Thursday, 29 December 2016

On Wilmslow Road celebrating the coronation of King George V in 1911

The coronation of King George V on June 22 1911 was celebrated in Didsbury as it was all over the country.

The Principal of the Wesleyan College in Didsbury read a passage from the scriptures at the service in the Cathedral, in West Didsbury there was a procession from the Cavendish Road Recreation Ground to Barlow Hall Field where there were sports, maypole and Morris dancing, and passing near the station was a military march past.

Didsbury had set to work preparing for the event with a Festivities Committee and the local historian Fletcher Moss recorded the day.

A few copies of his book with the accompanying photographs have survived and seem to have been plundered by almost all the historians of the township since it was published in 1911.

“The great glory of the Coronation festivities of 1911 was the procession.
Everybody in Didsbury was expected to take some pat in it, either in work or money or both and both were freely given.

There were nearly a score of emblematic cars that is wagons laden with villagers dressed in fancy costumes...”*

And so to the pictures both were taken as the procession passed the Wellington Inn at the junction of Wilmslow and Barlow Moor Roads and both offer up something of Manchester as well as Didsbury in 1911.

Directly opposite the Wellington was the Nelson Inn run by Samuel Robert Cheetham who no doubt was on hand to welcome anyone who later wanted a drink.

And clear to see in the picture was the sign of A.E. & Co Ltd, fishmongers.

But I am more interested in the second picture with the Gymnasium Car and the Italian Dancing Girls.

Manchester’s Little Italy was off Great Ancoats Street and back in 1911 was a thriving community.

And here the photographer has caught that moment with the dancers in full action.

Pictures; from the Souvenir of the Coronation Festivities Held at Didsbury, June 22nd 1911, Fletcher Moss

*Fletcher Moss, Souvenir of the Coronation Festivities Held at Didsbury, June 22nd 1911

**Little Italy,

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