Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Revisiting a favourite story from Didsbury’s past ......... Miss Bertha Geary

Now the thing about anniversaries is that they turn up all the time, from the big and momentous ones to the tiny private events.

And there are plenty of people who will follow the unfolding year ready to mark the exact moment in history when the calendar presents you with the same day a century after the event.

I am as guilty as the rest whether it be VE Day, the out break of the Great War on the tragic events in St Peter’s Field in the August of 1819.

So with all that in mind, here is the anniversary of the day Peter Topping and I decided to accept the invitation from Amberley Publishing and produce a book on the history of Didsbury.

The commission was familiar enough........ 90 old images of the township matched by 90 new making it one of those familiar then and now books.

What Made Didsbury Through Time different and mould breaking was that we decided to alter the tired formulae.  So some of the modern images were paintings by Peter and the text by me told the “stories behind the doors” of the people and buildings featured in the book.

After all there had already been two excellent histories written about Didsbury and no one wants to steal the thunder of other historians.  So instead I trawled the census returns and newspaper accounts used them to bring some of the residents of Didsbury back out of the shadows

My favourite was the young Bertha Geary who on a warm summer’s evening wrote to a friend “that she had heard the flying man.”*

It is a story I written about on the blog and of course is also in the book which is now into its third year.

Enough said.





Picture; Bertha’s postcard from the book Didsbury Through Time

Didsbury Through Time is available in Didsbury from Morten’s Bookshop on Warburton Road, Didsbury, and other bookshops.

* E.J. Morten Booksellers, 6 Warburton Street, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6WA,
Telephone: 0161 445 7629
* When young Bertha Geary heard history in the summer of 1911, https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/when-young-berta-geary-heard-history-in.html

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