GOING, going, gone… Another piece of York’s railway heritage bites the dust .. and Press reader Nathan Reynolds was on hand to record it.
The buildings you can see being demolished in these photographs are the former Jarvis/Fastline rail depot buildings at Leeman Road that started their lives more than 100 years ago as the Phoenix Foundry of the York Engineering Company.
The Phoenix Foundry had moved from the Fishergate area in the mid-1870s to Leeman Road at about the same time as the Albion Foundry moved from Monk Bar.
In 1882, the two businesses combined to form the York Engineering Company, which provided a wide range of cast- and wrought-iron items for the North Eastern Railway Company, including columns, girders, station roofs and railway bridges.
Eventually, the works were sold to the North Eastern Railway and were converted into maintenance workshops. Most recently, they were used by the Jarvis/Fastline group, which went into administration in 2010. They have been empty since then.
A spokesman for Network Rail said they had been demolished to “to improve visual appearance of the York Central Site and clear buildings that are in a poor state of repair” in preparation for any development of York Central.
Most of the demolition work took place in November and earlier this month.
Mr Reynolds, whose father and his colleagues worked in and around the depot for more than 30 years, and who himself did work experience there as a schoolboy 15 years ago, had permission to photograph the demolition process.
Mr Reynolds, who works for Network Rail, admits the demolition of the buildings left him saddened.
“York’s industrial heritage from the last 100-plus years has all but gone. I know the railways aren’t as romantic as chocolate factories but work should be done to preserve such places, not only for the heritage York owes them but also they could still play a role in the ongoing upkeep of Britain’s railways”
• You can see more of Nathan’s photos of the depot being demolished at: flickr.com/photos/kopex/sets/72157631194207786/