Beatles` ‘Strawberry Field’ original gate replaced

Last Updated: May 11, 2011, 12:11 PM IST

London: The red Victorian iron gate of a former children`s home that inspired the John Lennon-penned Beatles anthem ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ has been replaced.

It means Beatles fans who pass the Woolton site on bus tours will now be met with 10ft (3m) high replicas.

Replicas of the 100-year-old wrought iron gates have been made by metal work specialist Jim Bennett, from Aigburth, and gifted to The Salvation Army.

“Although care has been taken to ensure the original gates to the site have remained in good condition, inevitably time has taken its toll,” the BBC quoted Maj Ray Irving, director of social services for The Salvation Army, as saying.

“This means that the original gates can be kept safe from further deterioration and with the replica gates in place, allow for an authentic experience for the many thousands of people who come on a ``musical pilgrimage`` to Strawberry Field,” he added.

The charity said fans would still get an ‘authentic experience’, but one tour guide said they were ‘aghast’.

“Last night I was bringing a group here and I decided to tell them they would have been the very final group who would see the gates and they were absolutely aghast,” said Paul Beesley, chair of the Association of Liverpool Tour Guides.

The originals have been taken to a secret location for storage, but could eventually be auctioned off.

Lennon wrote ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, which was released in 1967, from his memories of playing in the area as a child.