Longsight Police Station

Longsight Police Station stands at the corner of Stockport Road and Grindlow Street.  It was built in 1998 on the site of the police station that I remember as a child.

The building which housed the old Longsight Police Station had a long and varied history.

Below is an account of the history of the building taken from the program to mark the Official Opening of the new Longsight Police Station on May 18, 1998. This information and the pictures below were generously donated by P.C. Bernard Sheridan, of the South Manchester Division of the Greater Manchester Police, stationed at Longsight Police Station.

Aerial View © HMSO

The Longsight Police Station which I remember in the 1950's occupied the site of the St. Joseph's Industrial School for Boys. In the 1930's industrial schools were abolished and Manchester Education Committee took over the building. On the outbreak of war, however, the building was requisitioned by the Auxiliary Fire Service and by 1941 had become Number 17 Area Training College for the National Fire Service. First aid, rescue and fire fighting were all taught there during the war.

Trainee Auxiliary Firemen in a room on the top floor of the St. Joseph's Building circa: 1940

Auxiliary Firemen Training circa: 1940. Looking towards Stanley Grove with Plymouth Grove to the right

In 1948 the Manchester City Police, later Greater Manchester Police, acquired the building. It was to be divisional headquarters, as well as housing the force transport department (relocated from the ancient Goulden Street police station) and also a police hostel, which could accommodate up to 24 single constables.

Inspection Parades in the late 1950's

The existing garage was to be converted to a maintenance and repair shop, and a portion of the yard was roofed over to provide garage accommodation. The first floor over the existing garage was to provide offices for the transport department and a parade room. Initially, any prisoners charged at Longsight were to be taken to cells at Mill Street or Whitworth Street police stations, pending a decision on whether or not to convert part of the building into cells.

P.C. Sid Statham with new Triumph TR4 1960. Stockport Road entrance on the right

It was envisaged that the large hall on the first floor could be used for special course, promotion examinations, conferences and meetings of the Police Federation. It was also proposed that the top floor should house a practice room for the police band, with band accommodation and library. By mid 1953, the building was operational. Later, specialist departments were moved to Longsight, including the fingerprint bureau and the photographic laboratories. In 1960 the criminal record office moved to Longsight and by 1962, the driving school and the training school were also using the building. The Manchester City Police cadets were also to be found at Longsight, receiving the training and police experience that, it was hoped, would inspire them to join the regular force on completion of their two year course.

Open and closed Triumph TR4 police vehicles

Longsight Police Station 1961

And finally, in a building with such a varied history it was not surprising that there were a number of persistent rumours about ghosts in the old building. Many of the stories relate to ghostly bands, and it is recorded that the Industrial School had a flourishing band that played throughout the area. ...

I have two memories of the building. One is finding a wallet with money in it on Stockport Road and taking it into the lost and found department. The other is that my mother cleaned house for a family called Mitchell who lived on Plymouth Grove in a grand house, by our standards. It had at least 3 floors a huge back garden and a larder. Mrs. Mitchell was the head cook at the police station. I would go over to see my Mam at the Mitchell house at lunch times when I was a kid going to Plymouth Grove School. In fact they gave me a copy of "Treasure Island" as a gift once and I have it still to remind me of them.

Mrs. Mitchell, Head-Cook at the Longsight Police Station

Picture generously donated by her granddaughter Helen and daughter Agnes