Leeds Railway Station's 'Lost World'

Places to explore
Cardiarms
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Postby Cardiarms » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 10:29 pm

Sewage?! Now you've really go me interested. :-D

I still think the beam was related to the boat traffic and any secondary uses for holding up a platform were opportunistic.
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 10:39 pm

Cardiarms wrote:
Sewage?! Now you've really go me interested. :-D

I still think the beam was related to the boat traffic and any secondary uses for holding up a platform were opportunistic.



(wonderful stuff - I was laughed at a few years ago when I asked for a copy of 'Hidden Beneath our Feet' as a present Amazing read and so popular it rapidly went out of print).    
jim
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Postby jim » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 10:53 pm

Hi Cardiarms, no problems here with other viewpoints---can't avoid such things with my occasional overheated imagination.

In this instance, my position is guided by a holistic sort of approach, it needs an in toto overview of what is and what was. In particular the configuration of the remaining stone walling in the context of the now gone buildings and walls and the remaining wall's relationship with the beam are important.

At the end of the day I am always ready to give in when inescapable evidence shows up, and if not I'm always happy to agree to differ!
Cardiarms
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Postby Cardiarms » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 11:07 pm

It would be boring stone and metal if we couldn't speculate. ;-D

jim
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Postby jim » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 11:19 pm

Does that mean we won't go blind?..............And no comments about Dorothy's dog for my affectation, either!
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mhoulden
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Postby mhoulden » Sat 10 Apr, 2010 4:32 am

Another bit I remember about Leeds station is that where the tourist Information centre is now used to be a walk through to the booking area with a small Beauty Without Cruelty make up shop. This was in the early 80s when The Body Shop was still relatively new and it seemed rather unusual to have such a specialist place there, unless BR were letting it out cheaply because I think it was a bit run down. My memory is pretty hazy because I was only born in 1978 but I know my mum was quite fond of BWC.
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Postby jim » Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:51 pm

Next and final (probably, unless someone jogs my forgettory) episode of recollections of what's under Leeds City Station.

The railway companies had a large number of tenants on their properties over the years. The subject of this dissertation is the one -time cinema under the Aire Street Office Block to the west of the Queens Hotel.I remember it as The News Theatre, later The (second) Tatler, and subsequently the home of a succession of clubs.

Being two or three floors below ground level drainage of any kind would be a problem, and this was, and probably still is, dealt with by the "sewage pumps". Nobody actually called them that of course. The universal appellation still began with an "s" but was monosyllabic.

Although access was available through the cinema/club, they were not fond of workmen tramping through their premises, the reasons for which will become clear, so an alternative was needed. Round the back of number 1 Aire Street was an enormous heavy trapdoor. The site is now gated off, but I managed a view recently and the trapdoor is no longer there, having been completely filled by two very large heating or ventilating ducts.

To reach the pump room required feats of inner-city potholing of some difficulty. A maze of ladders and tunnels full of cables, ducts, concrete benches,and further trapdoors,with headrooms down to two foot six had to be negotiated to reach one's goal.

The pumproom itself was roomy and warm, ****hot as the saying was, and contained the two pump motors, mounted vertically and driving down through the floor. There were three old fashioned float switches rising up through the floor, working mercury tilt-switches, and the concrete-in-iron-frame sump covers.

The two larger covers were about three feet by two foot six, and covered the main sump, about eight feet deep. All three floats were in here, and the sewage and drainage of both the cinema and the office block emptied into it. This part of the job involved lifting the covers and manoeuving them out of the way without falling down the hole, or dropping the covers down it. As the only way of lifting them was with a "T" key at each corner, and they were rather heavy to say the least, it wasn't easy. Next the sump had to be pumped out as far as possible, any foreign bodies removed, and the sump jetwashed with a pressure hose and allowed to fill until the pumps operated by the float switch.

The nature of the foreign bodies was unbelievable. Cigarette cases and lighters, cameras, handbags, and various items of clothing best left to the imagination were commonplace. Some reports of discoveries were so outrageous that I think they must have got there from the oft-reported tunnels, and I feel mention would leave room for doubt and mockery.

The second sump was connected to the first by the suction pipes and contained the pumps themselves and the delivery pipes. It measured about five feet by four feet by five feet high,and was claustrophobic in the extreme. The only way in was through a grating about fourteen inches by eight inches, and the pumps for various reasons required regular attention. Most faults ended up with both sumps flooded and overflowing. The room immediately adjoining the pump room was the beer cellar when the cinema became a club, and that room too would flood. Probably a case where the often made accusation of poor flavour might have had a connection with reality!

Towards the end of my working life, Health and Safety became of more serious concern. We were sent on a "working in confined spaces"course, and at once realised what death-traps the sumps presented. They were below ground with no natural ventilation, they were liable to heavier than air gases, some of them noxious, displacing the oxygen, and, in the case of the pump sump, presented extreme problems of extrication in situations of danger. We said we couldn't go down the sumps any more. Management said "but you've been on a course".We pointed out that the course had equipped us to identify "confined spaces", but not how to deal with them in complete safety.

Stalemate............. I never went down the sumps again.


    
Cardiarms
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Postby Cardiarms » Tue 13 Apr, 2010 11:17 am

Good. Those places can be deathtraps, our blokes have to follow a whole load of safety checks before they even get in the manhole. You do find all sorts of things down them!

Cheers - all good stuff.

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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Tue 13 Apr, 2010 12:20 pm

'To reach the pump room required feats of inner-city potholing of some difficulty. A maze of ladders and tunnels full of cables, ducts, concrete benches,and further trapdoors,with headrooms down to two foot six had to be negotiated to reach one's goal.'

These do sound as though they had some other purpose Jim - any thoughts there, or where they started or otherwise led to?
jim
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Postby jim » Tue 13 Apr, 2010 1:49 pm

Chameleon, sorry to disillusion you, but these are perfectly normal for large buildings. They were all explored, and they have no function other than to keep services such as gas, electricity, heating, ventilation, pneumatic tubes, and the like out of sight and out of the way. Sorry, nothing connected to Temple Newsam, Robin Hoods Grave, or King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Cardiarms, thanks for the approval of my stance on safety. First time I REALLY learnt something on a course!

I wonder if we might arrange a meeting sometime to go over some maps, pictures, and references I have about the station, and, of course, "the beam"! The subjects are too convoluted and abstruse for discussion here, and two (or more) heads are better than one. Results to be posted for further discussion here later. Other interested volunteers welcome.

    

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