penny Lane and John Lennon’s childhood home, Mendips, on Menlove Avenue, which is around the corner from Strawberry Field.

Lennon wrote ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ in 1966 to celebrate the happy memories he had of visiting the grounds as a youth.

Many visitors choose to leave graffiti and gifts of their visit at the gates a mementos. The former children’s home was demolished in 1973 and replaced with a new building, which closed in 2005. It has been announced that this will also be demolished to make way for a brand new state-of-the-art centre.

A cafeteria will be built along with developing the surrounding grounds into park land, holding exhibitions about The Beatles and the history of the site for visitors.

The visitors’ centre will provide opportunities for children with learning difficulties and young adults to gain experience of working.

Transport links will also be improved to the tourist hotspot, with lay-bys for tour guides to use and a new bus stop will be created. The road will be widened at points to cater for the increase in traffic congestion caused by the expected rise in visitor numbers.

Paul Beesley, Chair of of The Association of Liverpool Tour Guides, told JMU Journalism: “We are very supportive of the work the Salvation Army is doing to bring the original gates back and developing the site.

“We represent over 140 tour guides in the city and the Beatles sites are very popular with tourists and the Magical Mystery tour bus. We also have to be mindful that some of these sites are near private homes and we have to be careful not to disturb people.”

The Salvation Army development proposals will be discussed next Tuesday by Liverpool City Council, though it is thought there will be no objections.

About Adrian Speed, JMU Journalism