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

Our main image this week is a classic wintry scene at Sefton Park in January 1963. The lake has frozen over in one of the harshest winters on record, but an overnight fall of snow has ruined any chances of skating.

Instead, people are taking advantage of the opportunity to walk on the lake – something the Parks Department has allowed for the first time in 15 years.

Sefton Park was opened on May 20th 1872 by Prince Arthur. It was designed by French landscape architect Edouard Andre and Liverpool architect Lewis Hornblower.

Ornate shelters and boathouses were part of Hornblower’s plans. Waterfalls and pools with stepping stones were also included.

Today, circular and oval footpaths, a feature of the park’s green spaces, lead to the seven-acre lake fed by two natural watercourses.

Victorian buildings and Edwardian houses line the park’s perimeter. The iron bridge was constructed in 1873.

Major improvements to the park were carried out in 1983 ahead of the prestigious International Garden Festival opened by the Queen in May 1984. The event was a huge success, attracting 3,380,000 visitors to the city.

Sefton Park was dubbed the Hyde Park of the North due to its riding areas or gallops. Locally it was called The Jockey Sands.

Our modern image, taken during lockdown in November last year, shows people enjoying the seasonal sunshine while socially distancing from others around the lake.

*Hundreds of pictures from an unforgettable decade are packed into Clive Hardy’s fascinating book Around Merseyside in the 1960s. It’s available at £9.99 plus postage and packaging.

Just go to inostalgia.co.uk to place your order or ring the hotline on 01928 503777.