Liverpool Docks: A Short History
Reading this book was like bein ng propelled bac ck to my Liverpool childhood during the 70s and 80s, when we wer re taught how the docks had made the city great, while seeing them run-down and abandoned – the contrast was enormous. David Paul does a great job of explaining it all here: how Liverpool grew as a port, how she courted and won the great shipping companies of the 19th century and became a victim of her own bloated success. He makes the politics behind the rise and spectacular decline easy to understand. The huge investments in the almost militaristic architecture on the waterfront and the resentment that grew between Liverpool and neighbouring Manchester and Birkenhead as all the spoils seemed headed towards Liverpool are all explained well. He details Liverpool’s wartime experience when she was targeted by bombers simply for being a successful port. Liverpool’s strategic position also made her home to the Western Approaches Command during the Second World War, in charge of the entire system of convoys – a fact which many in the city are unaware of today. At 190 pages this short history is not actually that short and is beautifully illustrated throughout.