London road fire station is an amazing site, arguably well ahead of its time in that it was a multi purpose building featuring a fire station (plus accommodation), ambulance station, bank and a coroners court in one large triangular site in the heart of the city. It served as a fire station until the 1970’s and the coroners court was open until 1998. Since then the entire site has been derelict – owners Britannia Hotels having two planning applications accepted but failed to act on them. The city council grew frustrated and threatened compulsory purchase before Allied London stepped in to buy the site in 2015.
We were escorted by Ian the site supervisor and although we had 3 or 4 hours on site, we only really saw some of the highlights – it really is a huge place. But it was full of history and the decay gave it a real charm. It wasn’t decay in a kind of desolate / apocalyptic / roof collapsing / style like say Huncoat Power Station, rather it was more of a controlled decay, somewhere that had been largely emptied of furniture but then locked up and forgotten about. And yet, this is a huge building in the centre of the city, directly opposite Manchester’s main railway station with trams and buses running past it, and the city’s skyscrapers overlooking it. In that respect, the quietness was a form of sanctuary from the huge changes and gentrification that the city has seen in the last 20 years. And yet, all this will shortly change as the building undergoes redevelopment, so it was fascinating to be allowed to see it. Many thanks to Ian and Phil at Allied London for the opportunity.
Training room – this was completely unlit, so I had to use a 10 second exposure (the max it will do) on a tripod and light paint it. There was various bits of extraction in the room so I imagine it was possible to fill the area with smoke to create a realistic training environment.
The entrance to the fire engine garage.
Closure notice for the courts.
A lovely ceiling, albeit damaged with damp.
Lovely tiled entrance to the courts.
Prison cells. I think there were about 8 in total.
Notice in the ambulance garage
Old poster on the ambulance garage wall. I seem to recall the character being called Welephant when I was growing up in the 80’s.
One of many decrepit corridors.
This was a social club for the occupants, and quite big it was to.
Gymnasium / dance hall behind the social club.
Bar seating – might need a bit of re-upholstering, but it’ll be fine, I’m sure.
The Green Bar