Central Station was one of the main railway terminals in Manchester for some eighty-nine years. Opened on 1st July 1880 by the Cheshire Lines Committee, it served trains and passengers to several destinations, including London's St. Pancras Station. As part of the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, it was defined as being surplus to requirements and closed to passengers on 5th May 1969. It lay deretict for some thirteen years, being used as a car park and, on at least one occasion as a film set for Granada Television's series A Family At War. Purchased by Manchester City Council in 1982, they converted it into the Greater Manchester Exhibition and Conference Centre, or G-Mex, which opened on 21st March 1986. In January 2007, it was renamed "Manchester Central" to invoke its past as a major railway station.
In April 1962 Billy Walker rang his mother Annie from the station after he arrived from London, playing a joke on her by pretending to be a reporter. Exactly one year later, Dennis Tanner waited at the station for girlfriend Mavis Fox to arrive from the capital but she had got there before him and made her own way to Coronation Street. In July 1968, ten months before the station closed, Stan and Hilda Ogden went out to celebrate Stan becoming his own boss when he purchased a window cleaning round from I-spy Dwyer. Hilda feared that as the only eatery that Stan knew was the buffet restaurant in the station, that was going to be their destination. Emily Nugent suggested they try the Golden Mandarin Restaurant on Market Street instead.