Demolition begins at iconic Strawberry Field site
Demolition and salvage at The Salvation Army’s iconic Strawberry Field site begins this week and neighbours, as well as key stake holders and supporters of the project were given the opportunity to set foot beyond the famous red gates, for the first time.
The buildings which stood at Strawberry Field until this week were built in the 1970s after fire damage led to the demolition of the original Victorian mansion. They are being demolished to make way for The Salvation Army’s new vision, to create a training hub for young people with learning disabilities, a visitor experience where the public can find out about John Lennon and his connection to the site, as well as an opportunity to explore spirituality.
Major Drew McCombe, Divisional Leader for The Salvation Army, North West, said: “Before work begins here at Strawberry Field we wanted to give local people, who have been so supportive of our plans to redevelop this site, an opportunity to look around. It’s such an iconic site and we’re aware that very few people have ever been able to set foot beyond the red gates.
“It’s part of our mission at The Salvation Army to be present where there is a need and, whilst the needs around Strawberry Field have changed over the years, we’re proud to still be part of this legacy. As custodians of the site for the people of Liverpool and Beatles fans the world over, we want to transform Strawberry Field and re-open it for the good of young people in the North West who need support, and so that the wider community can, for the first time, access a site that belongs to them.
“This special redevelopment will also mean that John Lennon and Beatles fans the world over will be able explore the Strawberry Field grounds and see for themselves the place that inspired a musical legend to pen an unforgettable pop hit.”
Strawberry Field was run as a children’s home by The Salvation Army from the 1930s and inspired John Lennon to write ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. As a child, Lennon famously jumped over the wall into the Strawberry Field grounds, where he played with the children who lived there and listened to The Salvation Army band. He grew up just a stone’s throw away from the site in Woolton, Liverpool. The children’s home closed in 2005.
He remained a supporter of The Salvation Army, with a particular interest in Strawberry Field throughout his life, donating several thousands of pounds to the charity after the release of Strawberry Fields Forever.
The church and charity launched a fundraising campaign in November 2017, urging the public to donate to help make the new vision a reality. To find out more about how to make Strawberry Field forever, visit www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com.
Notes to editors:
The Salvation Army is an international Christian church and registered charity working in 128 countries worldwide, offering friendship, practical help and support for people at all levels of need. In the UK and Republic of Ireland this work includes more than 800 community churches and social centres.