Race to save slice of Halifax rail history

Collapsed roof on the old Horses at Work Museum, South Parade / Water Lane, Halifax.
Collapsed roof on the old Horses at Work Museum, South Parade / Water Lane, Halifax.

THE search is on for ways to prevent a 160-year-old railway warehouse from falling down.

Part of the roof has already collapsed, other parts are sagging and a section of wall is beginning to bow.

Tudor Gwynn, who is responsible for the building on behalf of the Eurkea Children’s Museum, Halifax, said it was hoped to carry out some remedial work before winter.

“But we don’t have a long-term plan for using the building. Keeping the museum going is our priority,” he said.

Two years ago plans were drawn up for demolishing the warehouse, which dates from 1849, as part of a scheme to create extra car parking.

But the building which stands on the old Shaw Syke goods yard was saved when it was given a Grade 2 listing by English Heritage.

According to conservation officers: “Its date puts it in the second phase of railway development, when railway building was at its height and associated structures are of historic interest.”

It is part of a group of listed railway buildings including the Great Northern Shed, which is also vacant, and the 1855 Station which were leased to Eureka by Calderdale Council in 1990.

Mr Gwynn said Eureka was talking to the council about the future of the warehouse.

The site has been fenced off and the roof could be completely removed and put into storage pending a long term plan.

The warehouse was leased to the Working Horse Museum in 1986 until it went out of business in about 1990 and Eureka took over the entire 13-acre site.

At one stage, it was proposed to replace the warehouse with a DIY store.