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 powerful main image this week shows the familiar frontage of Blacklers department store severely damaged in the Liverpool Blitz of May 1941.
Windows are blown out and smoke is still rising from the charred ground floor of the building at the corner of Elliot Street and Great Charlotte Street.
Blacklers was founded by business partners Richard John Blackler and A.B. Wallis at the start of the 20th century. The store was so badly damaged in 1941 that trading moved to shops in Church Street and Bold Street until 1953.
Blacklers traded for three more decades until it finally closed in April 1983. The building now houses the Richard John Blackler pub, named after the founder.
The store features in the Beatles’ story as Pete Best’s mother Mona bought her son’s drum kit from the music department – and John Lennon worked there as an apprentice electrician in the late 1950s.
Many will have fond childhood memories of the beautifully decorated Blacklers Christmas grotto, which was always a highspot of the festive season.
Former shoppers will also recall the store’s rocking horse Blackie, now at the Museum of Liverpool.
During World War II, Liverpool was the most heavily bombed city outside London. The port was frequently targeted by the Luftwaffe.
The Liverpool Blitz, from May 1st to May 7th 1941, saw 2,315 high explosive bombs and 119 incendiary devices dropped on the city. There were 2,895 casualties and 69 out of the 144 cargo berths in the docks were put out of action.
*Many more images from Then and Now will feature in a brilliant new book from publishers iNostalgia. Watch out for more details soon.