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.
Following last week’s photo of children playing in Liverpool’s Chinatown, we focus today on Pitt Street and one of the earliest grocers in the city to specialise in Chinese food.
Our main image, which dates from November 1937, shows the Kwong Shang Lung store and neighbouring restaurant at the heart of the Chinese community.
The people standing on the pavement could not have imagined that the buildings around them would be destroyed a few years later by Luftwaffe bombs in the Liverpool Blitz.
Pitt Street and Cleveland Square were particularly badly hit as Liverpool docks were targeted night after night in May 1941. Thirty people were killed at 14 Pitt Street alone.
During World War II, Pitt Street with its restaurants and shops became a haven for seamen from around the world spending shore leave in Liverpool.
They joined a Chinese community that had grown since the second half of the 19th century when the Blue Funnel Line operated routes between Hong Kong, Shanghai and Liverpool.
Pitt Street today looks very different. After the destruction of 1941, the centre of the Chinese community moved to Nelson Street and modern homes were built where shops once sold their wares.
But the Chinese influence still remains. The Liverpool Chinese Gospel Church is situated just up the road on Upper Pitt Street and the spectacular 44 foot high Chinese Imperial Arch dominates nearby Nelson Street.
It supports five roofs and no less than 200 dragons as a symbol of the concord between Liverpool and its twin city Shanghai.
*Many more images from Then and Now will feature in a brilliant new book from publishers iNostalgia. Watch out for more details soon.