Didsbury
Didsbury Railway Station and clock c.1910.jpg
Didsbury railway station (photographed c.1910)
General information
LocationDidsbury, City of Manchester
England
Coordinates53°25′07″N 2°13′53″W / 53.4186°N 2.2313°W / 53.4186; -2.2313Coordinates: 53°25′07″N 2°13′53″W / 53.4186°N 2.2313°W / 53.4186; -2.2313
Grid referenceSJ847913
Platforms2
Other information
StatusDisused
History
Original companySouth District Railway
Pre-groupingMidland Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
Key dates
1 January 1880 (1880-01-01)Station opened
2 January 1967 (1967-01-02)Station closed

Didsbury railway station is a former station in Didsbury, in the southern suburbs of Manchester, England, United Kingdom. The station was located on Wilmslow Road, just north of the junction with Barlow Moor Road and opposite Didsbury Library. Nothing now remains of the old station buildings, which have been demolished, but the surviving white Portland stone clock tower is a local landmark. Didsbury is now served by Didsbury Village tram stop which is close to the site of the former railway station.

History

Midland Railway lines into Manchester showing the Manchester South District Line
Midland Railway lines into Manchester showing the Manchester South District Line
Manchester South District Line
Heritage railway
Manchester Central
Manchester Metrolink
Deansgate-Castlefield (National Rail
Manchester Metrolink
Cornbrook
Manchester Metrolink
Trafford Bar
Manchester Metrolink
Firswood
Heritage railwayManchester Metrolink
Chorlton
Manchester Metrolink
St Werburgh's Road
Manchester Metrolink
Withington
Manchester Metrolink
Burton Road
Heritage railway
Withington and Albert Park
Manchester Metrolink
West Didsbury
Heritage railway
Didsbury
Manchester Metrolink
Didsbury Village
Manchester Metrolink
East Didsbury
Heritage railway
Heaton Mersey
Heritage railway
Stockport Tiviot Dale
Heritage railway
Cheadle Heath
Heritage railway
Hazel Grove
Key
Heritage railway
Former MSDR station (1880–1967)
Heritage railway
Metrolink route through former MSDR station (2013–)
Manchester Metrolink
Metrolink stop on former MSDR line (2013–)
Heritage railwayManchester Metrolink
Metrolink stop on former MSDR station (2013–)

In 1873, the Manchester South District Railway obtained permission to construct a new railway line from Manchester to Alderley. The company fell into financial difficulty and was eventually bought out by the Midland Railway in 1877, who went on to build the line. Construction began in 1878 and the line — including Didsbury Station — opened to passenger service on 1 January 1880, running from the new Manchester Central Station through south Manchester suburbs to Stockport Tiviot Dale.[1][2][3]

The line ran south through Didsbury via a cutting, passing underneath Wilmslow Road. Didsbury Station was situated on the east side of Wilmslow Road, set back from the road with a small forecourt area. The station building was a red brick Gothic Revival house with a booking office, ladies' and gentlemen's waiting rooms and an adjacent station master's house. There were two platforms in the cutting with glass canopies and a footbridge. Didsbury was served initially by the South District Service commuter route, and from August 1880 by express trains running from Manchester Central to London St Pancras.[2][3]

Didsbury's location on the network ensured frequent services. From 1901 the MR opened a new route to New Mills via Heaton Mersey and peak-time services through Didsbury reached over 38 trains per hour in each direction. Direct services operated between Didsbury and destinations such as Derby, Sheffield Midland and the Peak District.[2][3]

Around 1910, a memorial clock was erected in the station forecourt dedicated to local philanthropist John Milson Rhodes (1847-1909). The 8-metre (26 ft) clock tower is built of Portland stone in an Edwardian Baroque style and incorporates a pair of drinking fountains. On one side there is a bronze plaque which displays a relief medallion portrait of Rhodes and the inscription "In memory of Dr.J.Milson Rhodes JP.CA. 1847-1909. A Friend to Humanity".[4][2][3]

From 1923, the MR was absorbed into the LMS, and after 1948 the line became part of British Rail. In the postwar period, while the South District Service declined in frequency, Manchester Central-London express services increased, although the new Blue Pullmans did not call at Didsbury but at Cheadle Heath instead.

Closure

When the former London & North Western Railway line from Manchester Piccadilly became the principal route for London express trains, the South District Line lost its importance; the route and its stations were listed for closure in the Beeching cuts. The last train to depart from Didsbury was the 18:45 express to London St Pancras on 2 January 1967. Passenger express and freight trains continued to run through Didsbury until the line was fully closed in 1969.[2][3]

The station building remained standing for a number of years and was used as a hardware store, Didsbury Station Hardwre. After the store closed, the building fell derelict and was demolished in 1982.[1][5][2][3]

Line re-opening

The former site of Didsbury Station with the clock on Wilmslow Road
The former site of Didsbury Station with the clock on Wilmslow Road

The former South District Line lay derelict for several decades. In 1984, Greater Manchester Council and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive announced the Project Light Rail scheme to develop a new light rail/tram system by re-opening use of disused railway lines in the region, including the route through Didsbury.[6] The first phase of the Manchester Metrolink system opened in 1992, but it was not until 2013 that the network was expanded to reach Didsbury. Tram tracks were laid along the former trackbed, but as Didsbury station had been demolished over 30 years earlier, it was decided to locate the new Didsbury Village tram stop further down the line on School Lane.[7][2][3]

Nothing remains today of the old Midland Railway station building, and the site today is occupied by a row of shops and pubs. The station clock is still standing and is a local landmark.[1]

See also

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b c Sussex, Gay; Helm, Peter (1988). Looking Back at Withington and Didsbury. Timperley: Willow Publishing. pp. inside front cover. ISBN 0-946361-25-8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Didsbury Station". www.disused-stations.org.uk. Disused Stations. Archived from the original on 20 May 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Suggitt 2004.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Rhodes Memorial Clock (1270515)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Didsbury". Disused Stations. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  6. ^ Ogden, Eric; Senior, John (1991). Metrolink: Official Handbook. Glossop, Derbyshire: Transport Publishing Company. pp. 26–27. ISBN 0-86317-164-8.
  7. ^ Kirby, Dean (23 May 2013). "First passengers travel on tram extension to East Didsbury". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 18 June 2020.

Sources

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Withington and West Didsbury
Station closed
  Midland Railway
South District Railway
  Heaton Mersey
Station closed