Friday, 22 April 2011

London Road Fire Station (a digression, sorry)

London Road Fire Station in Manchester seen from platform 14 at Piccadilly train station
Another early start, this time headed for Spun in Huddersfield. Platforms 13 and 14 at Piccadilly station are highly recommended for a view of one of my favourite Manchester buildings, the London Road Fire Station. It has never been in operation as a fire station in my time in Manchester but manages to remain majestic and impressive despite being somewhat neglected. Given all the development in Manchester over the last few years it has always amazed me that someone can't find a good use for this outstanding building. As I wrote this post, I thought perhaps I should do a bit of research at some point and find out more. So I hit google and this is what I found....

Firstly, some fascinating pictures of the fire station in its heyday, what went on there, some lovely old fire engines (and don't those policemen look pretty serious in their exercise shorts and vests?!). Then some rather sad photos showing what is happening inside the building today. I know we can't preserve buildings in glass cabinets but surely we can do better than this with an English Heritage at risk building? Fortunately, further research indicates that things may be moving and I found the latest news about a possible CPO and new development of the site and a hearing that is ongoing as of just last week! A timely bit of googling if ever there was one! I so wish I could buy the building - imagine what an awesome craft/studio/arts village it would make!

(ETA. The fire station has its own Wiki page! Apparently, not only did the firemen live on site, but their families too - which may explain some of the flowery 70's wallpaper! Not sure what the rationale is for the taxidermied animals and the fairground horse tho').

Sorry, major digression there, even by my standards. I promise to write up the workshop next - no going off piste!

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