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

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Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever RSD

Thanks to a very kind reader of beatlesblogger.com (Koen in Belgium – you know who you are!), we now have an elusive, limited edition Record Store Day ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ 7-inch single re-issue.

Only 7000 copies were issue worldwide, but very few made it to Australia.

Front cover:

Rear cover (complete with original fold-over flaps):

And the RSD sticker up close:

Thanks again for sourcing and sending this to us! So good to have this in the collection.

(See also this RSD Update, and as usual, click on images above to see larger versions).

 

Massive Beatles Record Store Day Fail – An Update

Well, our initial post on Record Store Day about a fruitless early morning hunt for The Beatles ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ 7″ single and Paul McCartney’s Cassette Demos release with Elvis Costello has garnered some reaction.

On social media we’ve copped some criticism for expecting there to be a copies of at least the Beatles RSD disc in one of the largest independent record stores in Sydney, Australia – which I might add is a city of over 5 million people. The store had two copies.

Roger Stormo over at The Daily Beatle has posted an interesting comparison.

He lives in a small town near Oslo in Norway. His local local store just down the road had two copies of ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Meanwhile, in the city of Oslo itself (population 1.71 million), a friend of Roger’s said that late into Record Store Day there were still plenty Beatles singles available in two of the participating stores there. They sent him this photo from one of the locations: 

As you can see above, there was a stack of the 7″ single left. I would estimate it to be at least 40 to 50 copies. They even had multiple copies of the McCartney/Costello Cassette Demos tape still available, and this was after the store had been open for about 4-5 hours:

To quote Roger: “So it seemed there were more of these Beatles and related items in Oslo than anywhere else on the planet! How very strange. The single was supposedly pressed in only 7,000 copies and the cassette just 2,500. So how come so many of them ended up in Norway?”

Indeed. 

Meanwhile, this eBay seller reckons he can get $75.00 US for the ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ RSD single (thats about £58.00 UK, €70.00 Euros, or $100.00 Australian).

Go figure.

Massive Beatles Record Store Day Fail….

Well, what a disappointing Record Store Day 2017 we had….

The plan was reasonably good on paper:

a) get up at 6.30am; b) drive straight into the city and go to Red Eye Records, one of the largest and most respected record stores in Sydney – we’ve spent a lot of money here over the years; c) buy a copy of The Beatles 7″ ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’; d) ask if they also have the Paul McCartney/Elvis Costello Cassette Demos from Flowers In The Dirt released specially for RSD; e) if so, buy that too; f) come home happy.

What really happened:

a) got up at 6.30am; b) drove into the city (first mistake – nowhere to park); c) eventually parked away across town and had a lengthy walk to Red Eye, arriving at 7.40am; d) big crowd already there waiting for the doors to open at 8.00am, long queue stretching down the block:

e) at about 9.00am we eventually get to the counter; f) at about 9.01am we’re told that the store only got two copies of the ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’ single and that these sold long ago; g) they didn’t get any of the Cassette Demos at all; h) at 9.02am come out of the store disheartened, race down to Utopia Records nearby; i) they don’t have any copies of either title; j) race back to the car; k) drive to Newtown just outside the city, to two other participating record stores (Egg Records and Hum on King); l) no luck there either; m) drive home empty-handed, disappointed, tired and by this stage a little angry….

Firstly, how can the biggest independent record store in Sydney be allocated just two copies of the only Beatle Record Store Day release?

Secondly, now we search eBay only to see a large number of sellers who have copies of the Beatles 7″, don’t want it for their own collections, and are offering multiple copies for sale online at exorbitant prices. They are the equivalent of concert ticket scalpers, preying on the true fans.

There’s something basically wrong with Record Store Day when this sort of thing happens, don’t you think?