The Old Parsonage Stenner Lane Didsbury Manchester M20 2RQ 0161 445 7661

Didsbury Civic Society Newsletter February 2024

Welcome to our first edition of the DCS Newsletter 2024. Which will hopefully bring you news of the happenings, events, news and photographs of interest from around Didsbury. Contributions are always more than welcome, if you have something to tell Didsbury do not hesitate to contact Carol Wilkinson our editor on:

Included in this issue are pen portraits of the elected trustees who will be more than happy to work with all members and giving help and advice where possible.

We also intend to continue running our successful and popular social trips to places of historical interest, the arts and nature. Along with the Garden of Contemplation our biggest community project undertaken to date. The trustees look forward to working and meeting with you all during 2024.

Mike Collett (Chair)

Gordon Brown (Trustee)

Councillor Richard Kirkpatrick (Trustee)

Elaine Sams (Trustee)

Carol Wilkinson (Trustee)

Jubilee Gardens — 6th October Tidy up

Jubilee gardens having its winter tidy up many thanks to Luke from Southway Homes for his support and help Volunteers help every few months to tidy up the gardens, done some pruning and planting

Spring bulb planting – December

This was a bulb planting morning in December and we have another one planned to get the bulbs ready for the GOC spring planting. This links to the successful NiF grant awarded to DCS through the efforts of Pauline Ong.

The Poppy Path and the Cenotaph

The new temporary location for the war memorial wreaths and crosses. As the site clearance at the cenotaph is close to starting

Garden of Contemplation – Didsbury War Memorial

The new Garden of Contemplation – Didsbury War memorial (pictured below), will be created over about 2 years to produce a new space for all to enjoy.

Phase 1, commences on 29th January 2024. This Phase involves clearing the site, laying the base and paving the area. At present over 500 bulbs have been planted in pots and ready for Spring planting. At the same time we are researching the suitable seating ready for installing when funding is raised through grant applications and public donations.

Phase 2 will be installing the seating, custom made water feature and further plants, installation of electricity. We still have some way to go. Watch the area take shape over the next few months.

Thank you to all those below who have made this part of the work happen.

Garden of contemplation updates. .         

Our community project is starting to come together. 

The project to improve Didsbury’s cenotaph area has started.  The end of January the ground was cleared with the help of Manchester City Council (MCC) and @EQUANS_UK who are providing volunteers, equipment and materials.  You can view the garden plans in on our website: The full design by Peter Clare | Didsbury Civic Society

First pictures in January 2024. With thanks to MCC and Equan’s and Roche for their efforts on site.

Members from Equan’s staff worked hard, along with the project manager pitting up the temporary fencing signage. Then setting to clear and level the ground.

Concourse users are being advised about the site and the improvements taking place.

   However, the back wall looks significantly unstable with a large “fisher” running down it at the corner.

For more photos of the work so far go to the temporary photo page on Peter Clare’s website

February’s puzzle …………..

As at Friday 16th the paving slabs had been laid: with the cutting finished by Friday 23rd February within Phase 1 including the initial site clearance and levelling by Equan`s. Again, a big thank you to them for their planning, hard work and support in the community. We have now secured further grants from Manchester Airport Community Funding towards the new seating along with the Worshipful Company of Gardner`s for additional perennial bulbs and plants.

As previously mentioned, the back wall which forms part of the Domino`s Pizza building (preparation area) and is part of the Didsbury Heritage area is still causing concern, regarding its stability before and since the work has started.

It is understood that the responsibility forms part of Lessee`s agreement for maintenance and repair. It is important that Dominos management should be written to, reminding them of their responsibilities as the lease holders and their duty of care to the public. The roof also has a large amount of invasive Ivy growth, which could be further stressing the roof with additional weight.

March … Saturday morning first dig of the beds

We will keep you updated on progress.

Some local information on business in the East Didsbury – Gawsworth Ave area known as the Didsbury Hub

Railton-Meeks are a local Lettings & Property Management company, specialising in all aspects or the rental market. From preparing your property ready for letting, right through to finding the right tenants for your investment. We have over 20 years of experience, and we have excellent reviews.

Call Tara on 01614482154 to discuss your specific requirements

DCS Social Trip to Attingham Park Shrewsbury – Wednesday 27th September 2023

Our trip to Attingham Park started with the Coach and Passengers both being in place on time and ready to go at 8:30am, with our second pick up at 8:45am also to time. The weather looking good for our ever-popular social event, with the final head count of 35 travellers and off we went.

