The Manchester Corporation Main Control Centre was located in the grounds of ‘Greystoke Hall’ a Corporation Staff training college at 194 Paletine Road. More recently Greystoke has been used by Manchester University as a hostel although it is now derelict and due for redevelopment in the near future; there is a permanent security team on site.
Manchester Control was built in 1954 consisting of a single storey semi-sunken brick blockhouse accessed by a ramp leading down to two heavy steel gas tight doors. The first door is the entrance into the bunker. Internally most of the rooms have been completely stripped making it impossible to confirm their original use; all that remains is some wiring, mechanical timers and ventilation trunking which runs into each room.
The male and female toilets are still intact with wash basins, cubicles and (in the male toilet) a urinal. The largest room is on the left hand side at the back of the building, this was probably the control room with a message passing window into an adjacent room, probably the signals room. On the right hand side at the back there is a bricked up hole in the wall which was probably the emergency exit.
The second gas tight door at the entrance leads directly into the plant room through a second gas door forming an air lock. The ventilation and filtration plant is intact with switchgear and other electrical boxes mounted on one wall. The standby generator has been removed but there is still a concrete plinth indicating its position. A further gas door accesses the bunker directly from the plant room.
In 1962 the bunker was redesignated as Sub Area Control (SRC103A1) reporting to SRC103 at Cheadle, remaining in use until the disbanding of the Civil Defence Corps in 1968. Since that date it has remained empty and unused.
Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford, Keith Ward, and John Fogg.
- Keith Ward