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Last Updated:  Thursday, 27 March, 2003, 15:04 GMT
Lennon's childhood home opens
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool
John Lennon wrote some early Beatles hits at the house
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool has been opened to the public by his widow Yoko Ono.

Lennon lived at Mendips, in Menlove Avenue, Woolton, with his Aunt Mimi from the age of five to 23.

The semi-detached house was donated to the National Trust by his widow, Yoko Ono, in March 2002.

On Thursday, Ono officially opened the semi-detached house and said that "the spirit that changed the world profoundly has been remembered in this familiar place".

The small bedroom where Lennon spent hours playing his guitar has been recreated, with 45rpm singles by Elvis Presley and a poster of The King on the wall.

Lennon and McCartney composed The Beatles' first UK number one, Please Please Me in his Aunt Mimi's bedroom.

Yoko Ono at John Lennon's childhood home, Mendips
It gives me great pleasure to see Mendips restored as a permanent memory of a place that formed him and his amazing talents
Yoko Ono

The house is close to his childhood haunt Strawberry Field - a Salvation Army children's home that he later immortalised in a song.

Lennon often practised his guitar in the front porch while his early band, The Quarrymen, and later The Beatles, also rehearsed there.

"John was a uniquely brilliant man," Ono said.

"And it gives me great pleasure to see Mendips restored as a permanent memory of a place that formed him and his amazing talents."

Ono asked that the house be preserved as it was when Lennon lived there so people can glimpse the early experiences that helped inspire his genius.

Culture 'icon'

Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, said it was "extraordinary and exciting" to have Lennon's home finally opened to the public.

She said: "John Lennon is an icon of the 20th century popular culture.

"Through his music and words John touched the lives of millions of people and it is exciting for us to be able to present the place in which it all began."

Speaking at the ceremony, Ono also attacked the current war in Iraq, saying she was sure her husband would have been "totally upset" with the "terrible" situation.

She said: "There's tension in the world with people who believe in solving things through violence and there are other people who are really upset about this."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Yoko Ono speaks to BBC Radio Merseyside
"It's a very emotional thing to do..."



SEE ALSO:
Yoko buys Lennon's childhood home
14 Mar 02  |  Entertainment
The life of Lennon
08 Dec 00  |  Entertainment
Ono unveils 'Lennon airport'
02 Jul 01  |  Entertainment
Lennon's childhood house for sale
12 Jun 01  |  Entertainment
Lennon's piano to stay in Liverpool
20 Oct 00  |  Entertainment
Yoko's anniversary peace call
06 Dec 00  |  Entertainment


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