After a flurry to the finish, Station South finally opened its doors to the public in March. In 2022, everyday was a learning day. Huge thanks to everyone who has volunteered, visited and generally got involved this year in making the venue a wonderful place to spend time.
Here’s some highlights from 2022 and the heads up on what to look forward to in the coming months…
Step by step the gardens are starting to come together. We now have a gorgeous reclaimed sandstone terrace (the stone sure took some shifting), kids cycle track, new access path connecting the Fallowfield Loop to the highstreet, public bike repair stand, secure bike storage and the new home of our bike library.
Brighter times ahead as we look forward to new lighting and solar studs on the path making Station Green all the more welcoming in the darker months and evenings; a Bike Library with free access to bikes for beginner rides including an electric trike; a community food growing area; new wildlife habitats; outdoor seating, raised beds and plants, plants and more plants.
In 2023 we’re looking forward to regular gardening sessions starting with a big bulb plant and hedge planting in February and a whole host of workshops throughout the year to learn about sustainable gardening.
Do drop in if you’re near by and help to get the community garden growing.
We were chuffed to bits in our first 6 months of opening to be nominated for the Manchester Food and Drink Awards Best Coffee Shop of the Year and shortlisted for Pineapple Awards Creative Retrofit alongside some outstanding candidates.
We went on to scoop the Commercial Restoration Award at the National Railway Heritage Awards in December. This award is in no small part thanks to the hard work and talents of Jonathan Davidson Architects, reShaped Landscape Architects, Chris McDermott, Cinns and support and funding from Architectural Heritage Fund, Railway Heritage Trust, Key Fund and Railway Paths Limited and to everyone who volunteered their time.
Behind the scenes we’re planning a special heritage event in early March to celebrate and bring to life the history of the building.
Do you or someone you know have stories to share about the old railway line or Levenshulme South Station? We would love to hear from you.
With displays changing throughout the year, what better use for the walls than to showcase the work of local artists including James Hartwell and Laurie Pink alongside the local community’s work in the rafters and a unique heritage exhibition throughout.
Live music has brought the feels to Station Hall including memorable performances from Rioghnach and Ellis from Honeyfeet and Ivan Campo.
Not to miss this January we celebrate Manchester Women Songwriters 7th Birthday with performances by 4 talented singer songwriters on 26th. On 23rd February the Vivaldi Ensemble present a special performance - Classics by Candlelight raising money for World Bicycle Relief.
As the doors to Station South finally opened in that beautiful sunny March to welcome people into the building, Anna ventured out and about to start making connections with local communities. Anna’s role is Community Involvement for Station South, but what has that meant for this first year? Here’s a few snippets, stories and signage to help illustrate this epic few months on the job.
From loading up cycle trailers with kit and popping up at local community events to host free Fix-Up drop in sessions, to hosting specific workshops in our Viewing Platform, to taking all sorts of groups out on rides near and far, to getting stuck in on our community garden, we’ve loved every minute of meeting yet more wonderful people across Levenshulme and beyond this year.
One of our favourite ways to meet new people is by lugging our pop-up bike workshop out to different locations and encouraging folk to learn how to fix their own bikes, from tiny kiddies to seasoned cyclists and everyone in between. It’s with thanks to Cycling UK who have supported us on this journey since before we opened and enabled us to carry out a staggering 208 1:1 tutorials with people along the way, supplying basic parts and expert knowledge to keep bikes safe and encouraging frequent use.
We love to share our love for cycling and the community from pedal powering music at school fayres…to striking up new relationships with the lovely communities down the FLoop in Gorton…
to adult cycle training with Transport for Greater Manchester in the local park..
to hosting numerous beginner bike maintenance workshops and courses for women from our Viewing Platform…
..to baking hot gardening with people of all the ages
..to starting up our very own cycle club with rides for everyone
We can’t wait to continue and grow our projects with more workshops, more rides and more fixing in the community.
We are also collaborating with more new groups and organisations to conjure up exciting celebratory projects and events. Our Bike Library will soon be launched, offering sliding scales of bike hire opportunities and private group sessions to encourage new cyclists. We’re plotting an exciting range of events to tie in with International Women’s Day in March, as well as planning celebrations with black, asian and ethnically diverse communities, young people and LGBT+ folk as part of our Cycle + Stride programme with TFGM.
Join our Cycling Club in ‘23
We warmly welcome everyone onto our very first 'all colours' rides and social after event at Station South on 14th January.. Please check out the rides following the link below and if you fancy one, sign-up to your desired colour to secure your free place!
🟡 Yellow Ride : Perfect for beginners / returners to cycling / family
🔵 Blue Ride : Perfect for those who fancy something a bit further, but in a chilled kind of way, suitable for all bikes
💗 Pink Ride : Take your pick of 3 different speedier longer, but still very friendly rides
NEW for 2023
Drop off your bike for repair in the Station South Cafe ANYTIME we're open.
If your bike needs fixing and you're struggling to drop in during Bike Station opening hours, you can now drop off your bike in the evening Wed to Sunday! Our friendly cafe team will take your details and our bike mechanic will give you a call to discuss what you need doing to your stead.
We are seeking directors to join our Board, to bring new thinking, views and experience into the organisation and to support us to grow and thrive into the future.
The organisation is at a pivotal point. After an incredible journey over the past few years, the small team has brought the Levenshulme Station South building back from dereliction and transformed it into a vibrant community venue. It now forms a destination cycle café, bar, bike workshop and urban garden, offering a valued community asset for local residents, cyclists using the Fallowfield loop and visitors from further afield. A place to meet, eat, drink and dance. A year-round venue for everyone to enjoy activities, entertainment, learn new skills or simply relax with friends and family.
We now need to bring new directors on board to support us to build a resilient organisation into the future. Could this be you or someone you know?
If you have any questions, or would like an informal conversation to discuss the role in the first instance, please contact Abigail via firstname.lastname@example.org, who is happy to chat with you over the phone or meet in person.
All the best for 2023 from everyone at Station South.