Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

Echoing current fuel shortages, our main image this week shows people queuing for petrol coupons at the Hanover Street post office in Liverpool in November 1973.

The queue was sparked by the oil embargo launched by members of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) the previous month.

Led by Saudi Arabia, the ban was imposed on nations thought to have supported Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, also called the Fourth Arab-Israeli War.

The UK, along with Canada, Japan, the United States and the Netherlands, was one of the original nations targeted by the embargo which lasted until March 1974.

Queues in Hanover Street Post Office
Long queues at a Esso Petrol Station in Maghull,
By that time, the price of oil had rocketed by nearly 300 per cent from three US dollars a barrel to 12. Flying, driving and boating on Sundays were all banned in the UK to conserve supplies.

Petrol coupons were only issued sparingly as Britain was not as badly affected as other European countries. This was due to the UK and France refusing to allow the US to use their airfields – as well as stopping arms supplies to both the Arabs and Israelis.

There were further fuel shortages six years later in 1979 when oil production dropped as a result of the Iranian Revolution.

Our modern image, from just a few days ago, shows cars queuing for petrol at a garage in Maghull, Merseyside.

*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 for £14.99 from inostalgia.co.uk or the order hotline 01928 503777 – or get three books for 25 per cent off in iNostalgia’s Summer special promotion.