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Thread: Mayfield the ghost station of Manchester

  1. #1
    Join Date
    November 2007

    Thumbs up Mayfield the ghost station of Manchester


    Mayfield station in Manchester had become my Holy grail since i first visited here several weeks ago.
    The bricked up exterior had stopped us from having a good look inside this long forgotten place.

    Defeated once, trip number two was arranged, new plans were put in place.
    Alarm clocks were set for an ungodly hour, an early start across the Pennines and we arrived in Manchester before dawn.

    We were on the platforms so early the Blackbirds hadn't woken yet.
    The morning sun started to rise above the sleepy city of Manchester.
    The old station started to fill with light and shadows, the sun filtered through holes in the dilapidated canopy roof.
    Particles of dust glimmerd in the rays of light, it was going to be a great day for atmospheric photography!

    Lady Luck was with us today!

    This is the derelict facade of Mayfield station in the heart of Manchester. Today there aren't any visible clues to the buildings past history.
    Many Mancunians don't know it was a railway station, never mind a surviving relic from the steam age era.
    The station was closed to passengers in the 1960's, despite this an overgrown railway station that time forgot awaits the explorer.

    Mayfield station was built alongside Piccadilly in 1910 to handle the ever increasing number of trains using the station.
    A short viaduct diverts away from the Piccadilly line into the terminus at Mayfield.

    The station had a new lease of life in the late 1950's. It was used as an overspill during electrification and modernisation work at Piccadilly Station.
    When work was complete all trains used Piccadilly, Mayfield closed for good.

    The station stood empty for 10 years. It then had a second reprieve when it was converted into a parcels depot in 1970.
    Royal mail constructed a sorting office on the Piccadilly side of the main line. An overhead conveyor bridge connected the two stations.
    This is the loading ramp constructed for the parcel distribution operations.
    The parcels depot was closed in 1986, Mayfield has stood silent ever since..

    View looking down Temperance street.
    The short viaduct leading into Mayfield branches off to the left.

    **Temperance' recalls the campaign movement of the Victorian era which sought to banish the demon drink and its destructive effects on the working classes**

    You can see how close the two stations were from this view on platform 14 of Piccadilly station.

    The Star and Garter pub and exterior of Mayfield station.

    Google earth aerial image showing the Mayfield and Piccadilly station layout.
    You can see the short viaduct spur that leads into Mayfield.

    Mayfield is quite a size. It's canopy roof measures 220 yds long.
    Most people are unaware the platforms still exist, Mayfield is situated on the viaduct, you can't really see anything from street level.

    Piccadilly station was originally called London road when this 1914 map was drawn up.
    It was renamed Piccadilly in the 1960's after the modernisation work was complete.

    I love how Mother nature gets to work when man has moved away!
    This overgrown access ramp leads from Fairfield street to the platform area of the station.

    Now this is what i call a real hidden world!

    The overgrown station sits high on the viaduct, despite the central location it is suprisingly quiet up here.
    This once busy place is now very tranquil, i'd not have been able to stand here 40 years ago.
    Today only the birds visit this secret roof garden of Manchester!
    This is what exploration photography is all about.

    This is the view looking towards the main line connection with Piccadilly.
    An old station out building still survives, the overhead electric catenary of the main line can be seen.

    Mayfield terminus was mainly used by suburban services to the south of Manchester, Buxton, Crewe and Macclesfield lines.
    A few main line trains also stopped at Mayfield, the 'Pines Express' from Bournmouth was one such train.

    Take the train it's Greener!
    Ferns flourish in the damp conditions where trains once stood.

    The original 1910 buffer stops were heavy duty stuff for sure.

    I loved the dusty atmosphere of this place.
    The smell of diesel oil lingers long after the last train had left.
    Deathly silence in a place that once reverberated to the sound of steam engines. There's always a sad atmosphere to the old closed railways i think.

    A points switch still survives at the buffer stops.
    This will have released the 'trapped' engine and let it run round it's train for forward movement.

    It's always sad to see these once busy places bereft of life and fall silent.
    This is the main concourse and booking hall area.

    Looking down the stairs that lead you down to street level.
    Some of the offices suffered an arson attack in 2005. There doesn't apperar to be much damage to the walls and floors, but the roof has gone in places.

    Mayfield also suffered the effects of bombing during W.W II when a parachute mine hit it.

    Ornate tiles are now covered in years of grime.

    The doorway on the right is the main entrance from Fairfield street.

    The lonesome last passenger!
    I tried to recreate a 1950's feel to this photograph by using Black and White.

    A view of Mayfield in 1959..
    You can see many of the parcel trolleys lined up here.

    Mayfield was once a hive of activity, a very different scene to how it is today.

