Wednesday, 30 September 2015

One of the last photographs from the Wesleyan College in Didsbury ......... 1940

The year of 1940
Now this is one of those little bits of history which could so easily have been lost forever.

We are looking at a photograph of the students who attended the old Wesleyan College in Didsbury between 1939-40.

For almost a century it had been preparing men for the Methodist ministry and 1940 was a landmark in its history.

Students
During the last world war the college had become a hospital and in 1946 it was sold to Manchester Education Committee which means that this picture has real historical significance.

Added to this we know the names of all those who stare back at us including those who were leaving that year and the teaching staff.

In time it should be possible to track most of the men and in so doing build a profile of that year’s student body and of course go a little way to discovering what happened to  each of them.

Some no doubt went on to serve in the war while others took up posts in the church

Now such photographs are not rare but ones with such a local connection do not always surface.

And for this one I have David Harrop to thank.  David is a keen collector of memorabilia associated with both world wars and the history of the postal service.

The College, 1920
Many of these items have appeared in his permanent exhibitions at the Remembrance Lodge in Southern Cemetery, and we have discussed just what the chances are that some of these men will be buried in Southern.

It is a question as yet I have no answer to but I think it will well worth researching.

At present I have come across little material on the final period of the Methodist College which makes the photograph both unique and important.

And points to the importance of such material which by chance has survived three quarters of a century and was spotted by David on eBay.

So as they say watch this spot.

Picture; Students and staff Didsbury College, 1939-40 and the main building of the college 1920, courtesy of Paul O’Sullivan

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