Leeds Railway Station's 'Lost World'

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jim
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Postby jim » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 12:45 am

Sorry Cnosni, I didn't make myself clear. My off-topic comment was supposed to be about the other building we discussed, below the bank and on the eastern side of Bishopgate Street. I have a large number of thoughts and theories, and even some actual facts on that one, and with the best will in the world it can't be connected with the arches! I feel it best thrashed out "in committee", so to speak. Your problem with shifts (very well!) understood, no hurry.    
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Brunel
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Postby Brunel » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 2:05 am

The "old station" and a few arches.

http://snipurl.com/v6n6y
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 1:18 pm

jim wrote:
Thanks very much Chameleon, but I prefer not to emote in public..............I think that's what I mean..........


Very wise sir. In case you do ever get the urgeWink, have a look at this:

http://www.secretleeds.co.uk/forum/Messages.aspx?ThreadID=2165
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cnosni
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Postby cnosni » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 8:38 pm

jim wrote:
Sorry Cnosni, I didn't make myself clear. My off-topic comment was supposed to be about the other building we discussed, below the bank and on the eastern side of Bishopgate Street. I have a large number of thoughts and theories, and even some actual facts on that one, and with the best will in the world it can't be connected with the arches! I feel it best thrashed out "in committee", so to speak. Your problem with shifts (very well!) understood, no hurry.    


Ok Jim,go for it set up a new thread,let say Bishopgate Street??

BUT we need something on the old Scarborough,we need the Drapesy and the map meisters Si,Liits and Brandy.



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liits
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Postby liits » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 9:27 pm

Here is a scan from the 1847 map. Bishopsgate Street shows in the top left corner and only shows the eastern most side of the street.
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liits
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Postby liits » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 10:08 pm

...and here is the same overlaid on Google Earth. I've taken the dome on the bank as the reference point and over the whole of the map I would think that the error amounts to no more than about eight feet or so. Based on that, the buildings on the map (to the south-east of the Scabby Hotel) look to be the same "footprint" now as then [1847]. These buildings are now the Scabby Taps so it seems like it hasn't moved very far away.... possibly?    
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jim
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Postby jim » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 10:15 pm

OK, new thread Bishopgate Street in order,lets keep to "arches and subterranean rooms, Leeds City Station" on this one.
Cardiarms
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Postby Cardiarms » Thu 01 Apr, 2010 11:21 pm

I like liits's witchcraft!    

jim
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Postby jim » Tue 06 Apr, 2010 1:44 pm

Jim's Easter reading list :-

1) A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, Vol 8-South and West Yorkshire, David Joy.

Reference section 1, -Leeds New Station :-

Acts :-

5 July 1865, 16 July 1874, 28 July 1891

Opened :-

1 April 1869

Enlarged :-

5 January 1879, combined with Wellington to form Leeds City 2 May 1938, rebuilt13 May 1967. (note, no entry for completion of 1891 works.)

2) Leeds Termini, Pixton and Hooper.

This contains several aerial views of the city centre railways and an old map, to all of which I have in the past given only cursory attention.

Big mistake, they are full of wonderful information.

First discovery, I think I can finally answer the question of the cast iron beam over the canal branch where it met the river. In fact I walked past it in the mid 1960s when it ceased to be used, but did not focus on the beam. The aerial views confirm that it supported a platform of timbers resting on "land" at the other end. On both sides of this platform a long series of small buildings and huts stretched along the riverside with a footway between them and the Midland carriage sidings. The platform of timbers was part path and part rough storage space, and was covered with a coating of mixed earth and ballast. When I passed it in the 1960s and I saw the timbers exposed, their condition was such that I was horrified that they might have supported ANYTHING for the previous twenty years--the beam escaped my attention at the time, but the photos in "Termini" jogged my memory.

Next discovery, although I had discounted the map's value due to it's concentration on land and estate matters, and that it has not reproduced very clearly, a watchmaker's glass reveals lots of useful detail. Comparison with the 1847, 1906, and 1909/10 OS maps suggest that it shows the situation before the 1891 act works were carried out.

