Photos by John Moss
unless otherwise credited
Fire Stations & Railway Stations
Road Fire Station
Road, Central Manchester.
and built by Woodhouse, Willoughby & Langham from 1904-1906 this
fine Grade II listed building was headquarters of the Manchester City
Fire Brigade for the first half of the 20th century. It also housed
a police station and a coroner's court, the latter still being in
exuberant buff, terracotta and red brick building occupies a triangular
plot and is located opposite Piccadilly Railway Station. The central
courtyard includes a series of balconies, whose tenements were once
home to 40 firemen, and a training tower. By any measure it was a
well equipped and sumptuous complex, with its own library, stables,
bank and gymnasium.
fine baroque building, which presently is under utilised and awaiting
a major cleaning and refurbishment. It was in continued occupation
until the late 1980s, but its future is presently unknown, despite
several plans to convert the building to another function, including
one abortive plan to make it into a hotel.
Approach, (off Corporation Street), Manchester City Centre.
a small single storey single platform building designed by George
Stephenson and completed in 1844 on Hunts Bank to serve the Manchester
& Leeds trans-Pennine railway. By this time there were six railway
connecting Manchester to the cities of London, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield,
Bury and Bolton - Victoria Station had come to dominate the Long Millgate
area and was one of the biggest passenger stations in Britain. It
was enlarged by William Dawes, who is responsible for most of the
remaining facade, in 1909.
present Edwardian building has a 160 yard facade, which still carries
an iron and glass canopy bearing the names of the original destinations
which it served. These canopies served as covered waiting porch for
taxi cabs until they were severely damaged in the 1996 IRA bomb blast
- they have now been completely restored to their former glory. The
cast iron train sheds behind the facade run back for some 700 yards.
Initially the station was approached by a wooden footbridge over the
River Irk which has subsequently disappeared beneath culverting alongside
the Cathedral, where it makes its way
unobtrusively into the River Irwell.
largely serving destinations north and east of Manchester, it is the
main terminus for the adjacent Manchester Evening News Arena, which
was effectively joined onto the original station between 1992 and
1996 to designs by Ellerbe Beckett. Here it forms a major interface
where the Metrolink train joins the streets of Manchester as an urban
tramway. Also a major rail-bus interchange, the station is linked
directly to Piccadilly Station by Metrolink.
Road Station ranks as one of, if not the most important railway stations
in Britain. Manchester can be said to have been the place where the
Railway Age began.
It was the service established between Liverpool and Manchester which
first demonstrated the feasibility of rail as a viable public transport
system. Opened to the public in 1830, it marked the terminus of the
newly created line which ran from Liverpool to Manchester, and it
is now part of the Museum of Science and Industry.
station building and the warehouse opposite date from the earliest
days of railway history. It was to this station that the Rainhill
Trials to choose a locomotive to pull passenger coaches between Liverpool
and Manchester arrived. George Stephenson's ubiquitous "Rocket" being
the winner. The rail link, together with the canal system, was instrumental
in the growth of Manchester's industrial base in the 19th century.
by British Rail Regional Architect, W R Headley in 1960 and now a
Grade II Listed building of architectural merit.
striking and somewhat surprising frontage cunningly devised to fit
on an otherwise awkward triangular site, the structure is described
as 3 conoid (cone-shaped) shells made of wood, glued and nailed together.
This wooden building was actually based on concrete forms. Restored
in 1998. The present building replaced an earlier Victorian station
which had been built by the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham
Railway Company in 1849 on a viaduct running across Oxford Road over
an area known then as "Little Ireland".
Station (Manchester Central)
G-MEX, the Greater Manchester Exhibition Centre, Manchester
Tel: 0161-834 2700
GMEX - Manchester
Central (formerly GMEX)
Photograph Image Courtesy of www.webbaviation.co.uk © 2005
after lying derelict for many years, the old Central Station which
originally connected by rail the City of Manchester to Liverpool was
closed in the late 1960s. In its new form - the Greater Manchester
Exhibition Centre (GMEX) was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
in 1986, having cost more than £20 million in converting it to one
of England's finest exhibition centres.
as it is today.
over 10,000 square metres it is also one of the country's largest,
the whole space being open without interior supporting pillars, its
vast vaulted roof held up by sheer engineering ingenuity and simple
The hall can seat over 9000 people. There are an additional 2,250
square metres of surrounding land adjacent to the main hall for temporary
buildings and exhibitions, with onsite parking for over 1,500 cars.
Regular exhibitions are held there - everything from Aquatic to Computer
Fairs, Caravans and Home Exhibitions.
Central Station before restoration - Photo of 1968 by the author
also frequently hosts musical and performance events, having already
added Luciano Pavarotti, Simply Red and a Torville & Dean Ice Spectacular
to its repertoire. The conversion of the old Central Station into
its present form is typical of the kind of urban renewal and inner
city transformations which the City of Manchester Council and the
Central Manchester Development Corporation have undertaken over the
past decade, much to their credit and to the approval of the citizens
of Manchester. This is a major stopping off point for Metrolink Trams,
not only for GMEX itself, but for Castlefield.