Stewart Bale photographs at Wetherspoons Lloyds Imperial

14 May 2008 to autumn 2009

old photo of an airport building with a central tower and 1940s airplanes in front

Liverpool Speke Airport, terminal and control tower, 1945. Archive reference 45520-1

Museum of Liverpool on the road

Part of the 'on the road' programme, which toured objects to different locations while the Museum of Liverpool was constructed.

Objects: Stewart Bale Ltd photographs

Twentieth century Liverpool experienced dramatic change. As the great Victorian city sought to enter the modern age it embraced new industries, architectural styles and leisure pursuits, transforming the life of Liverpool and its people. This important time in the city’s history was captured by Stewart Bale.

Stewart Bale was a company rather than an individual. It was an important and highly regarded family run commercial photographic practice. The company flourished in Liverpool from around 1911 until the early 1980s, also establishing a London studio in 1949. The firm mainly undertook commissioned work but also produced a small quantity of non-commissioned photographs, of which three examples are on display. Their images are of major importance, creating an unparalleled visual record of Liverpool, the North West and the nation.

The Stewart Bale photographic collection was acquired by National Museums Liverpool in 1986. The collection contains 195,445 large glass plate and film negatives, many requiring conservation. National Museums Liverpool has so far restored over 26,000 images, allowing displays such as this one to be possible.

Further information

Location: Wetherspoons Lloyds Imperial at Liverpool John Lennon Airport

A selection of seven photographs from the Stewart Bale collection went on display at the Wetherspoons Lloyds Imperial pub in Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Wetherspoons Pubs PLC and National Museums Liverpool were delighted to work in partnership to create this display.

The Lloyds Imperial was named after Imperial Airways, the first airline to fly from Liverpool Airport in 1930.