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 shows a striking view of Liverpool Waterfront from the bow of the ocean liner Empress of England about to leave Gladstone Dock. The date is April 1957.

It may well have been the ship’s maiden voyage as the Empress, flying the flag of the Canadian Pacific Steamships’ line, sailed from Liverpool to Montreal for the first time on April 18th.

Weather conditions look a little blustery with drifting mist and rain all but obscuring familiar landmarks.

Built at the Vickers-Armstrong shipyard in Newcastle, the Empress was launched by Lady Eden (the wife of British Prime Minister Anthony Eden) on May 9th 1956. Her sister ship was the Empress of Britain.

The Empress of England at Gladstone Dock
Queen Elizabeth Cruise Liner
The 25,585-ton liner carried 160 first class passengers and 898 in tourist class with a crew of 464.

The Empress was sold to the Shaw, Savill and Albion Line in 1970 and renamed Ocean Monarch. After an extensive refit at Birkenhead, including the installation of a swimming pool, the ship undertook cruises around Australia and later the UK.

After returning to Southampton in May 1975, the liner was scrapped in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, two months later.

Our modern image shows the splendid Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth moored at Liverpool Waterfront in July 2018.

Constructed in Italy, the 92,000-ton Queen Elizabeth undertook her maiden voyage to the Canary Islands on October 12th 2010. The ship can carry up to 2,092 passengers.

*Hundreds of pictures from an unforgettable decade are packed into Clive Hardy’s fascinating book Around Merseyside in the 1960s. It’s available at £9.99 plus postage and packaging.

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