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Fans of The Beatles know the name, and nearly 100,000 visitors photograph the location’s gates each year. But most people don't realize that Strawberry Field is a real place in Liverpool, England.
“The opening of Strawberry Field is, quite simply, a very important development in the visitor industry for the Liverpool City Region and will be hugely popular with people from around the world,” said Paul Beesley, chair of The Association of Liverpool Tour Guides. “As the gates of Strawberry Field open, so, too, will the hearts of The Beatles fans throughout the world. Now, Strawberry Field really will be forever.”
On Sept. 14, Strawberry Field’s iconic red gates opened to the public for the first time in more than 70 years, revealing a brand-new, state-of-the-art visitor experience that uses immersive multimedia, archival footage, family photographs and memorabilia to trace singer-songwriter John Lennon’s childhood and his personal connection to the place that inspired “Strawberry Fields Forever,” one of his most famous songs.
The new attraction features an interactive exhibition that tells Lennon’s life story with the help of some of the people who knew him best. Clients can also test their musical skills by recreating the famous opening chords of “Strawberry Fields Forever” on a virtual Mellotron, the unique electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard used on the original record.
In addition to tracing Lennon’s personal history, the exhibition also includes information about the well-known song, including the original handwritten lyrics. It also takes a look at the history and heritage of Strawberry Field itself, as well as the original Victorian-era house that was used as a Salvation Army children’s home until it was torn down in the 1960s.
To escape his troubled childhood in Liverpool, Lennon spent many happy hours playing in the gardens and woods with the kids who lived at Strawberry Field. As a result, the gardens are a particularly important part of the experience; visitors are invited to explore the grounds and literally follow in John’s footsteps. In addition, actual stones from the original house have been used to create seating in the gardens.
Ginette Goulston-Lincoln, travel trade consultant for Strawberry Field, says the gardens are intended to create a feeling of wellness — what she calls “slow tourism,” or taking time to relax and calm down.
Strawberry Field also houses “Steps to Work,” a training center for young adults with learning disabilities. The establishment enables attendees to learn a trade through readiness education and hands-on work experience either at Strawberry Field itself or in the local communities. All proceeds from the Strawberry Field visitor experience support the center’s operation.
Strawberry Field has been shrouded in mystery and wonder with the hundreds of thousands who have visited it being left to imagine what lay behind the famous red gates — that is, until now.
“Coupled with the fantastic work that will be done to support young adults with learning disabilities into the workplace, the reopening of Strawberry Field will breathe a new lease of life into The Beatles’ legacy and connect new generations with their iconic music," said Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region. "Strawberry Field has been shrouded in mystery and wonder with the hundreds of thousands who have visited it being left to imagine what lay behind the famous red gates — that is, until now.”
The DetailsStrawberry Fieldwww.strawberryfieldliverpool.com