The Great Mersey Liners

Paperback / softback
The LDP&E's Great Liverpool Liners book harks back to the last decades of the golden era when the Mersey was on the crest of the waves that Britannia ruled. It was a time when the Mersey and its men and women were at the hub of an astonishing web of trade routes that stretched out across the globe, when Liverpool by definition was a world-class city, when secondary school pupils were routinely taught Spanish to get jobs on the South American bound liners. Imagine the opportunity for travel when, a mere taxi-ride away laden with steamer trunks, anybody with the fare could board ocean liners at Liverpool's Princes Landing Stage, adjacent to the Pier Head.These passenger ships were bound for Latin America, but also the Caribbean, Canada, India, the Far East, Madeira, Portugal, Spain and the US. The names of the ships still romantically resonate down the years: Accra, Apapa and the lovely yacht-like Aureol; Reina del Mar, Britannic Mauretania, Sylvania, Carinthia, Voltaire and Van Dyck. An epoch when still reigning were the Empresses of Britain, England, Canada, France and Scotland. Likewise their owners conjure up a lost world: Booth, Blue Funnel, Blue Star, Cunard, Canadian Pacific, Ellerman City, Furness Withy, Pacific Steam Navigation and White Star. This world was an oyster not just for passengers, but for young men and women keen to see the world at a time when mass air travel was a distant promise.These circumstances led to Liverpool gaining a worldliness, a classic seaport's outward looking character that made all of its inhabitants appear more savvy than other, less blessed landlocked cities. It also had a hugely positive effect across Merseyside with so many companies and services related to the liner trade from laundry services to the Adelphi Hotel servicing the demands of exacting first class passengers in transit. But as some of these photographs indicate, the sea winds of change were already gathering and the liner trade was about to suffer the double-blow of the arrival of the jet-airliner and severe industrial strife. It was a hammering from which the Mersey's liner traffic never recovered and this loss changed the city for ever. So sit back and enjoy the memory of this exciting, glamorous era thanks to the marvelous efforts of the Liverpool Post & Echo's terrific photographers without whom this volume would not be possible.