Liver­pool Docks: A Short His­tory

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE GUIDE - by David Paul

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.

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