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A Peek into the pAst

This image, from a postcard posted in 1942, was probably taken from St George’s Hall plateau sometime in the 1930s and shows how one of Liverpool’s most famous streets has changed over the past ninety years or so.

On the right, all of the buildings up to the old Forum cinema have gone. On the left the same is true of the buildings up to the Crown public house, and from the Crown to the Vines public house.

Perhaps the biggest change is to the street scene. It is so busy, crowded with people, cars and especially trams – it was still the era of electric tramcars rumbling through cobbled streets.

Canning Half-Tide Dock

Probably taken in the late 1880s/early 1890s, this evocative photograph shows the Canning Half-Tide Dock when it was still the era of the sailing ship. In the background is the Custom House, built in 1839 on the site of Liverpool’s historic Old Dock. To the right, and dating from 1878, is the Albert Dock complex’s Hydraulic Pumping Station, now the Pumphouse pub.

 The image was one of many taken in the Liverpool area by Scottish photographers James Valentine & Sons; although James died in 1879, his two sons carried on the business. Their great rivals were Liverpool photographer Francis Frith and another Scottish photographer, George Washington Wilson. Some of their work will be showcased in future “Images of the Week”.