Although Liverpool has existed as a port since the thirteenth century, it wasn't until the seventeenth century that it truly began to grow on the profits of trade with America, importing sugar from the West Indies and Virginia tobacco and exporting textiles from Lancashire. In the eighteenth century the slave trade too began to bring money into Liverpool, but once it was banned in Britain, Liverpool continued to grow, trading with the West Indies, Canada and the US. The results of all this can be seen in Liverpool City Centre Through Time, in which old and new views of such surviving buildings as the Cotton Exchange, the headquarters of the White Star Line and the famous Adelphi Hotel mingle with images of buildings like the Sailors' church and the General Post Office which were damaged by bombing during the Second World War and redeveloped later.
Ian Collard a well-known local author and has written many books on ocean liners and cargo ships, particularly those sailing out of Liverpool itself. Acknowledged as one of the local experts, he has even appeared on radio to tell of his times as an author. He lives in the Wirral, within sight and sound of the Mersey.