Friday, 3 March 2017

Remembering Dave the “second hand name man”

Now Dave Drake, is someone I have never completely forgotten partly because he was “the second hand name man.”

It was a title bestowed on him back in 1970 and derived from his collection of forenames which from memory ran to five.”

And every time I pass the Didsbury Mosque I am reminded of him because for a short while he lived in the property next door.

He was there with , Mike Jarvis and someone I have now forgotten and they lived in the top floor flat which had a balcony.

I say balcony but it was really just a steel platform which in the event of a fire would allow the tenants some sort of escape from the inferno.

Back then the Mosque was still the Wesleyan Church which straddled both Barlow Moor Road and Burton Road.

I knew it not as a place of worship but as somewhere I passed when I lived opposite the Old House at Home.

On those long empty Sunday afternoons with little to do and even less in the way of money you had a choice of walking up Burton Road to Withington and the White Lion or down towards past the Canadian Charcoal Pit and the Hospital and then by degree along Barlow Moor Road to Didsbury.

Of all the days in the week Sunday on a wet March day was the worst.  True there was the evening in the pub to look forward to but before that there was a dreary round of nothing much to do save reading the papers, attempting the essay and deciding how to vary the Sunday meals.

This consisted of a can of corned beef and a tin of baked beans and peas.  The highlight of the day was the decision of which would accompany the corned beef at midday and which in the evening.

Now this was at a moment in my life when I didn’t cook much partly because the Baby Belling all in one hot plate and oven offered up little in the way of scope to turn out an elaborate meal.

Added to which the one saucepan and the water heater were hardly in themselves an incentive to be adventurous.

So Sunday passed with perhaps a visit to the launderette and a visit to Dave and Mick.

I can’t say I went often and then for a large part of the seventies I lived elsewhere but things have a habit of turning full circle.  Years later I would pass the old church on the way to visit Mike and Lois in the Didsbury Lodge and then more recently our Ben shared a flat on Burton Road.

In the intervening four decades Burton Road has become a place of wine bars and “interesting” shops and the church has become a Mosque.

Location West Didsbury

Painting; Didsbury Mosque, © 2013 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures
Web: www.paintingsfrompictures.co.uk

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