The childhood home of late BEATLE John Lennon has been officially opened to the public today (27MAR03).

Lennon's wife Yoko Ono bought MENDIPS, on Menlove Avenue in Liverpool, when the previous owner died.

She has donated it to Britain's NATIONAL TRUST to preserve it for the general public, and it has been restored to its original state when Lennon lived there with his aunt MIMI from the age of five to 23.

Ono said at the opening ceremony, "It's so magic to be here. The spirit that changed the world profoundly has been remembered in this familiar place.

"John was a uniquely brilliant man. And it gives me great pleasure to see Mendips restored as a permanent memory of a place that formed him and his amazing talents."

A young John wrote many of the Beatles early hits in the semi-detached house, and it has long been a popular visiting spot for Fab Four fans.

However, it has never been open to members of the public - until now.

Ono also attacked the current war on Iraq at the event, saying she was sure Lennon would have been against the conflict.

She adds, "There's tension in the world with people who believe in solving things through violence and there are other people who are really upset about this."