Yoko Ono tells why she gave John Lennon's childhood home to Britain

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The Independent Online

Yoko Ono called in at her late husband's childhood home in Liverpool yesterday and revealed why she has bought the three-bed semi for Britain.

Ms Ono, who also unveiled a bronze sculpture of the former Beatle at the newly-named Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said she had been appalled by a developer's plan to buy the house and make a honeymoon suite out of his bedroom – where he composed Please Please Me. "There was a rumour – no, a reality – that some commercial people wanted to buy it [so] people could sleep in John's bed. I thought: 'horrible'," said Ms Ono, at the house in Menlove Avenue in Liverpool's southern suburbs. She has turned the house over to the National Trust for likely restoration in the 1950s style Lennon would have remembered it by.

"It's a bit emotional," said Ms Ono. "In his childhood he was [here], dreaming about what he was going to be. He has told me so many stories."

Ms Ono's gesture had coincided with her appearance with the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Booth, to unveil the bronze of her late husband at the airport. It forms an important part of her rehabilitation in Liverpool, where many still blame her for breaking up the marriage of John and Cynthia Lennon, splitting up The Beatles and spiriting him away.

If Ms Booth, brought to live in Liverpool at the age of six weeks, harboured a Liverpudlian resentment at the loss of Lennon, whom she confessed to having adored, she wasn't betraying it. "I've wanted to meet you ever since, as a teenager, I saw you with a hero of mine on the television," she said. "You and I [also] share the belief in the power of women to make a difference in this world."

To locals, the vital importance of the airport is cheap EasyJet services to the continent. But, by a fairly convoluted logic, Ms Yoko nurtured deeper aspirations. "The airport will promote the growth in communications [which]... will lead to understanding, and understanding will create love and peace," she said.

Amid the fussy ceremonials that Lennon would have hated, it was a sentiment he would doubtless have enjoyed.