Hardly recognisable now, this scene at the junction of Hanover Street and College Lane was taken by a photographer from the City Engineer and Surveyor’s Department on 27th July 1958. To the left the street snakes down towards Duke Street, Canning Place and Wapping. To the right, College Lane leads to Paradise Street. The majority of what you can see now forms part of the giant Liverpool ONE development. However, a few of the old buildings on the left of College Lane still exist, one of which is a barber’s shop; to the right, you can see the rear entrance of Bluecoat Chambers. At the top of the street is an old fashioned gas lamp: at that time the Corporation employed some 600 lamplighters at its depot in Highfield Street but their days were numbered.
The photograph was taken for a particular reason. Hanover Street was part of a proposed “Inner Ring Road” scheme, that later morphed into grandiose plans for a “Liverpool Inner Motorway” that would link to the M62 and the Birkenhead and Wallasey Mersey Tunnels, although the latter only materialised in 1972. Those plans were formalised in 1962 in planning consultant Graeme Shankland’s innocuous-sounding ‘Report No.7’. The motorway would be built mostly above and below ground and even doughnut-like through buildings. Happily, this pie in the sky scheme never materialised although bits of the grand plan can still be seen today e.g. Leeds Street.