John Lennon’s memory is set to be evoked by the opening of the Strawberry Field project today, providing Beatles’ fans with the opportunity to follow in the legendary musician’s footsteps. Visitors to the grounds of the former Salvation Army children’s home in Woolton, Liverpool, will be afforded the chance to enjoy a stroll through the gardens where Lennon played as a boy all those years ago in his youth.

Music fans will be able to reminisce in the surroundings of the new tourist attraction that inspired the popular Beatles’ track “Strawberry Fields Forever”, a memorable tune that was released by the band way back in 1967 as a double A-side with the equally poignant song “Penny Lane”. Lennon wrote the track by drawing on his childhood memories of growing up and playing in the grounds of Strawberry Field, which was located nearby to his home at the time.

New attraction for Beatles’ fans

Strawberry Field’s famous red gates will be opened to the public, as the ambitious project includes an exhibition on The Beatles’ early lives, a youth training centre for 18- to 25-year-olds with learning disabilities and a cafe. The venue is already a well-known destination with tourists to the city of Liverpool, as it has been estimated that around 60,000 people pose for their picture to be taken outside its gates each year.

Although replica gates have now been installed at the site, visitors will still be able to view the original structures which have been ‘retired’ to an alternative location within the grounds. Given that the children’s home existed between 1936 right up to 2005 when it was finally closed, they would have been subject to plenty of wear and tear over the years.

Lennon’s sister attended the opening

Lennon’s younger half-sister, Julia Baird was present at the opening in her role as honorary president of the project, and she told reporters that Strawberry Field had seemed to be something resembling a “sanctuary” for her brother.

Judging by the imagery conjured up in the song, she reflected that “this was John’s special place.”

The Salvation Army Commissioner, Anthony Cotterill, echoed those sentiments be believed that Lennon had “found sanctuary here as a child – that’s exactly what we want to offer.”

“Strawberry Fields Forever” has become one of the band’s favourite songs over the years with their army of ‘Fab Four’ followers, although it did not feature on their groundbreaking album “Sgt.

Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” as the group had originally intended. Lennon, Paul McCartney (who was credited on the track as part of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership), George Harrison and Ringo Starr are part of British music folklore, so any new venture invoking memories of their glory days is bound to create great interest with the public.

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