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 children having a wonderful time making sand castles while striking builders are absent from the Metropolitan Cathedral construction site.

The date is August 1963 and building workers had downed tools after their pay claim was rejected. Other major projects across Liverpool were also affected.

Not that the youngsters seemed to mind. Who needs a beach on a sunny day when you’ve got your own heap of sand near a cement mixer?

The distinctive conical form of the cathedral is just starting to take shape on Mount Pleasant with the 16 flying buttresses, now a familiar sight on the city skyline, slowly emerging.

Architect Frederick Gibberd combined steel and concrete in his striking modern design which incorporated the crypt already built in the 1930s.

World War II stopped all work on the original plans drawn up by Sir Edward Lutyens. Construction commenced again in 1962.

Gibberd envisaged 16 boomerang-shaped concrete trusses, held together by two ring beams, supporting the whole structure. The building would be 195 feet in diameter.

The flying buttresses would be attached to the trusses to give the cathedral its tent-like appearance.

The new Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was consecrated on the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday May 14th, 1967.

Gibberd’s ambitious design can be appreciated to the full in our modern image taken in August 2020.

*Unmissable wartime images from Liverpool and the North West are included in Clive Hardy’s latest hardback book The Home Front – Britain 1939-45.

It’s available for £14.99 from inostalgia.co.uk or the order hotline 01928 503777 – or get three books for 25 per cent off in iNostalgia’s Summer special promotion.