That work must have included the provision of two further goods lines bypassing the station to the south,with additional lines to the north at Swinegate Bridge (now nine tracks and two platforms wide, where previously it carried only five tracks). There was also the loss of one track between the through platforms (then 5&6, later 11&12) to allow platform widening, and all platforms were considerably lengthened. There was also piecemeal lengthening of the station roofs, leading to the higgledy-piggledy look evident until the 1960s rebuild

On top of that lot,New Station Street was moved some fifty or so feet north to accommodate these works, which accounts for the still obvious sharp bend above the Prince of Wales Hotel--prior to these works there was a stately curve in the road here.

Back to matters subterranean. The map also shows, extremely faintly, the layout of the arches, but unfortunately not for the area under the Wellington Station. Enough is there to discern that there is a greater divergence in alignment mid-station than I had realised. Arches over the river and to it's west run twenty degrees west of map north, arches east of the river run ten degrees east of map north, a difference of thirty degrees. This is quite enough to account for the "missing arches" of previous postings, but as the map does not show them in full, we still don't know where they went or where they've gone!

As a follow up to that I have to confess that I erred in saying previously that most of the Leodis photos of "Swinegate Goit" posted by Cardiarms on 18 March were east of Neville Street. As the Leodis site entitled them "Swinegate Goit" I assumed without checking that that is what they were. In fact they are all of the River Aire works to stank off the Goit,which is only depicted "in absentio" behind an arch walled off some fifteen feet high! Perhaps it might be less misleading if Leodis retitled the set.








jim
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Postby jim » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 10:12 pm

Time to talk about the next hidden area. Walk up the Art Deco concourse from City Square, to the point where it has been cut short to accommodate the inserted mezzanine floor containing the present booking area. If you look up you will see the roof is just boarded off, it originally continued for two and a half further bays,as did the floor level. Look right and there are double "staff only" doors. Some twelve to fifteen feet along on the left is a concertina gate. This is the site of what was once the "Left Luggage Lift".

The wall into which it is inserted was part of the facilities of the pre-1967 Platform 5 of Leeds City South Station. Together with Platform 6 it handled the London via Sheffield and Glasgow and Edinburgh via Carlisle expresses, amongst other important services.

The gate and lift I mention are new, but the lift shaft is not. The present gate faces north, but the original gate faced west and was thus within the building behind a door. It was used as far back as I can remember to access the cellars under this side of the station for storage of left luggage and lost property. In later years it became a store for all the general cleaning and service equipment, and for publicity and display material.

The lift itself was of Reliance manufacture, and was old and temperamental. It would start with a loud humming sound followed by an almighty bang as the antique electro-magnetic brake released, and then jerked and juddered it's way to the nether regions beneath.

The exit gate in the cellar faced south (concentrate or you'll get lost!) and the room reached extended about twenty feet ahead and maybe fifty feet east. Near the east end of the southern wall a doorway led to three or four passages and small rooms, and, I think, to a stairway that probably led to the surface at some time, though access was denied by either a locked door or a bricked-off exit-- my memory is not clear on that point.

The large room was full of all kinds of things as I mentioned, but the other readily accessible spaces were usually empty. To the east of the lift on the south wall was a locked door behind which was a collection of electrical from, I think, the Mesozoic or Pre-Cambrian Periods--I can claim no expertise in that field. If the station electrician needed to make repairs the door was opened---to a veritable rabbit-warren of rooms, arches, dust, debris, and general detritus. We explored the lot, but found nothing of particular note except a couple of antique motor-generator sets probably used as AC-DC converters (or vice-versa) which looked like it was many years since they had turned in anger. There was no lighting in this area and torches were essential, as the floor went up and down in an apparently haphazard way. It is entirely possible that the remains of the start of the Swinegate Goit exist amongst this maze of ups and downs, but at the time of exploring I had no knowledge of it's existence,so wasn't looking out for it.

From my distant memory of the site and looking at the various plans and maps of the site I would think that the large room and the bits to the south were contained within the area beneath the lift and across the "lost" two and a half bays of the concourse, and the areas to the north would be under the platform end walkways (now the retail outlets) and the current Art Deco Concourse. I think it unlikely that these areas reached the south end of the concourse, but the whole complex is so disorientating that I can't be certain.

For the conspiracy theorists there was no sign of secret tunnels to the Civic Hall, Town Hall, Infirmary, Kirkstall Abbey, or even the old Gents in City Square.

Next,(and probably last) episode of my subterranean ramblings around Leeds City Station.............The Sewage Pumps!    

    

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