The Mauretania II being launched at Cammell Laird’s in 1938. Click the picture for the Metropolis exhibition (2008) – the site has lots of Edward Stewart Bale’s work

I keep it quiet, because my loyalties are very much towards Manchester, but some of my roots are in Liverpool.

So why reveal this somewhat embarrassing background? Well, my uncle just told me that a great uncle had been a famous photographer in Liverpool in the first half of the last century. I’d never previously heard of Stewart Bale but it seems my relative Edward Stewart Bale was the photographer in the family business established by his father Herbert, an advertising agent and printer. After the father’s death in 1929, the firm concentrated on photography and had presigious clients such as Meccano, Coopers and Cunard, who commissioned him to photograph the Queen Mary. There’s even a Stewart Bale section on the Merseyside Maritime Museums web site (a lot more here), and elsewhere I found shots of the Mersey Tunnel and discovered that there was recently an exhibition of his work at the Museum of Liverpool Life. What an interesting Scouse skeleton to be in one’s closet đŸ˜‰