This must have been one of the first post-Second World War maps of Liverpool to be published. This makes it interesting for historians for several reasons.
A map of memories
Firstly, it probably shows a landscape that matches the memories of people still alive today. This makes it especially useful for those starting on researching their own history, and want to anchor their recollections in some of the streets as they stood mid-century. A lot of this has changed, but this map shows Liverpool before so much remodelling took place. At the same time, there are 1930s social housing like Gerard Gardens, and St Andrew’s Gardens, which many readers will have memories of. It’s a gateway between worlds.
A navigation tool
Secondly, it’s a ‘modern’ map: it looks like any A-Z style map we’d use today, and is coloured with ease of use in mind. Main roads are yellow, parks are picked out in green (and blue, where appropriate) and railway stations are bright red. Landmark buildings, from the Liver Building to the Library, are blocks of black ink. This is a tool for navigating, and probably with one eye for the modern car driver at that.
It’s for these features that I chose it as the base map for my Old Streets of Liverpool map, which is a useful resource for anyone trying to locate an old house, or one of an ancestor’s.
A link to the past
Finally, this map has one foot in the past. The nest of roads which cover the inner suburbs of Everton, Kirkdale and Toxteth are still present, though their lifespan was at this time limited. The ‘streets in the sky’ and the M62 are not yet part of the landscape. Scotland Road is still a major thoroughfare with residents and all its pubs and life yet to be ripped out of it. The Liverpool Overhead Railway is still there, though already on the chopping block, and the giant new hospital on Pembroke Place is still on the drawing board.
A map of the ages
Geographia became known as a company that produced detailed street maps for navigating your way around cities. Their clear printing and extensive index (in a book stapled to this map as an extra) made it a go-to tool, and we historians today can benefit from it.
Take a look, and I’m sure you’ll spot something to start your research journey.