For centuries, Bootle was a village of fishermen and farm workers surrounded by marsh land and sandy shore. In the nineteenth century, the wealth created by the docks, and the generosity of the residents in their grand houses, resulted in the creation of many fine churches, amenities and open spaces. An imposing complex of civic buildings was built. Local societies thrived and carnivals, such as the Bootle May Day, were highlights of the social calendar. In the Second World War, Bootle, for its size, suffered more war damage than any other area of the country. Regeneration has altered the face of the area further, most notably in the Stanley Precinct office quarter, the Strand shopping centre and along the banks of the Leeds Liverpool canal. But spacious parks, grand civic buildings, tantalising survivals of the old village and grand Victorian houses remind us of a glorious bygone age.