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 shows jubilant celebrations at St George’s Hall as war in Europe comes to an end after six years of trauma and conflict.

It is Tuesday May 8th 1945 – much better known as VE Day.

Servicemen and women, along with scores of civilians, are dancing together. Some have even climbed on to the four stone lions that guard the hall.

Impromptu celebrations broke out across the North West as rationing and austerity, suffering and loss, were put aside for one momentous day.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill made the historic announcement of Germany’s surrender at 3.00pm. He said victory belonged to the great British nation as a whole.

Second World War
Second World War
‘The lights went out and the bombs came down. But every man, woman and child in the country had no thought of quitting the struggle,’ said Britain’s leader.

In London, King George VI and the Queen made eight appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony accompanied by a uniformed Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

The recumbent lions at St George’s Hall were created by sculptor William Grinsell Nicholl in 1855. Each was carved from a six-ton block of stone from Darley Dale quarry.

Our modern image from 2015 shows the statues from above as filming takes place for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. St George’s Hall was transformed to resemble New York in 1922.

*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 at the special price of £14.99 plus postage and packing.

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