Recently rediscovered images of Merseyside from the air provide a fascinating perspective of life in Liverpool in 1987.

Both the city’s cathedrals are pictured in the photos from the Liverpool Echo archive along with the World Heritage waterfront and Speke Airport control tower and terminal.

The newly built Runcorn Bridge is captured more than two decades earlier in 1962 and the M57 motorway at Kirby is photographed in 1973.

The lofty tower of Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral dominates St James’s Mount, October 1987

The lofty tower of Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral dominates St James’s Mount, October 1987

To celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the Royal Iris ferry is pictured proudly sailing down the Mersey with a cargo ship alongside her.

The lofty central tower of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool – the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese – dominates our aerial image of St James’s Mount taken in October 1987.

The impressive building is Britain’s largest cathedral and the eighth largest church in the world.

Speke Airport’s distinctive Art-Deco passenger terminal, October 1987

Speke Airport’s distinctive Art-Deco passenger terminal, October 1987

Based on a design by Giles Gilbert Scott, the cathedral was constructed between 1904 and 1978. It vies with the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York for the title of the world’s largest Anglican church building.

Its height of 331ft makes it one of the world’s tallest non-spired churches as well as being the fourth tallest structure in the city of Liverpool.

It is linked to the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral by Hope Street, named after the merchant William Hope whose house stood on the site of the Philharmonic Hall.

Bird’s eye view of the Royal Liver Building and Cunard Building, October 1987

Bird’s eye view of the Royal Liver Building and Cunard Building, October 1987

The distinctive conical form of the Metropolitan Cathedral is clearly visible in our second image, also from December 1987, along with the16 flying buttresses that give the building its tent-like appearance.

The boomerang-shaped concrete trusses, held together by two ring beams, are essential supports to the195ft diameter building.

Architect Frederick Gibberd combined steel and concrete in his striking modern design which incorporated the crypt already built in the 1930s.

The M57 motorway at Kirby from the air, April 1973

The M57 motorway at Kirby from the air, April 1973

World War II stopped all work on the original plans drawn up by Sir Edward Lutyens. Construction commenced again in 1962.

The new Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King was consecrated on the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday May 14th, 1967.

The iconic Royal Liver Building, at the centre of our third image from 1987, was opened in July 1911. Designed by Liverpool architect Walter Aubrey Thomas, it is 322 feet tall and houses 13 floors.

The Royal Iris ferry on the Mersey for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, June 1977

The Royal Iris ferry on the Mersey for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, June 1977

It was the first major structure in Britain to be constructed using reinforced concrete – even though there were doubts at the time whether such a radical building would stand up!

The design of the neighbouring Cunard Building, constructed from 1914 to 1917, was heavily influenced by Italian Renaissance palaces.

It was the headquarters of the Cunard line until the 1960s and is now owned by Liverpool City Council.

The old and new Runcorn-Widnes Transporter Bridges, January 1962

The old and new Runcorn-Widnes Transporter Bridges, January 1962

Constructed between 1904 and 1907, the Baroque-style Port of Liverpool Building next door was the headquarters of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for 87 years. A major restoration project took place from 2006 to 2009.

The fourth image from our 1987 aerial line-up shows the original Art-Deco passenger terminal of Speke Airport with the Free Enterprise zone behind.

Speke was officially opened in 1933 and the terminal building and control tower were completed in June 1937.

The Beatles land at Speke Airport for the premiere of A Hard Day’s Night, July 1964

The Beatles land at Speke Airport for the premiere of A Hard Day’s Night, July 1964

The airport built up its passenger traffic when civil flights resumed after the war. The number of people flying rose from 50,000 in 1945 to 75,000 in 1948.

Liverpool Corporation took over the airport in January 1961 and a new 7,500ft runway was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1966.

More than 3,000 fans waited at the airport in July 1964 to see the Beatles fly back for the premiere of their movie A Hard Day’s Night. Speke was renamed Liverpool John Lennon Airport in 2001.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral from the air, October 1987

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral from the air, October 1987

An earlier image from January 1962 shows the new Runcorn-Widnes bridge across the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal.

Alongside it is the Transporter Bridge which it was designed to replace. The new bridge was opened by Princess Alexandra in July 1961.

The M57 motorway is pictured in our photo from April 1973. Clearly visible is the point where the motorway extension crosses at Kirby with the Cress Motel at the bottom centre of the image.

The diesel-powered Royal Iris ferry, photographed from the air in June 1967, first entered service in 1951.

Many Merseybeat bands played at the famous concert parties on the ship during its lifetime, including the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Searchers.

*The latest publication from iNostalgia – Liverpool and Merseyside Then and Now – will be available for pre-order from next week. It’s a fascinating compilation of images, old and new, that have featured in the Liverpool Echo’s popular Then and Now pages.

Watch out also for Clive Hardy’s latest book, Women in Wartime 1939-45, which includes with many Merseyside photos. Just go to inostalgia.co.uk/shop for more details.