Stewart Bale 2.0 - documenting Liverpool

Online exhibition of archive and contemporary photographs

an old and a modern photo of ferry arriving at Pier Head

Pier Head as photographed by Stewart Bale Ltd in 1959 and Pete Carr in 2006

National Museums Liverpool holds an extensive collection of photographs by Stewart Bale Ltd. The pictures show the everyday places where people worked, shopped and enjoyed themselves.

For this online photographic exhibition, we invited amateur and professional photographers who use the web service Flickr to recreate Stewart Bale photographs from our collection. Each of the photographers was given a seven day deadline to photograph their subject in 2006.

The photographs

Follow the links below to compare the Stewart Bale Ltd and 2006 versions of these photographs.

Stewart Bale Ltd

Stewart Bale Ltd was an advertising and printing business in Liverpool that specialised in commercial and architectural photography. The client list included famous Liverpool names such as Cunard, Meccano and Coopers.


Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application, allowing users to upload their digital photographs, sharing and tagging them. Most of the photographers involved in this project came to our attention by tagging their photographs 'liverpool'. 

Flickr is often heralded as an example of 'Web 2.0', a controversial name attached to a new generation of web services that make use of collaboration, sharing and tagging to create 'social software'.

The mass ownership of digital cameras and use of Flickr and other online photo sharing services has led to a transformation in the documentation of daily life.