I finally managed to get over to Mayfield Depot last week to take pictures of The Big Doors. I’ve wanted to photograph them ever since I saw this picture by UrbEx ace Critical Mass in 2011.

I didn’t know where Mayfield Depot was back then, but internet research suggested that it was a sort of “Urban Exploration for Beginners” place – technically off-limits, but close to town, relatively easy to enter and not radio-active or otherwise obviously poisonous.

Then in 2013, the building was much discussed and feted as a Manchester International Festival Venue which, sadly, I was unable to experience due to lack of money and time.

The event reviews tell a sorry tale:

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There were plans afoot this summer (2014) to transform Mayfield into an entertainment hub – Mayfield Depot Partnership came up with a proposal, as did Warehouse Project but these plans have been shelved due to redevelopment of the area required for the envisaged HR2 High Speed Rail Link to London.

Perhaps this is the story behind George Osbourne’s rather bizarre mention of government financial backing for an arts hub called The Factory (planned for Granada Studio’s site) in this year’s Autumn Statement?

To find Mayfield Depot, follow Whitworth Street towards Piccadilly Station. When the road forks, stay on the right which is Fairfield Street, and you will pass the disused Fire Station on your left:

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That’s Piccadilly Station just beyond the Fire Station. This aerial view shows how Piccadilly Station occupies the north side of Fairfield Street while Mayfield Depot sits to the south:

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And this is a closer aerial view of Mayfield Depot:

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As you walk past Piccadilly Station you go under a bridge which is, I think, a Piccadilly platform:

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And you pass Mayfield Station main entrance to your right:

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Across the road, the Piccadilly structure looks like this:

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On the Mayfield side, The Star And Garter pub and music venue appears disheveled and Dickensian:

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The Mayfield Depot extends along the road, with a load of broken-down flat-roofed workshops to your right which are fenced off:

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You take a right down Temperance Street and the Mayfield Depot doors are on your right:

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Sadly my UV filter fell off and got lost, so my skies look very flat.

This is one of the vast spaces inside the main structure, currently used by 3DSet:
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I love this quote which I found on Manchester Confidential dated July 2014:

Visiting my son in his student digs on Berry St. on numerous occasions, I’ve been struck by the eerie presence of Mayfield. The building really creeps me out for some reason and I can barely look at photos of the interior. I suppose all large abandoned buildings have this unsettling quality to some extent, but Mayfield feels like a repository for Manchesters’ lost souls.