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Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 17:45 GMT
Yoko buys Lennon's childhood home
Yoko Ono
Lennon is lending his name to Liverpool airport
John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has bought the late Beatle's childhood home and donated it to the National Trust.

Ono is believed to have paid more than 150,000 for 251 Menlove Avenue, where Lennon lived with his Aunt Mimi.

The house had been on the market for months.

There had been fears that it would go to someone who may have had little sympathy for its unique place in the history of popular music.

I think Menlove Avenue has an important place in Beatles history

Yoko Ono

At one stage, a private foreign company was understood to have been showing an interest in the property.

Lennon wrote the early Beatles hit Please Please Me at Menlove Avenue.

His teenage band, The Quarrymen, and then The Beatles, rehearsed there.

Ono gave her backing to a campaign to save the building when she visited Lennon's old school, Dovedale Primary, last year and received an honorary degree from Liverpool University.

She worked anonymously through a third party to secure the property, which she said she was "thrilled" to have acquired.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono campaigning for peace
The words of the poster come from Lennon's song Imagine

"I think Menlove Avenue has an important place in Beatles history, and it saddened me to think that it might be lost.

"The fact that this is happening in the same week that Liverpool airport is officially opened as Liverpool John Lennon airport would have made my husband very happy," she said.

Lennon once described the house as "a nice, semi-detached place with a small garden".

He wrote about a donation to the National Trust in his song Happiness is a Warm Gun on the 1968 "white" album.

The song mentions "a soap impression of his wife which he ate and donated to the National Trust".

Ono is due to meet the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Booth, on Friday in Liverpool to unveil a statue of Lennon at the renamed airport.

See also:

08 Dec 00 | Entertainment
The life of Lennon
02 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Ono unveils 'Lennon airport'
12 Jun 01 | Showbiz
Lennon's childhood house for sale
20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's piano to stay in Liverpool
06 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Yoko's anniversary peace call
18 Jan 02 | Music
Yoko Ono back in the charts
23 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Making art, not war
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