Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Down on Didsbury Road on Heaton Mersey

Now here is one of those pictures which will fascinate loads of people and may start off umpteen conversations in the bars and newsagents of Heaton Mersey.

This is Didsbury Road.  I can’t be sure when but judging by the car and the clothes we will be in the 1920s into the 30s and we are on that stretch of the road with Greenbank Avenue to our left and some at least will ask the obvious question why take a picture of this bit of Heaton Mersey?

To which the answer is simply “where ever I rest my camera tripod that’s my picture.”

Commercial photographers were forever on the look out for a scene which would convert into cash, and so having taken the standard half dozen images of the area, sold them onto a postcard company there was also the option of offering them up to the residents along the road.

Of course I have no idea who might have bought this one but often you come across a postcard with an X above a house with the message on the back that “this is where we live.”

And so back to Heaton Mersey and anyone familiar with this bit of the road will instantly recognise the house on the corner of Greenbank and the outline of the shops beyond what is now a medical practice, but may well ponder on when the shop and row of terraced houses on the opposite side were demolished.

I am fully confident someone will know and in the fullness of time will tell me.

For now I will just reflect as many others will do on the lack of cars and the horse drawn cart on that sunny day almost ninety years ago.

It comes from the collection of David Harrop and was one of the images that he passed over to me when I first started researching the new book on Manchester and the Great War.*

I think it had slipped into the pack by accident but it was one I knew I would want to use.

So here it is, with a special thank you to David.

Location; Heaton Mersey, Greater Manchester

Picture; Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey, circa 1920s-30s, from the collection of David Harrop

* Manchester and the Great War, Andrew Simpson, due out at the end of 2016,

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