I spent two years on and off just behind it during the early 70’s, and visited most of the shops along this stretch of the main road including the Victoria Hotel.
And because I was a student I did go into the Library on the corner facing the water trough, although I do have to confess perhaps not as often as I should have done.
The walls and railings of the properties along with a large tree dominate the bottom right of our picture.
Now I rather fancy there will be a story to tell about what happened to the three houses, because in 1927 they have been demolished to be replaced by Withington Library. This was the third and last of the three to built when Chorlton, Withington, Didsbury and Burnage voted to join the city in 1904.
Only the two work men with the usual handcart appear to be in gainful employment, although I suppose that is a bit unfair on the tram driver and conductor.
So that pretty much is it except for that water trough which sadly it would appear I don’t remember. Well not at the corner of Wilmslow Road and Wellington Road. It had been here from 1876 to 1927 but as the Withington Civic Society records “was moved to the junction of Palatine Road and Wilmslow Road, opposite the White Lion. [and] was then moved to the Cotton Lane/Wilmslow Road corner.
‘... that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle and your beasts’ [2 Kings, 3:17]
is appropriately chosen - the trough provided water for people (a drinking fountain), for horses and, at the side, for dogs.”**
Picture; Wilmslow Road circa 1914, courtesy of Mark Fynn http://www.markfynn.com/manchester-postcards.htm
* The Libraries of south Manchester, part 2, Didsbury and Withington, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-libraries-of-south-manchester-part.html
**Withington Civic Society, https://sites.google.com/site/withingtoncivicsociety/