Vintage Film & Old Photos Of Liverpool

Liverpool History through vintage film and old photos of Liverpool

Glimpse history through old images of Liverpool, England.

Vintage film and old photos of Liverpool bring the Merseyside city’s history to life. The facts about Liverpool history, including the impact of poverty and child welfare, gain new meaning when you see barefoot children standing in the street.

Although King John’s letters patent of 1207 announced the foundation of the borough of Liverpool, the population remained low for many centuries. Liverpool gained city status in 1880, following 50 years of significant growth, and its university opened a year later.

The population in Liverpool in 1901 was 700,000 people. Today, the city is home to less than half a million residents, despite the English population having more than doubled.

Liverpool’s Barefoot Children

Old photos of Liverpool’s barefoot children reminds us how harsh childhood was for poverty stricken kids whose families could not afford shoes, yet alone decent family homes.

You’ll notice nearly all the older adults were women, and they were often photographed in institutions. From Edwin Chadwick’s seminal ‘Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Poor’ in 1842 to the 2018 study performed by Mark A Green, Danny Dorling and Richard Mitchell, Liverpool’s life expectancy rates remain low in comparison with prosperous areas.

Barefoot Liverpool, poor and poverty – Our Scouse Family on YouTube

The 20th Century

Enjoy an interesting collection of old photos showing Liverpool across the early twentieth century.

From the horses and carts of the 1900s, the trams of the 1950s, through to the green buses of the 1970s, familiar streets are given a new context. 

There’s a traffic policeman standing at his station in the 1960s, while Lime Street’s The Futurist is showing “Demetrius and the Gladiators”. Hundreds of people appear on screen, along with many shops and businesses. The Everyman Theatre has quite a crowd waiting in line.

Liverpool Memories. Let’s Go Down Town. Liverpool City Centre.: Tom Brown on YouTube

Riots in Liverpool (1919)

In 1919, a police strike led to riots. The silent, black and white footage shows men marching along the road, watched by groups of children, and some shots of people and horse driven carriages along the street, plus a couple of soldiers walking along with guns on their backs.

Police strike leads to riots in Liverpool (1919) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool in the 1920s

Unionist Conference At Liverpool (1921) – British Pathé on YouTube

TRANSPORT: Liverpool’s first Motor Cycle Taxi (1921) – British Pathé on YouTube

In 1924, Britain’s biggest Cathedral was consecrated. King George V and Queen Mary attended the ceremonial events.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (1924) – British Pathé on YouTube

TRANSPORT: Opening of Liverpool tram depot by Colonel Wilfrid Ashley (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube

New Archbishop Of Liverpool (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube

INDUSTRY: Factory chimney felled in Liverpool (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool’s “Old Contemptibles” (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube

Trafalgar Day In Liverpool (1929)- British Pathé on YouTube

Liver Building – Liverpool (1920-1929) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool in the 1930s

Cities Of Britain – Liverpool No. 2 (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube

Cities Of Britain No. 2 – Liverpool Aka Liverpool – Scenes Of City & Its Surroundings (1931) – British Pathé on YouTube

S-O-S! “Save Our Southern!” (1932) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool’s New Flats (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube

Jubilee Liverpool (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube

Centenary parade in Liverpool (1936) – British Pathé on YouTube

First Mass Celebrated In Liverpool Cathedral Crypt (1937) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool in the 1940s

Liverpool – Hospital Fund Raising (1948) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool in the 1950s


In 1957, the Queen Mother visited the city.

Liverpool – Queen Mother’s Visit (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube


Prince Philip Visits Liverpool To Open Mersey Mission (1958) – British Pathé on YouTube


Footage of the city was recorded in 1959.

Hometown – Liverpool (1959)- British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool in the 1960s


The opening of the Tuebrook Bowl was so exciting the newsreel cameras turned up! The purpose-built facility for this new leisure craze was constructed on stilts over the ABC cinema car park.

There’s someone standing in the control room to stop people playing when their time is up. 1960s film & TV starlets Kim Tracey, Pauline Shepherd and Dorinda Stevens then start bowling.

Another Home For Tenpin Aka New Bowling Alley For Liverpool (1962) – British Pathé on YouTube


The Mersey Sound Aka Liverpool – Home Of The Mersey Sound (1964) – British Pathé on YouTube


Factory Nursery In Liverpool (1965) – British Pathé on YouTube


In 1966, construction of the new Roman Catholic Cathedral was nearing completion. It was hoped the durable materials would see the place of worship last for 500 years, and the space allow vast congregations. The structure included an underground car park.

The initial budgeted cost of £1 million had become unrealistic, despite being such a vast sum for the age.

Liverpool Cathedral Progress (1966) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool in the 1970s

On several occasions through the 1970s, British Pathé and Thames TV recorded stock images and reported on issues affecting local communities.


1970s Liverpool | Poverty | Education priority areas | Teaching in the 70s | This Week | 1971 – ThamesTV on YouTube

1970s Liverpool | Deprivation | Terrace houses | Derelict housing | Demolition | This Week | 1971 – ThamesTV on YouTube

Liverpool Free School | Should education be compulsory? | British Schools | This week | 1971- ThamesTV on YouTube

1970’s Liverpool | Liverpool | England | Fusion | 1971- ThamesTV on YouTube


Racial Tension |Liverpool | 1972 – ThamesTV on YouTube

Liverpool In 1972 – Colour (1972) – British Pathé on YouTube


Liverpool (1974) – British Pathé on YouTube


Liverpool Strikes | Trade unions | Striking workers | 1970s Liverpool | Have your Say | 1978 – ThamesTV on YouTube


Children Of Liverpool (1970-1979) – British Pathé on YouTube

Liverpool in the 1980s


When the famous Meccano brand closed its factory in 1980, the 940 local workers received just 40 minutes notice that they were losing their livelihoods.

1980’s Liverpool | Mersey Ferry | Wish you were here | 1980 – ThamesTV on YouTube

Meccano factory | Factory Closures | Trade Unions | Derek Hatton | Inside Business | 1980 – ThamesTV on YouTube


Liverpool | 1980s Liverpool | Liverpool Cathedral | Visions | 1989 – ThamesTV on YouTube

Liverpool from the 1970s Onwards

Enjoy this video as it takes you back in time to the Liverpool of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. It’s a Pleasures Past Production produced by Angus Tilston, whic includes

  • Liverpool Victorian Days 1897 – 1920s
  • Liverpool Memories of a Vibrant City 1920s – 1930s
  • Liverpool Echoes of the 1940s – 1950s
  • Liverpool The Swinging Sixties

Sometimes that involves a bit of morris dancing, a Punch and Judy show, or sitting in a long line on a bench watching the world go by. It was a surprise to see so many people walk through the Liverpool – Wallasley bridge before it opened to the traffic.

Monty Lister’s narrative is highly informative, explaining so much about the people and places on screen that could easily be lost to history.

The final scenes show celebratory events in the city to mark the Year 2000.

Liverpool in the 70s 80s 90s: Madmont on YouTube

More about Merseyside

Perhaps there are other areas of England you’d like to discover?

Take a look at the sitemap of England to see the available pages.

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