London Road Fire Station, Manchester

Author oldskool - Last updated: 26.07.2012

Been waiting to do this site for some years but never had the chance , a txt from Fishbrain saying you free tonight ……..Visited with Gone, Sho, Morse, Dr.Howser, NickUK, Fishbrain, Tweek, Hidden Shadow & Stacey…..



London Road Fire Station is a former fire station in Manchester, England. It was opened in 1906, on a site bounded by London Road, Whitworth Street, Minshull Street South and Fairfield Street. Designed by Woodhouse, Willoughby and Langham in red brick and terracotta, it cost £142,000 to build, it was given a Grade II* listed building rating by English Heritage in 1974.
In addition to a fire station, the building housed a police station, an ambulance station, a bank, a Coroner’s Court, and a gas-meter testing station. The fire station operated for 80 years, housing the firemen, their families, and the horse drawn appliances that were replaced by motorised vehicles a few years after its opening. It was visited by royalty in 1942, in recognition of the brigade’s wartime efforts. After the war it became a training centre and in 1952 became the first centre equipped to record emergency calls. However the fire station became expensive to maintain and after council reorganisation decline set in.



The building was the headquarters of the Manchester Fire Brigade until the brigade was replaced by the Greater Manchester Fire Service in 1974. The fire station closed in 1986, since when it has been largely unused despite several redevelopment proposals. It was placed on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register in 2001 and in 2010 Manchester City Council served a compulsory purchase order on the fire station’s owner, Britannia Hotels.



In 1897, the Manchester Watch Committee was considering a replacement for its fire station on Jackson’s Row. A five-man sub-committee was set up and recommended a site on Newton Street. In 1899, George William Parker who had designed fire stations in Bootle and Belfast, and been referred to as the "architect of the world’s fire service" was appointed Chief of the Manchester Fire Brigade and asked his opinion on the proposal. Parker reported that the site on Newton Street was unsuitable and submitted plans for a fire station on a site bounded by London Road, Whitworth Street, Minshull Street South and Fairfield Street.
Parker’s proposal was for a 7-bay fire station on a site more than double the size of the one proposed on Newton Street. The choice of London Road was influenced by its proximity to a development of warehouses on Whitworth Street and Princess Street. Parker convinced the city council to choose his proposals rather than those on Newton Street.



A competition, with prizes of £300, £200 and £100 (equivalent to £24,000, £16,000 and £8,000 as of 2012) was organised to design the new fire station. The competition drew interest from across the country, attracting 25 entries. The winning entry was by John Henry Woodhouse, George Harry Willoughby and John Langham, a team of local architects. Their design was based closely on Parker’s initial plans. The fire station was described byFire Call magazine as "the finest fire station in this round world" before construction started.



The fire station was built between 1904 and 1906 at a cost of £142,000 (equivalent to £11.3 million as of 2012]). The building’s substructure and foundations were built by C. H. Normanton of Manchester. The superstructure was built by Gerrard’s of Swinton at a cost of £75,360. It was faced with red brick and terracotta by Burmantofts, a common choice for early 20th-century buildings in Manchester as it was cleanable and resisted the pollution and acid rain caused by local industry. Other notable Manchester buildings from this era making use of terracotta include the Midland Hotel, the Refuge Assurance Building, the University’s The Sackville Street Building (formerly known as UMIST main building) and the Victoria Baths. The building’s exterior featured sculptural models by John Jarvis Millson representing the functions of the building such as justice, fire and water.



The building had stained glass windows and the interior was decorated with glazed bricks, similar to other public buildings of this era in the city, such as the Victoria Baths. The similarities suggest the influence and adoption of a standard design by Henry Price’s newly created City Architect’s Department.





























London Road Fire & Police Station – Perspective view of courtyard as proposed showing new extension


Big thanks to SNC Manchester ……………Was real difficult shooting this place no light painting apart from the cells ,having to dodge security guards in office blocks opposite,the tell tale yellow glow of the street lights that surround the whole site ,a very busy taxi rank opposite and the numerous apartments surrounding the site made for a difficult situation …THANKS for looking Oldskool o yeah forgot about the drive byes forn out local flying boys in blue lol


forgot this ooppsss




#1maggieNovember 9, 2013, 11:03 pm

virtually born here and lived there from 1948 until about 1952. wonderful building and have many happy memories of parties in the ballroom.

#2big russJune 18, 2014, 1:28 pm

trained here for 14 weeks as a recruit fireman from Jan 1983 to April. Loved evry minute of it and would love to see it again before any major changes take place. Loads of happy and not so happy memories,once had to clean the floor of the old stables with a paint scraper, brilliant and historic building. My dad also worked there as a leading fireman from 1977 until 1982.

#3Steve BoothNovember 3, 2014, 12:26 pm

Happy times training here on my recruits course 70/7. Happy times in the social club and I still have some credit owing me behind that bar. LOL.

#4TrishFebruary 10, 2015, 9:43 pm

My dad used to drive ONB 876 in the 1960’s.

#5Slim Hilton jrOctober 22, 2015, 1:35 pm

Hi I lived at London R/D from 1962 till 1980 and I reckon I saw the great days of the station running from M/C through to the inception of Gmc which I joined in 1977, from 74 onwards things gradually changed with the likes of Saturday cleaning when the on duty watch scrubbed the station both inside and out, I know it seems like a little thing but these little things grew through to a point were by the time I left the station it was a mess when I see the pictures of London R/D now it makes me feel very sad

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