Joey Lyons, who runs the popular Hard Day’s Night taxi tours, seized the initiative by buying three pots of red paint – and restoring the replica gates to their former colour himself.
But the Salvation Army, which owns the site, was less than impressed with Joey’s solo effort, calling it “vandalism.”
Joey said he felt he had to do something after seeing how upset visitors were when they saw the iconic gates – made famous by the John Lennon-penned Beatles classic Strawberry Fields Forever – painted partially yellow, along with an adjacent wall.
Lennon was inspired to write the song by his childhood memories of the former Strawberry Field childrens’ home in Woolton.
Joey said: “I acted on impulse after I was in a shop and saw three tins of pillar-box red paint for sale for just a quid each. I bought them and went straight up there and painted the gates the right colour.
“It took me over an hour and I was expecting to see the blue police lights flashing at any minute.
“Neighbours who were out walking their dogs were saying ‘good on you.’”
Joey, who has been running his taxi tours for the past five years, taking visitors from all over the world on a three-hour trip around the city’s Beatles landmarks.
He said “With the money that’s generated in the city by the Beatles, I didn’t think it was fair that nothing had been done to re-paint the gates for a week.
“I see the gates every day and customers were upset they had been defaced."
He added: “I give taxi tours to Beatles fans who have travelled from all round the world, and one of the first things they ask me is whether we are going to Strawberry Fields.
“I felt it was unfair on those who came half-way around the world to see the entrance in that state.”
A spokesman for the Salvation Army said: “While we understand the motivation of the individual who painted the replica gates to Strawberry Field, we are very disappointed that they have been vandalised 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.”
By Alan Weston