    Parcels been loaded onto the night trains in 1976.

    This old trolley was found overgrown at the back of the loading ramp.
    It hasn't been used for 23 years.

    Amazing colours and foilage were to be found everywhere.
    This is something we don't seem to see in this day and age.
    Everything is sleek, shiny and plastic looking. Trains included.

    One of the weighing scales from the parcels operations still survive.

    To the trains!

    At first glance you wouldn't think there was anything unusual about this sign.
    The strange thing is-there isn't a passenger tunnel leading to any platforms.
    It also looks too modern in appearence considering the station closed to passengers in 1960.

    It's actually a prop left over from filming two television dramas.
    Prime Suspect 5 'An Error of Judgement' with the gangster 'The Street' was filmed here in 1996.

    The 'Last train' was also filmed here in 1999.
    The Last train was a post apocalyptic drama supposedly set around Sheffield.

    The props look realistic at first glance.
    But these signs are from the nearby Manchester Victoria station. Trains to Liverpool and Newton Le Willows never departed from Mayfield.

    This 1998 poster must have been used for the filming of the Last train drama.

    Photos in the bag. The explore was a good one!
    We sat on the old platform edge and just enjoyed the sun and peacful setting for a while. No one knew we were here but us.

    It was then off to Piccadilly for our Burger King bacon, burger and egg bagel breakfast!
    A Sunday morning explore and breakfast by 09.30 can't be beaten!

    The arches under the station are still used for car repairs, scrap and storage businesses.
    It always seems to be these types of places underneath the railway viaducts in any city.

    The ultra modern appearence of Piccadilly is in stark contrast to it's forgotten neighbour Mayfield.

    Trains in platforms 1-5 now depart for local services to the South of Manchester like Buxton and Crewe. These trains used to depart from Mayfield.

    Piccadilly is the busiest station in England outside London, the station is running to full capacity these days.
    There have been talks to re open Mayfield to trains once again.

    There have also been talks to develope the old station as a 'Whitehall civil service campus'
    In total, more than 5,000 civil servants could be based on the Mayfield site by 2014, the government said.

    I sincerely hope they take that plan and insert it somewhere that the sun doesn't shine.
    Mayfield was designed as a station and should remain so.

    Whatever the future holds for Mayfield, i'm glad to have captured it for posteriety.
    It isn't everyday you find a real hidden ghost station in the heart of a big city.

    There's no more ghostly whistles to be heard here these days. It's the end of the line at Mayfield.

    › See more like: Mayfield the ghost station of Manchester
    Last edited by phill.d; 16th Jun 09 at 12:10.
    And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make!

    Thanks given by: -harleyd-, DeepDown, DegenerateBum, Derelict-UK, devonian42, edwinwilliams, Heisenberg, jakee, judyrose, MissNikon, PhilM, solo100, Tizzme

  2. #2
    Join Date
    June 2009


    A really interesting report. Excellent


  3. #3
    Join Date
    November 2008
    gt yarmouth

    Thumbs up Mayfield Station.

    That is one of the best reports from an Old Station I have ever read on D.P mate, very well done you had me captivated. Old Railways are my number one love ever since I was a kid and I know exactly what you mean when you talk about all that bygone glory of the steam age, it sort of brings a tear to the eye. You are right it is very sad and a building like that in my opinion should be a Grade listed bulding. Fantastic stuff.
    And a dreadful thing from the cliff did spring. And its wild bark thrilled around. His eyes had the glow of the fires below. Twas the form of the Spectre Hound. 'Ha' yer fa'r got a dickey, bor?' 'Yis, an' he want a fule ter roide 'im, will yew cum?'


  4. #4
    Join Date
    June 2008


    That is a great report very well put together and documented with the pictures. An enjoyable read I wonder if there are any other "Mayfield" type sites waiting for a visit


  5. #5
    Join Date
    June 2008


    Spellbinding stuff mate, I love old railways. Wish there were more on DP. I particularly liked the BW stairway shot, very atmospheric


  6. #6
    Join Date
    July 2008


    great find and report!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Cheshire


    An often reported site, but never to this level, great stuff Phil.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Farnborough, Hampshire


    Excellent report, as I was reading/looking through I thought this was a familiar place to me, then I thought this was the location for 'The last train', then further down you confirmed it was !! I have this series on my p.c and watched it not long ago! Thanks for sharing, nice work keep it up...


  9. #9
    Join Date
    June 2009


    Excellent report and photo's makes me want to go and explore more old stations (only one I've been to so far is Derby Friargate station).


  10. #10
    Join Date
    January 2009
    North Berkshire.


    Excellent stuff Pill your a god amongst us with the work you do.
    PS I saw this on flickr and Myspace first and was well impressed.


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