Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Manchester's first railway station ........... no.1 waiting for something to happen

Now when Ron shared four pictures of the old railway station and warehouse on Liverpool Road, I was transported back nearly four decades.

The station and carriage shed
I visited it just after it had finally closed and British Rail had sold it to the museum.

It was hard at the time to see just how significant were these old run down buildings.

But these were the first passenger railway station and warehouse, having opened in 1830 when a group of Manchester businesses wanted a quick and cheaper way to get their manufactured goods to Liverpool.
Added to which they quickly saw the commercial advantage of using their railway trains to carry paying passengers.

So here in the pictures is the passenger buildings, beyond which is the carriage shed erected the following year.

And as with so much of the 19th century there was a strict division between those of property and wealth who travelled first class and the rest as seen in the provision of a first and second class booking hall and waiting room.

the 1830 warehouse, railway side
And it is worth remembering just how much the new railway company was at the cutting edge of technological change.  Their steam locomotives may have been the future but tickets were still handwritten and first class carriages were essentially stage coaches placed on a set of railway chassis.

In that respect they were looking back as well as forward.  And that was reflected in their choice of warehouse design, which was direct coy of the existing canal warehouses, complete with arches which allowed waggons to be taken into the building.

Inside the 1830 warehouse
But unlike canal boats which can turn effortless, the railway waggons had to be uncoupled placed on a turntable and then turned 90 degrees before being pushed into the warehouse.

Originally these turn tables were all over the site but the last which was beside the Byrom Warehouse was taken away some time in the 1990's.

And tomorrow there will be more on those early warehouses, of which there were three.

The first built in 1830 opposite the railway station and the second two built the following year which stood at right angles.

These were destroyed in a devastating fire.

The surviving buildings have done well to be still with us, although they were pretty much knocked about.

But have now become part  of the museum complex.

Location; Liverpool Road

Pictures; the railway station and first warehouse, built in 1830-31 as they were in the early 1980s from the collection of Ron Stubley

1 comment:

  1. You see the turntables on the Wellington Rd warehouses in Ashton under lyne on older maps.