Beatles: Strawberry Field site opens as tourist attraction

The children's home that inspired The Beatles' famous song Strawberry Fields Forever is to open its gates as a tourist attraction and youth centre.

Music icon John Lennon "found sanctuary" in the gardens of the Strawberry Field home in Woolton, Liverpool as a young boy.

The grounds became a landmark for Beatles' fans after it was immortalised by the band in 1967.

The Salvation Army site will open on Saturday.

Every year an estimated 60,000 tourists visit the outside of the Beaconsfield Road site, which was run by the charity from 1936 until 2005. It has been closed since then.

Lennon's sister Julia Baird, 72, said as a child the musician would clamber over the wall to get to "his special place".

"As children we all have somewhere that's a bit ours, a bit special," she said.

Speaking about the project, Ms Baird said: "I think he would have loved it, because he himself was not mainstream and was very aware of it."

The centre will host an exhibition on Lennon's early life and will provide training for young people with learning disabilities.

Anthony Cotterill, from the Salvation Army, said: "John Lennon found sanctuary here as a child and that's exactly what we want to offer by opening the Strawberry Field gates for good."