Manchester UK




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Fire Stations & Railway Stations

London Road Fire Station

London Road, Central Manchester.
Designed 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 operation.

London Road Fire Station ManchesterManchester's London Road Fire Station

This 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.
A 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.

Victoria Rail Station

Station Approach, (off Corporation Street), Manchester
City Centre.
Originally 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.

Victoria Station, ManchesterInside Manchester's Victoria Station

The 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.
Nowadays, 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.

Liverpool Road Station

Liverpool 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.

Liverpool Road Station

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.

The 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.

Oxford Road Station

Designed by British Rail Regional Architect, W
R Headley in 1960 and now a Grade II Listed building of architectural

Manchester's Oxford Road StationOxford Road Station, Manchester

A 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”.

Central Station (Manchester Central)

Formerly G-MEX, the Greater Manchester
Exhibition Centre, Manchester M2 3GX. Tel: 0161-834 2700

GMEX, Manchester
GMEX – Manchester Central (formerly GMEX)
. Aerial Photograph Image Courtesy of
© 2005

Resurrected 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.

GMEX - Central StationGMEX - Greater Manchester Exhibition Centre
Manchester Central as it is today.

At 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 geometry.
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.

Derelict Central Station
The Derelict Central Station before restoration
– Photo of 1968 by the author

It 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.

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© John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 1 Dec 11.