Liverpool may have dramatically changed over the years – but one thing has remained the same and that’s the city’s festive spirit. As the jolly holly season is officially here, we thought it was high time to show 31 amazing Christmas photos of Liverpool throughout the years.
Liverpool’s Sefton Park is one of the city’s most beautiful gems, and this photo of the cafe in the park was taken circa 1900, offering visitors a comfortable place to warm up after a stroll in the snowy setting.
The above photograph was taken outside Coopers on Church Street back in the 1930s. Coopers was a luxurious food store that was quite popular during the festive season, and was the equivalent to Fortnum & Masons.
However, its popularity didn’t last following the emergence of supermarkets, and so Coopers closed its doors in the 1970s to be replaced with WH Smiths, with the building now serving as River Island.
Anderson shelters were installed in homes in vulnerable areas of Merseyside during World War II. Here a young child sleeps in a small, festive Anderson shelter in December 1940.
The shelters were designed to fit up to 6 people at a squeeze and would become cold and draughty once they were sealed. Due to the lack of warmth and air, many people opted to only use their shelters as soon as the air raid siren was sounded.
The Salvation Army band filled the city with seasonal cheer on 20th December 1954, as their carol singers sang underneath the Christmas tree on St George’s Hall plateau, and you can even see Lime Street Station in the background.
Back on 20th December 1955, the children of Liverpool could visit Father Christmas at Santa’s grotto at the Fairyland. It truly was a winter wonderland, as snow fell onto the festive hut, as well as the Christmas tree and sleigh in the background.
Call us biased but we think Liverpool is one of the most beautiful cities on the planet – and it looks even better during Christmastime. A perfect example is this photo that was captured on 25th November 1962, with a double decker bus on its way to Green Lane.
Lewis’s Department Store was once the place to go when the festive season reared its merry head, but it sadly closed its doors once in 2010, after 114 years of trading in the city. Not only did Lewis’s offer everyone’s Christmas presents all under one roof, but it was also the home of the world’s very first Christmas grotto, with people visiting Santa Claus for the first time at the department store.
The above snap was taken in Lewis’s on 2nd December 1966, as festive shoppers made their way through the busy crowds to find gifts for their loved ones.
We don’t know what we love more about this photo: the amazing street decorations or the retro cars. We’re also pretty surprised to see cars driving down Church Street.
One thing has never changed over the years, and that’s the popularity of Liverpool’s Church Street, which is as busier than ever before. This photo was snapped on 22nd November 1968, with busy shoppers looking to bag a bargain on the high street.
Floral flowers and illuminated angels were the festive theme on Bold Street in 1972, as shoppers shopped at stores lined across one of Liverpool’s most loved streets. Take a look at more historic photos of Bold Street.
Christmas started in Liverpool’s Church Street as early as 29th October 1976, as this photo proves. Here the city’s lighting engineers began putting up the Christmas decorations to get the city into the festive spirit.
Sefton Park is one of the best attractions in Liverpool, and offers a number of superb events each and every month. Many people will remember the pirate ship in the water, which was sadly left to rot during the 1980s and removed from the park sometime in the 1990s. So, for those of you who never got to experience it, just take in the beauty of the remarkable pirate ship during winter 1979.
The 1985 scene doesn’t look much different to nowadays, does it? 20 years ago, it looked as though the whole of the city turned out to enjoy a bit of festive shopping, watch some Christmas entertainment from the stage or take in the bright lights on the high street’s Christmas tree.
Take yourself back nearly 20 years ago with this amazing photo of Liverpool city centre in Christmas 1986. Apart from the dodgy perms, you can see heart-warming festive decorations, as well as stores that no longer feature on the city’s street, such as Littlewoods.
It looks as though the whole city turned out to see the Christmas lights turned on at Church Street on 27th November 1986 – and offers a different angle of the street from the early photo taken the same year.
People flock to the city centre to experience the wonder of the Christmas markets – and you only have to take a look at this photo, taken on 14th December 1987, to see how much the markets have improved.
Liverpool city centre is currently bursting with activity, with people flocking to the shops to buy the perfect gift for their loved ones – and the scene doesn’t look that much different from the one taken back in 1988.
Mother and daughter enjoy a spot of late night festive shopping in Liverpool city centre on 22nd November 1991. Here Mrs Vanda McDonough and her daughter Chloe take in the beauty of the festive lights on Church Street.
Clayton Square was once a magical place during the Christmas holiday, with all sorts of decorative characters adorning the shopping centre. The above photograph was taken back in 1991, when the centre turned into a truly remarkable winter wonderland.
Christmas is a magical time for the young, and you can see the wonder on the little ones’ faces as they stand taking in the Christmas lights on Church Street, back on 19th November 1993. We’re loving the kids’ retro coats, which are just as colourful as the decorations.
Many Liverpudlians turned out to see the Christmas tree lights turned on at Church Street back in 1995. One thing that’s more colourful than the festive decorations has to be the C&A sign, which was once a staple shop on the high street store before it closed its doors five years later in 2000.
The Liverpool Anglican Cathedral has to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the city – and its architecture is wonderfully accentuated during the festive season. In 1997, the public turned up to watch a traditional nativity performance, telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Church Street Christmas tree took a rather peculiar turn in 1998, by the looks of it. The public could experience the tree by taking a walk inside. We think it’s pretty fair to say the tree looks a whole lot different nowadays – thankfully!
The Albert Dock offers plenty of festive fun for the city – and the Christmas tree on Chavasse Park brought a touch of colour to the city in 1999. You have to admit, the tree looks a whole lot better than the one erected in Church Street in 1998, and once again in 1999!
The nativity lights came to Liverpool’s high street in 2004 – and if you look a bit down the quiet road, you can spot the Church Street Christmas tree with blue lights.
Liverpool doesn’t do events by halves – and that’s why the switching of the Christmas lights in 2006 was particularly colourful with a firework display outside St George’s Hall.
Rain couldn’t deter festive shoppers during Christmas 2007, as they made their way to and from shops, taking in the festive lights as they went.
St George’s Hall looks magnificent every single day of the year – but more so when it was covered in snow in 2009. The view was emphasize with beautiful lights, with two gorgeous blue Christmas trees flanking the building.
Santa came to Liverpool in 2013, along with the Christmas markets. Thousands of people headed to the city centre to splash the cash on some festive gifts for their loved ones, making their way through the busy crowds. Some things never change, hey!
Adults and children turned out to see the amazing lantern parade across the city centre, with famous characters depicted for the Christmas season. Children’s faces lit up when they spotted Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and the Big Bad Wolf walking through Liverpool One and Church Street.
Christmas is just getting better in Liverpool, now offering 40 festive markets, the tallest Christmas tree in the UK and more amazing shops, bars and restaurants than ever before. In addition, there are plenty of festive events for all ages in the city centre, Albert Dock, Sefton Park and St George’s Hall. Read about the amazing Liverpool Christmas Markets 2015.
Have you got a favourite festive experience in the city? Remember some of the moments displayed above? Drop us a comment and tell our readers about them. We’d love to hear your stories.