Welcome to Then and Now, a fascinating new feature from the pages of the Liverpool Echo that compares streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today.

Every week we’ll publish an original image from the archive, along with memories and stories about each location, along with the same view in 2019. We’ll welcome your recollections too.

These pictures, along with many more, will then form part of a brilliant new book capturing the past and present of Merseyside from the start of the photographic age right through to the 1970s and 80s.

We will release more details of the book soon, but in the meantime we hope you’ll enjoy this weekly addition to our website. The series starts next week.

As a taster, Past Life this week focuses on four photos dating from 1950 to 1962, starting with the rapturous welcome fans gave the Liverpool team returning from the FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Believe it or not, the Reds lost! Imagine the size of the crowd if they’d won!

Football fans welcome home the Liverpool team at Lime Street Station, May 1950

Football fans welcome home the Liverpool team at Lime Street Station, May 1950

More than 20,000 surrounded Lime Street Station in early May 1950 to cheer home their heroes after their 2-0 defeat by Arsenal. Both goals were scored by inside forward Reg Lewis.

Liverpool had dropped future manager Bob Paisley for the match, even though the defender had rattled in both goals in the Reds’ 2-0 semi-final victory against Everton at Maine Road, Manchester.

In the Arsenal team were England cricketer Denis Compton, playing at outside forward, and his brother Leslie at centre half.

The wall of fans outside Lime Street Station is so deep that the team buses are struggling to get past the familiar façade of the Liverpool Empire Theatre. The police are doing their best to carve out a route!

Lime Street Station also features in our 1962 photograph of traffic coming to a standstill as vehicles queue to enter the Queensway Tunnel for Birkenhead.

Cars, buses, vans and lorries all jostle for position outside the Royal Hotel, just in front of the station entrance. Liverpool certainly has far more lane markings and road signs today!

Traffic outside Lime Street Station queuing to enter the Queensway Tunnel, April 1962

Traffic outside Lime Street Station queuing to enter the Queensway Tunnel, April 1962

Lime Street Station itself holds the unique distinction of being the oldest grand terminus mainline station in the world. Opened in August 1836, it sat at the end of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company’s direct line to London Euston.

The station proved so popular that it needed to be extended in 1849 and again in 1867 when the present northern arched train shed was built. When completed, it was the largest iron structure of its kind in the world, spanning 200 feet.

The Concourse House office tower block stood outside the southern train shed from the 1960s until 2010, when it was demolished.

Smaller in size than Lime Street, but no less busy, was Liverpool Central Station opened in March 1874. It was the end of the Cheshire Lines Committee railway to Manchester Central.

Buses in Ranelagh Street in front of Liverpool Central Station, February 1960

Buses in Ranelagh Street in front of Liverpool Central Station, February 1960

The three-storey building on Ranelagh Street fronted a 65ft high arched iron and glass train shed. Our image shows it in 1960.

The station was demolished in 1973, but some buildings remained as work went ahead on the Merseyrail underground station. The site occupied by the train shed is now part of the Central Village development.

Our final image shows Church Street in 1962, with shoppers hunting for a bargain outside Marks and Spencers. Next door are well-known furriers Swears and Wells.

Shoppers hunt for a bargain in Church Street, January 1962

Shoppers hunt for a bargain in Church Street, January 1962

Church Street is still the city’s prime shopping area. On the south side is the Liverpool One residential, leisure and retail complex.

The street gets its name from the former St Peter’s church, consecrated in 1704 and demolished in 1923.