Just a stone’s throw from Manchester’s ultra-modern Piccadilly Station sits the decaying remnants of England’s transportation past: the Mayfield Railway Station. Unfortunately, no one quite knows how to transform this mass of potential into the face of Manchester’s future.
Opened on August 8th, 1910 by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), according to most accounts, the old Mayfield Railway Station has seen better days. Yet, with the notable exception of a fire ripping through its roadside building in 2005 and gutting its interior, the station and trainshed remain intact to this day. Mayfield’s hulking, two-story red brick exterior has withstood over a century of weather, even as nature threatens to retake the station’s three train platforms. Inside, the line’s enormous original 1910 buffers tops rest as undisturbed as the interior walls, which sit surprisingly undisturbed by vandals.
In the nearly half-century since its official closing on August 23, 1960, much debate has taken place over the future of Mayfield. Never LNWR’s busiest station, Mayfield was only built as an overfill station to deflect some of the traffic from Manchester’s bustling London Road station. In the last decade, several plans to redevelop the building into everything from an entertainment center to a government center have imploded.
Until a viable plan for Mayfield’s redevelopment arrives, occasional film and television crews have made themselves content to use the quiet station as the perfect dystopian backdrop for bringing their post-apocalyptic fantasies to life.
Update June, 2017: Mayfield is now being developed into spaces for community, recreation etc. On weekends it now hosts a street food fair called Grub.
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