The gates at Liverpool's Strawberry Field orphanage, the building that inspired the Beatles tune “Strawberry Fields Forever,” are back to red again thanks to a Liverpool tour operator who took up the painting himself but isn't getting any thanks from the owner of the property, he told Beatles Examiner Sept. 4.
Joseph Lyons of Hard Day's Night Tours in Liverpool said he decided to put the fence back the way it was supposed to be because the owner, the Salvation Army, didn't do it themselves a week after it was painted yellow by a vandal.
“Painting the gates yellow is a act of vandalism. Painting the red is restoring them,” he told us by email. “The fans from all round the world are upset with damage. All we do is apologize for the yellow paint. Why has it (taken) them one week to speak about them?”
The Liverpool Echo reported Sept. 4 that the Salvation Army was displeased at Lyons' work. They told the paper, “While we understand the motivation of the individual who painted the replica gates to Strawberry Field, we are very disappointed that they have been vandalized again. We will be restoring the replica gates, which were installed in 2011 to protect the original gates from damage, to their original condition as soon as possible. We will assist the police in any investigations they wish to conduct into these incidents.”
The gates were found defaced on Aug. 29 after a person who police have not yet found put yellow paint on part of the gates and added a message to a nearby wall saying the paint job would have been something John Lennon would have appreciated.
Lyons said he was amazed at the Salvation Army's reaction.
"To be honest the Salvation Army have got a cheek. I have just emailed them," Lyon said. "I feel at this moment that are acting like fools. My phone hasn't stopped ringing. They are all saying the same thing that they can't believe what the Salvation Army are saying (and) how petty they are."
(Thanks to Jackie Spencer of BeatleGuides.com for the picture of the repainted gates.)
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