Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

Our main image this week shows a historic moment for Liverpool’s Gladstone Dock – the arrival of the first ship to berth there in December 1927.

The vessel was the 19,000-ton White Star liner Albertic which served the trans-Atlantic run between Britain, Canada and the United States.

Built in Germany and launched just after World War One, the Albertic was handed over to the British Government as part of war reparations and sold to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company.

The ship’s original name was the Munchen, but was then called the Ohio. The name changed again to Albertic when the White Star Line acquired the ship in 1927.

Gladstone Dock, circa 1927
Dockers loading a ship at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool, 1965.Dockers loading a ship at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool, 1965.
Albertic was scrapped in 1934 when Cunard decided to replace older White Star Line ships with the larger RMS Queen Mary.

The Gladstone Dock is named after Liverpool merchant Robert Gladstone, a second cousin of Prime Minister William Gladstone. It was eventually completed in 1927.

The Graving Dock, which could be flooded and drained to work on ships, was opened earlier in 1913. It was designed to accommodate the largest liners of the time, but has since been converted into a wet dock.

At the outbreak of the First World War in 1918, the liner Aquitania was converted for war service in the graving dock after arriving for repairs. Minesweepers and Atlantic convoy escorts were based at the dock during World War II.

Our second image shows Gladstone Dock fully operational in August 1965.