Mayfield Railway Station, Manchester
Being only a few minutes from home it's a wonder why it took me so long to photograph this abandoned station, yet I would pass it over the years and for whatever reason, not actually go inside. Travelling far and wide may have seemed morre appealing in search of locations to photograph and what is on my doorstep less appealing. So in 2018 I finally decided along with David [Scrappy NW] to go inside and finally see it for myself. It is in a very bad state of decay except for the parts used as arts centres on street level. The roof over the tracks has long since been removed leaving little to actually photograph. A few images were captured none-the-less. In any location I always try for a minimum of 10 images, here I managed 17 so not too bad.
Opened on 8 August 1910 by the London and North Western Railway, Manchester Mayfield was built alongside Manchester London Road station (later Piccadilly) to handle the increased number of trains and passengers following the opening of the Styal Line in 1909. The LNWR had considered constructing a new platform at London Road between the MSJAR's Platforms 1 and 2, which were renumbered 1 and 3 in anticipation, but this was abandoned in favour of the construction of Mayfield; the platforms nevertheless remained renumbered. Four platforms were provided and passengers could reach London Road via a high-level footbridge.
Mayfield suffered the effects of bombing during World War II, when it was hit by a parachute mine on 22 December 1940.
Mayfield was a relief station mainly used by extra trains and suburban services to the south of Manchester. For example, in the 1957-58 London Midland Region timetable there were trains to Cheadle Hulme, Buxton, Alderley Edge, Chelford and Stockport on weekdays. In the London Midland timetable of September 1951, the Pines Express from Bournemouth West is shown as arriving at Mayfield at 4.30pm (16.30) on Mondays to Fridays. On Saturdays this train used Piccadilly station, then known as London Road. In the 1957-8 timetable, the Pines Express still arrived at Mayfield on Mondays to Fridays, now at the time of 4.45pm (16.45).
It came into its own for a brief period during the electrification and modernisation of what was to become Piccadilly Station in the late 1950s, when many services were diverted to it. It was closed to passengers on 28 August 1960.
The site was converted into a parcels depot which opened on 6 July 1970. Royal Mail constructed a sorting office on the opposite side of the main line and connected it to Mayfield with an overhead conveyor bridge which crossed the throat of Piccadilly Station. The depot closed in 1986 following the decision by Parcelforce, Royal Mail's parcels division, to abandon rail transport in favour of road haulage. The building has remained disused ever since, with the tracks into Mayfield removed in 1989 as part of the remodelling of the Piccadilly Station layout. The sorting office was briefly reused as an indoor karting track, but has now been rebuilt as the Square One development, prestige offices used by Network Rail; the parcel conveyor bridge was removed in 2003.
There have been many proposals for renovation since its closure including reopening as a train station, commercial development, conversion to a coach station, government offices and a withdrawn application as an arts centre in 2013.
As of 2018, it has been reported that Manchester city centre is to get a new public park under the latest plans to transform land around Piccadilly’s Mayfield depot. It will be the first time a civic open space will be built in more than a century, since Piccadilly Gardens was created in around 1914. The Mayfield area has been specified as an urban regeneration area and it is proposed to replace the station with offices and residential developments, along with a revived proposal to relocate Whitehall government departments to the area. Meanwhile the depot itself - which has in recent times hosted hugely popular gigs, art events and food fairs - would be retained for ‘flexible’ commercial and leisure use, according to the report, although it does not go into further detail.
The wider project for the regeneration of Piccadilly station in anticipation of the construction of the HS2 line to Manchester envisages a major redevelopment of Piccadilly station and the Mayfield area, involving the demolition of both Mayfield station and Gateway House.
The depot itself, Temperance Street railway arches and the Star and Garter pub would all be kept under the town hall’s revised masterplan for the sprawling industrial area opposite Piccadilly Station. Up to 1,500 new homes are also planned.
Behind the depot, a new 6.5-acre terraced park is proposed for a large piece of wasteland between Hoyle Street and Baring Street.
Council bosses hope to see the park completed within four years, with the remaining elements of the redevelopment being part of a 8 to 10-year vision.