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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 10:57 GMT
Beatles' Strawberry Field to shut
Strawberry Field
The home was immortalised by John Lennon's song of 1967
The Strawberry Field children's home immortalised by The Beatles is to close, The Salvation Army has said.

The site in Woolton, Liverpool, was made famous when John Lennon wrote the song Strawberry Fields Forever after playing there as a child.

The three children currently living at the Beaconsfield Road home are to be placed in foster care.

Marion Drew, of The Salvation Army in the North West, said the home was "responding to change".

In a statement the group said the closure reflected a change in approach in looking after children in local authority care.

John Lennon
As a child, John Lennon played at the site of the home
"It is now preferable for children to be cared for within a foster family or in a small group home, rather than within large residential institutions," it said.

"Care for young people has moved on significantly and we are responding to that change."

Ms Drew said there were "no plans at all" for the site.

She told BBC News: "We felt it was not a good idea to be looking into that until we have actually been clear on the care of the children we've currently got and the staff that we currently have.

"Those have been our priorities and so we have no plans at all, and we're not in any discussions about anything at the moment.

Favourite haunt

"What we would like to do though, is to commit ourselves long term to the care of children and their families in the city, in whatever form that is going to take."

The home is due to close in May 2007.

The building was a favourite haunt of John Lennon in his childhood, and was saved from closure in 1984 by a cash donation from his widow Yoko Ono.

The Salvation Army said it hoped to redeploy staff, but could not rule out redundancies.

Strawberry Fields Forever, a double A-side with Penny Lane, reached number two in the UK singles chart in February 1967, being kept off the top spot by Engelbert Humperdinck's Release Me.

Strawberry Fields also gave its name to a memorial to Lennon in New York's Central Park. Lennon was murdered near his Manhattan home in 1980 by Mark Chapman, a deranged fan.

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