Saturday, 30 April 2016

Down at Albert's with Mr Babayan from Constantinople

This is the Albert on Barlow Moor Road, but there will be some who remember it as a pub and a few who if pushed will own up a few late nights in the bar as guests of a resident when it was a hotel.

And that takes me back to the early 70s beyond which I cannot go but I bet there will be a few people who can.

In 1911 the property consisted of two big houses, occupied by Mr William B Bateman at nu 116 who described himself as a "silk merchant" and Mr Minas Babayan who lived next door at 118 and was a “grey cloth merchant.”

Both are intriguing individuals.  Mr Bateman was 80 and lived in the house with his wife and two unmarried children while Mr Babayan and three sisters had been born in Constantinople.

So there is plenty there to go at and I may well go looking for more on the two families.

But for now it is the building I am more interested in.

Originally each consisted of nine rooms and sat in modest grounds but I don’t yet know when they became a hotel.

Andy Robertson who took the picture as part of his West Didsbury series may well be able to shed a little light as he has the 1969 directory, failing that it is down to Central Ref to search the archives which will also be able to offer up a date for when they were built.

I know they were there by 1894 and will I suspect is part of that creep of houses which saw this bit of Didsbury developed in just a few short decades.

All of which leaves me to say we were there at Albert’s very recently and had a series of good meals, and I also fell into the place when it was a pub in the 19080s while my friend Lois can recall early morning sessions there after a late turn at the airport having been signed in as a guest by a resident.

Now I wonder what Mr Bateman and Mr Babayan would have made of that.

Picture; Albert’s, 2015 from the collection of Andy Robertson

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