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London Road Fire Station

London Road Fire Station was built as a replacement for Manchester city centre's original fire station on Jackson's Row. Construction began in 1904, and the station opened on 27 September 1906.  In addition to the fire station, the building also contained; a police station, a coroners court, an ambulance station, a gas meter testing station and a bank. Perhaps the most notable feature of the fire station is its 130 ft hose tower. This was used to dry out the hoses after use to prevent them from rotting. The tower also incorporated a ventilation system to stop the smell of horse manure entering the station living quarters. The station was staffed 24 hours a day by 38 firefighters who lived on-site. There was accommodation for 32 married and six single firefighters. World War Two saw part of the station's cellars turned into air raid shelters. By 1948, the station was the only one in the city centre, and a training school for firefighters had been created. In 1952 the control room was upgraded and became the first in the country to record emergency calls. Despite a refurbishment in 1955, by the 1960's the station was becoming expensive to maintain and unsuitable for the modern firefighting appliances now in service. 

In 1974 the station received Grade II listing status from Historic England. Also in 1974, Greater Manchester Fire Service was formed, and as a result, the brigade headquarters moved to a new centre in Swinton. By 1979; the control room had moved to Swinton, the police station had closed, the solicitors firm which had taken over the bank premises had gone and so had the fire brigade's workshops. 1984 saw work start on the construction of a new fire station on Thompson Street, and the end was in sight for London Road. The station finally closed in 1986, and the building was sold. 

 

The building sat empty whilst councils and owners argued over its use and future. In November 2016 Allied London purchased the site and now plans to turn it into a place for living and working as well as a boutique hotel.