Strawberry Field service to give thanks for new bandstand
published on 7 Sep 2023
The Salvation Army’s iconic Strawberry Field attraction in Liverpool publicly thanked its benefactor and music icon, Cliff Cooper, CEO of Orange Amps, at a ceremony on 2 September in which he was honoured for his generous donation of a new bandstand to the visitor attraction.
Cliff was joined by Commissioners Anthony and Gill Cotterill, Territorial Leaders of The Salvation Army, and the Liverpool Walton Salvation Army Band for the special dedication service.
Strawberry Field’s eye-catching bandstand is a striking new addition to the south Liverpool visitor attraction, shaped as a giant bass drum inspired by The Beatles’ iconic album cover, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, and referencing The Salvation Army and its marching bands. The bandstand’s floor is covered by a circular mosaic inspired by the ‘Imagine’ mosaic in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields in New York, with its interior walls decorated by a large mural by renowned pop artist, James Wilkinson, depicting the legacy and importance of The Salvation Army’s work, John Lennon and the legendary song, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever.’
Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland, said:
“Many people will think of a Salvation Army dedication service as a way to give thanks to God for the birth of a new baby. This dedication was about giving thanks to God for the generosity of our Strawberry Field patron, Cliff Cooper, who gave birth to the idea of the bandstand, and has managed the project to create what is now a unique visitor attraction.
Major Kathleen Versfeld, Mission Director at Strawberry Field, said:
"Thanks to Cliff and his generous donation, live music in the Strawberry Field gardens - the place where John Lennon once sought sanctuary and experienced one of his earliest musical moments hearing The Salvation Army band play has been taken to a whole new level, on a bandstand that is like no other in the world. This is a new platform for emerging talent to shine and established artists to support our good work, building on both the legacy of John Lennon and The Salvation Army at this special place.”
Cliff Cooper, CEO of Orange Amps and honorary patron of Strawberry Field, said:
“As a patron, I thought of ideas of how I could help, and how building a bandstand would bring music back to Strawberry Field - the place where John had some of his first musical experiences. It took three years to build and already the bandstand is bringing much joy to visitors of all ages.
"I look forward to seeing the continuance of John Lennon’s legacy, promoting peace and love in the world, an ethos which also reflects the selfless dedication of The Salvation Army, whose people devote their lives to helping others who are in need and less fortunate than ourselves."
Strawberry Field is a visitor attraction in Liverpool, located at the iconic site immortalised by John Lennon in The Beatles' hit, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. Telling the story of The Salvation Army’s children home which opened here in 1936 and the connection to John Lennon's childhood, as well as the writing and recording of the iconic song, the attraction is home to an interactive visitor exhibition which includes the actual ‘Imagine piano’, the original red gates, and the peaceful gardens where John played, climbed trees and dreamed as a child.