Did you know that we have two sets of red gates?
On 11th May 2000, the original red gates were stolen from outside Strawberry Field. A BBC article at the time said:
"To the Beatles, Strawberry Fields were forever, but on Friday thieves in Liverpool had other ideas.
The 100-year-old wrought iron gates to the Strawberry Field Salvation Army children's home, catapulted to fame by the Fab Four, were cut down and taken.
Nearby children said they saw two men put the 8ft high gates into a blue Transit van and drive away."
The article went on to say:
"Ray Collings, the Salvation Army's divisional public relations director, pleaded for the safe return of the gates. "Some of the children were playing in the grounds of the home and noticed some activity at the end of the drive.
"This is nothing unusual as many visitors to Merseyside have their photographs taken at the gates.
"Then the children noticed the gates were being moved and so went to inform members of staff who immediately went to the end of the drive only to find the gates were gone."
Mr Collings said the gates had been part of the home's identity since the Salvation Army started work there in 1936."
The stolen gates were sold to a scrap dealer, who bought them in good faith, but then realised what he had and graciously returned them to The Salvation Army.
In 2011, the precious gates were taken into storage and were replaced by replicas, made by Jim Bennett at Liverpool Architectural Metal Fabrication. Ever since, they have been in storage, with an occasional 'pop up', including most recently at The Beatles Story. Now that Strawberry Field has opened to the public, the original iconic red gates have returned home after touring the city on their way back.
So, when you visit, make sure you see both sets of gates. The replica gates stand so famously in place at the entrance, but the original gates are nestled deep in the gardens, a special sight for visitors to see as they wander the peaceful space.