Mention Liverpool anywhere in the world and you can guarantee that two things will invariably be discussed: football and The Beatles! Aside from the city’s sporting history and notable music scene there are many more facts that have contributed to Liverpool’s success.

Way before John, Paul, George and Ringo struck up their instruments, Liverpool was already a spot on the map of the world. As with many towns and cities, it’s seen peaks and troughs, good and bad, and lived to tell the tale as only a good-humoured scouser knows how - with a smile and a wink!

Of course, at Motor Range we already know this, which is why we’ve made Liverpool our home for the last 20 years. Let’s take a look at what made Merseyside’s capital a force to be reckoned with:

From records going back to 1190, it’s believed that Liverpool gained its name from the muddy waters (liuerpul) of its inlet from the Irish sea, although it’s also been suggested that the name came from ‘elverpool’ due to the vast number of eels in the Mersey river, next to which Liverpool resides.

This convenient access to a deep estuary made Liverpool the perfect port, initially trading with Ireland and other British coastal towns. By 1207, King John had recognised the potential of what was noting more than a fishing village and, wanting a port in the region that was outside of the reaches of the Earl of Chester, he drew up a Royal Charter inviting settlers to make their home in Liverpool.

From Humble Beginnings…


As the population grew to around 500 in the mid-16th century, others began to understand Liverpool’s importance and several battles took place during the English Civil War, including an eighteen-day siege in 1644. Someone must have thought this little town was worth fighting for!

Little else happened until trade began to be established with Africa and the West Indies, and later with India, in the 18th Century prompting the opening of Liverpool’s first wet dock in 1715. As the gateway for textile factories in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and copper and brass works from Cheshire and the Midlands to export their goods, the soon-to-be-city began to thrive. Although we now realise the wrong-doing of the slave trade, the ships that sailed from Liverpool played a critical role.

By the start of the 19th century, Liverpool docks were seeing an astounding 40% of worldwide trade pass through the area - it’s no wonder Scousers are so good at tracking down a bargain! Internationally famous liner companies like Cunard used the port as a hub en route to New York and beyond, demanding the construction of luxury hotels, such as The Adelphi to accommodate passengers. Business was no doubt helped by improved inland transport such as the UK’s first inter-city passenger railway line to Manchester (1930) and the world’s first fully electrically powered overhead railway (1893).

In 1880, no longer a small fishing village, Liverpool was finally granted city status. Seeing the opportunity for investment, import companies and bankers began to gather in the town, boosting its wealth and demanding offices and dwellings suited to their rich tastes.

...To A Stunning City

And so the transformation of Liverpool’s skyline began - St George’s Hall (1841), the Three Graces (1903-1916) and the Anglican Cathedral (1904) all contributed to what was variously christened The Second City of the Empire.

In later years, less architecturally heralded but equally iconic constructions, such as the Radio City Tower/St John’s Beacon (1969) and Roman Catholic Cathedral (1967), would become an integral part of the skyline while visitors thronged to the Albert Dock, Goodison and Anfield football stadia, The Cavern Club and various museums that brag about Liverpool’s history and culture.

While the city enjoyed a golden age up until WW2, bomb damage affected around half of Liverpool’s dwellings. Some of the many workers who had lost their jobs in the declining dock industries were able to turn their hands to skills such as plumbing and building as the City began a program of reconstruction.

Forever optimistic, Liverpudlians turned their attention away from the state of the job market to the music scene. Merseybeat, which arose in the 1960s with The Beatles, Cilla Black, Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Searchers, became the city’s biggest export.

A Time For Reinvention

As unemployment continued to rise, some of the Liverpool population demonstrated their frustration by rioting in Toxteth in 1981 while unemployment levels reached 20% in 1985.

Once again, Liverpool’s population found a silver lining in an otherwise cloudy situation. This time, attention was diverted to football with Liverpool and Everton football clubs enjoying their longest run of success in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

A turning point in the city’s fortunes came in 2003 when Liverpool was named as 2008 Capital of Culture. Once again, investment poured into the city, allowing it to shake off the reputation as a deprived area.

The Liverpool Echo Arena was one product of this influx of grants and European money, adding to the ever changing waterfront skyline and attracting internationally renowned acts and events. New shopping and leisure areas, Liverpool One and the Met Quarter created additional draw for locals and attracted high-end retailers and boutiques, reinforcing the fact that nobody does style quite as well as a Scouser!  

In fact, nobody does anything quite like Liverpool. In times of hardship we pull together; in times of joy, we celebrate as one. It may have taken a while to get where we are but Liverpool is nothing short of iconic and you don’t need to take our word for it!

As the home of family friendly motoring, we couldn’t think of anywhere we’d rather be. You’ll find Motor Range is pretty much the stereotypical Scouser with honest, real talk and happy to help. We’re proud to call Liverpool our home and look forward to meeting you. Come and visit us at our Dunnings Bridge Road showroom for a real Liverpool welcome!