Surprisingly, even with the speed limit restrictions on the M6 motorway, our driver Howard delivered us to our first stop to water the horses and coffee at a new Designer Outlet of McArthur Glen West Midlands. A part of the Cheshire Oaks group and newly opened it was very smart, Italianate in design and decorated in a piazza style, with all of the top names present. Our money spent and lunch time approaching, all aboard for the Spread Eagle near Penkridge on the A5.

Being the first customers of the day, it was quiet and we were on time for the first cuts of the day in the carvery, and with all preferences catered for by great staff.

The buntings up for the Attingham Grand Tour 2023

Back onto the coach for Attingham Park. Unfortunately, the weather was taking a turn for the worse with grey clouds appearing, rain predicted and high winds. Even a yellow warning! Gordon was now in close contact with NT at Attingham for their visitor update.

The house built in 1785 is a Neo-Classical Georgian Mansion of very generous proportions. It is typical of the period in that many buildings of this era were updated by encapsulation (rendering) to update it into a modern and luxurious house of the period. Such changes were made to demonstrate the wealth of the owners.

The welcome committee in waiting for Didsbury Civic Society.

The records in the house basement and kitchen areas show that the staff were well paid for their services. The house with its long carriageway and gardens were designed by Landscape Architect Humphry Repton with a picture gallery by John Nash.

On a good day there are nice walks in the deer park, with a walled garden, open fields, and walks of one to four miles. Unfortunately, not on this day!

Thank you, Gordon, for organising this trip.

Dates for your diary of upcoming events

8th MayDidsbury Civic TripLytham Hall
8th JuneDidsbury FestivalDidsbury Park
15 &16 JuneDidsbury Open Gardens 
8 & 19th JulyDidsbury C of E Primary Art   ExhibitionDidsbury Library
28th JulyParsonage Summer FairOld Parsonage
7,8,14 & 15 SeptemberDidsbury Heritage Weekend 
14th NovemberCarol & Lights Christmas switch on 
23rd NovemberGala Fundraiser for Didsbury Festival 2025Northenden Golf Club
24th NovemberChristmas FairOld Parsonage

DCS Social Trip to Lytham Hall, Wednesday 8th May 2024

The originally planned venue for the trip has been has been changed. The new venue is now Lytham Hall. The new details are as follows:

In the morning, we will drive to Lytham with a stop in the centre for a coffee break and some browsing and shopping.

Lunch will be a carvery at the Water`s Edge Hotel around 11:45.

In the afternoon we will visit Lytham Hall which was built in 1764. A fine Georgian Mansion of Palladian Architecture and Grade1 listed. It was designed by John Carr, a famous architect of the period. John Carr was probably best known for the Buxton Crescent and Harewood House, West Yorkshire.

At Lytham Hall our group will be directed to a private room where tea/coffee and biscuits will be served. Whilst we enjoy our refreshments a guide will enlighten us with a short history of the ownership by the Clifton Family.

Schedule for the day:

08:30am   Pick up at Didsbury Library

08:40am   Pick up at East Didsbury Methodist Church

10:15am   Arrive Lytham Town centre

11:45am   Leave for carvery lunch

13:30pm   Leave for Lytham Hall

13:45pm   Lytham Hall

16:15pm   Leave for Didsbury

The cost including coach, lunch, entrance, guided tour of the house and gratuities is £43.00 per person. Non-members are also welcome.


I would like to join the trip: ……………………………………………….

Accompanied by: ………………………………………………………….

Email Contact: ……………………………      Telephone Contact:  ……………………….

Emergency telephone contact name: …………………………………

Emergency telephone contact number: ……………………………….

Payment preferred by bank transfer to Sort Code: 40-31-20 Account:11514644

Or cheque payable to Didsbury Civic Society at The Old Parsonage Office

Didsbury Spann`s Ghost Advertisement

Who were the Spann Family who advertised their business on the gable end of the building which is now Costa Coffee in Didsbury?

The advert is now a ghost sign but originally read “TEL. 234 DIDSBURY, SPANNS, BLINDS, REMOVING, CARPET, LINOLEUM & BEDDING WAREHOUSE”.

A further exciting announcement will follow soon to commemorate this family and their life in Didsbury society,

More information is on our website Didsbury Spann`s Ghost Advertisement | Didsbury Civic Society