Old Liverpool History Map 1901

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Liverpool Street Map 1901

The History of Liverpool

At the end of two centuries from the creation of the first humble dock (1709), the port possesses dock space to the extent of 570 acres on both sides of the river. The massive granite walls by which these docks are surrounded give a lineal quayage of over thirty-five miles, and the creation of new docks still continues. For seven miles and a quarter, on the Lancashire side of the river alone, the monumental granite, quarried from the Dock Board's own quarries in Scotland, fronts the river in a vast sea wall as solid and enduring as the Pyramids, the most stupendous work of its kind that the will and power of man have ever created. Nor is this all. Immense ugly hoppers, with groanings and clankings, are perpetually at labour scooping out the channel of the estuary so as to save Liverpool from the fate of Chester, and to permit vessels of all sizes to have a clear passage at all tides. Huge warehouses of every type, designed for the storage of every kind of commodity, front the docks, and giant-armed cranes and other appliances make disembarkation swift and easy. To a traveller with any imagination few spectacles present a more entrancing interest than that of these busy docks, crowded with the shipping of every nation, echoing to every tongue that is spoken on the seas, their wharves littered with strange commodities brought from all the shores of all the oceans. It is here, beside the docks, that the citizen of Liverpool can best feel the opulent romance of his city, and the miracle of transformation which has been wrought since the not distant days when, where the docks now stand, the untainted tides of the Mersey raced past a cluster of mud hovels amid fields and untilled pastures.

This swift growth of commerce has brought with it a steady and growing inrush of population, even more varied in character than the previous age had welcomed. Census returns scarcely indicate the nature or extent of this growth of population, because the census returns only relate to the population within the municipal boundary, which, until 1895, remained fixed at the limits laid down in 1835, when Everton, Kirkdale and the populous parts of West Derby and Toxteth were added to the original township. It was not until 1895 that the townships of Walton and Wavertree, the remnant of Toxteth, and another section of West Derby were incorporated in the city. Five years later the township of Garston (once a sister 'berewick' of Liverpool, and like it dependent on the manor of West Derby) was also included. The population of this enlarged city, at the census of 1901, was 716,000. But this was far from representing the extent of the population economically dependent upon Liverpool. The period with which we are dealing saw the town of Bootle, on the northern boundary of the city, develope from a rural township into an incorporated borough with a population in 1901 of 58,000. Beyond Bootle, to the north, it saw a group of populous suburbs of some 40,000 inhabitants spring up in Seaforth, Litherland, Waterloo and Crosby.

The very nature and magnitude of the progress of the port also tends to accentuate these social difficulties. There is probably no city of anything like equal size in which so small a proportion of the population is maintained by permanent and stable industrial work. There are, of course, a number of minor industries carried on in the town, but even of these, some (such as matchmaking) depend upon low-paid and comparatively unskilled labour. And the principal occupation of the city, the foundation of its prosperity, is the handling of goods between ship, warehouse and railway ; a function which is mainly performed by unskilled labour.

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Old Liverpool History Map 1901