Norton Street 1971

London Road 1973

Moss Street 1973

Norton Street 1976

London Road 1979

Following on from my blog about the demise of TJ Hughes, I have posted several images of London Road at the end of its ‘glory days’. All the photographs were taken in the 1970s and show the road was still a busy retail centre with nearly all the shops trading.
Perhaps it wasn’t too surprising. Liverpool still had a population of 610,000 at the time of the 1971 Census, although this was substantially down on the 1961 figure of 745,000. The decline continued and the last Census in 2001 registered a population of 441,830. A decline of that magnitude has to impact on the whole city and London Road has been hit very hard by the loss of its immediate population. Looking at the photographs, it is sad to see the subsequent loss of a number of fine buildings. I particularly like the showroom on Norton Street in 1976 with its impressive Gothic windows. Fortunately many of the buildings have survived although many are run-down. The Prince of Wales pub on the corner with Moss Street has always intrigued me. I have never been inside it (it seems to have been closed since the early 1980s) but it is a real gin palace on the outside with statues in niches and a chateau-style roof.
What is the future of London Road? I feel it is too far away from the city centre to have any hope of a retail revival and can only see a continued neglect, particularly once the focus of TJ Hughes is taken away. Change is inevitable but it is sad to see such a marked decline in a once buoyant area.

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