Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Who knew Derrick A. Lea of Illustrations & Design?

I am looking at one of eight illustrations produced by Derrick A. Lea.  

My eight are all greetings cards, some of which have a Christmas message and others with a more general inscription.

Of the eight, five are of Chorlton, one of Longford Hall and another of the Old Parsonage in Didsbury.

Now this does not surprise me over much because Mr Lea gave his address as Rybebank Road, and earlier in the 1950s he had been living on Dalmorton Road which is in between Egerton Road South and Kings Road.

But that is about all I do know of the chap.  So far I have discovered he was born in Bucklow in Cheshire in 1920, got married in 1949 and produced these fine pictures of south Manchester.

My eight belong to Margaret who bought a job lot some years ago using them as cards for friends and relatives.

Luckily for me she retained these last eight.

And the one I have in front of me is one of the lost buildings which only went in the last decade of the last century.

This is Longford Hall “the residence of the late John Rylands, was bought by him in 1855 and acquired by the Stretford Council in 1911.  The park and playing fields were extended by the purchase of additional land from Manchester Corporation and is much used for sport and other social gatherings.”*

Like many people I let this building go by with little thought about what was lost when it was demolished.

So I shall come back to Mr Lea’s Longford Hall in due course, but in the meantime I am still at a loss to know more about the man.

It was drawn in 1957 and some of the others of the eight date from the years around that time. Others have no date but I guess will be contemporary.

What makes them fascinating is that they cover a period when Chorlton was continuing to change.

I can not however date when they were made into cards but some at least have a telephone number containing the old mix of letters and numbers.

Now the switch to all figure dialing began in 1966 and was completed four years later and Manchester was one of the first cities to make the change.

All of which places the cards no later than 1970 and possibly earlier.

Margaret had seen the cards advertised sometime in the mid 1970s by Mrs Lea and went round to the house on Ryebank and bought a selection.  I would like to know more but that at present is all there is

But at least we his pictures.

Picture; Longford Hall, by Derrick A. Lea

*text by Derrick A. Lea

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