The Salvos Take On a Vision for Strawberry Field in Liverpool

After a battle with local authorities The Salvation Army has finally received a full planning go-ahead to build a much-needed training and work placement hub for young people with learning disabilities at its Strawberry Field site in Liverpool. The site, which has been closed to the public for years, will also house an exhibition centre where visitors can find out more about John Lennon and his connection to the parklands, as well as a place to explore spirituality. It’ll look something like this:

The next phase of the project is to raise the money needed to move the Salvos plans from vision to reality. And that’s where you come in.

To find out how you can donate, purchase merchandise and support the project, visit www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com

You’ll be helping young people like Jordan Clark to overcome their learning difficulties, get jobs, and make a real contribution to the community:

One of the fundraising projects launched recently saw a group of young people from the City of Liverpool College and the Salvos’ Steps to Work programme come together to form a choir to record a version of John Lennon’s legendary ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. They did it at the Abbey Road Studios in London, no less:

To hear the song in full, click here.

Jules Sherwood, Development Manager for The Salvation Army, said: “We believe Strawberry Field is the final piece of the Beatles jigsaw in Liverpool and once open will offer a magical experience to visitors who will be able to follow in the footsteps of the young John Lennon.”

“The very latest technologies will be adopted to create an exhibition where visitors will enter a space where “nothing is real” as they experience the wondrous, intertwined histories of the house, John Lennon and the writing and recording of the iconic song. The gardens will be filled with messages of peace and love which we hope will inspire visitors as Lennon himself was inspired.”

Strawberry Field is an iconic part of Liverpool’s history, as well as an important part of the local community in Woolton. The Salvation Army has owned the site since the 1930s and ran a children’s home there until 2005. John Lennon was inspired to write ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ after climbing over the wall and playing in the grounds. For him, it was a special place which had a lasting impact on his life.

If you’d like to help you can donate here, plus there’s lots of cool merch in the official Salvos store

Beatles on the Radio – A BBC Feast Coming Up This Week

There’s a veritable feast of Beatle programming coming up this week on the BBC. In this the group’s 50th year, the broadcaster has just announced a series of programmes celebrating the life and music of the band.

First up comes “A Year in the Life: The Beatles ’62“, a 53 minute documentary which goes to air and online at 1305 GMT on Monday, 19 November 2012. In it “…Roger McGough tells the story of the pivotal breakthrough year for the Liverpool beat combo via twelve interlinked recollections from those who knew and worked alongside them in 1962.”

Then on Tuesday 20 November at 1305 GMT comes “Beatleland“. The BBC press releases says: “The Beatles left Liverpool in 1962 to conquer the world, but it never left them. Craig Charles heads home to Liverpool to find out what they took with them and the legacy they left behind. Every day, tourists visit Lennon and McCartney’s childhood homes, restored to their 1950s glory by English Heritage. From Albert Dock to Mathew Street, Beatle memorials are ever-present: Penny Lane and Strawberry Field, The Jacaranda, The Casbah and The Cavern where the group learned its trade, The Grapes and Ye Cracke, where the young Beatles would sit over a pint of cider, and Gambier Terrace, where John Lennon shared a flat with fellow art student Stu Sutcliffe. The Beatles connection is worth an estimated £20 million a year to the local economy.”

The week of special Beatles programming continues next day with “Paul McCartney at the BBC” – another 53 minute doco on Wednesday 21 November, again at 1305 GMT.  “Johnnie Walker presents a portrait of Sir Paul McCartney, drawn from BBC archive interviews and performances. The programme starts with the break-up of The Beatles and traces McCartney’s career as a solo artist up to the present. It’s made up entirely of rare BBC archive interviews and performances, and presents a fascinating picture of one of Britain’s greatest musicians. Among other treats we hear Sir Paul deconstructing Band On The Run for a television ad for a domestic radio station and recording a session at the famous Abbey Road studios.”

Finally, Thursday 22 November at 1305 GMT, you’ll be able to listen in to a special on “The Magical Mystery Tour“, a 53 minute programme about “….the television film called Magical Mystery Tour devised, written and directed by The Beatles. It has a significant place in the history of The Beatles – not least, because it was viewed by many as the group’s first failure. Paul Gambaccini presents a programme revealing the story behind the making of Magical Mystery Tour.”

 

The BBC World Service schedule for the series can be seen here. There are also some programs on the Rolling Stones if you are a fan.