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Contents Friends Of Lapwing Lane Arcade
to the February edition of Community Index
Cracking Good Food
We’ve got trees with no leaves, wild food courses, a banker with a very big house, love in a cemetery, a long-awaited restoration, a ghostly choir, affordable acupuncture, potatoes to chit, a website for renters, netball fun and Didsbury’s very own anti-apartheid hero. All in this month’s bumper edition! How on earth do we fit it all in? Joe Beech
Southern Cemetery There’s More to a Tree Than Just Leaves
Acupuncture... who needs it?
February In Your Garden
Sport In Didsbury
Pick up a copy of Community Index at
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Didsbury Through Time
Marketing & Development
Joanne Kaberry 14th February, 2014 Contributors
Deborah Grace Nola Chesworth Adele Jordan Annie Walker RGN BSc MBAcC Lic Ac Sam Turner Sam & Aidy from Rated Rentals Andrew Simpson Katherine Watson Geoff Garnett
Didsbury People Bernard Gosschalk
Interview by Deborah Grace During the 1950s, architect Bernard Gosschalk was among a minority of white South African, anti-apartheid activists. A member of the left-wing Congress of Democrats, working closely with the ANC, he was imprisoned twice. In 1966, he and his family left South Africa for Manchester where he took up a university post. Now 88 and a grandfather of twelve, Bernard has twice been widowed. Ruth, his wife of 40 years, died of leukaemia in 1994. His second wife Zelda developed Alzheimer’s and died recently and Bernard movingly recounts Zelda’s decline in his book, ‘Z – Alzheimer’s – A Shared Journey’ (Cape Town, New Voices Publishing).
Who has been your biggest inspiration? My father, born in Hull in 1895. He was badly gassed in France in 1916 and was in hospital for two years. In 1918 he was given six months to live in the English climate, so he emigrated to Cape Town and survived to 85! He was a wonderful man. He taught me the futility of war, of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ (Robert Burns) and that, even in South Africa, you couldn’t be a racist and get away with it!
What was the lowest point during your years of activism? My second jail term; four months in solitary confinement. ‘Low’ is not the right word; I was frustrated, cut off from Ruth and our four children. Conditions in prison were barbaric and we were not allowed books, radio, newspapers or even pencil and paper. The total isolation was intended to break you down and fear was ever-present with constant interrogations. Like Steve Biko, many Africans were
tortured to death in prison.
Do you feel any bitterness or disappointment about the way things have turned out so far in South Africa? I have no illusions about mankind’s positive and negative characteristics. We are all capable of doing wonderful and terrible things. The ANC was a political alliance ranging from left to right. Winning liberation threw up political and social problems as in all ex-colonies - Nigeria, India, Ceylon. Zelda wrote much about the corruption of power. As an award-winning journalist, she saw it all at close quarters. White South Africa was never an example of morality and social norms are difficult to change in any country. The social and political effects of 350 years of segregation will take a long time to shake off.
When were you happiest? Sharing my life with two wonderful, progressive wives
and bringing up four children with positive social ideas and concerns. Knowing my South African friends, some of the best people in the world, who also went through the mill. Living in Cape Town, the real love of my life since the age of 13 when I took the decision to live there. The Cape Town mountains are my geological and spiritual love.
Is experiencing love worth the subsequent pain of loss? Bereavement is for me the worst thing in ‘life’. Twice it has proved to me that there is no just God. He is only as good or bad as the rest of us.
What is the most important lesson that life has taught you? My father was right in his social concerns.
Where is home? Despite everything, home is still Devil’s Peak, Cape Town, above Rhodes memorial - just one more contradiction!
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Friends Of Lapwing Lane Arcade get canopy restoration underway After two years of hard work recruiting support, and raising funds, the dreams of the West Didsbury community are being realised. On Monday January 20th workmen moved in to the Lapwing Lane arcade (opposite the West Didsbury tram stop) to start the eight week restoration project. During these two years there have been many setbacks, and a few false dawns, but the determination of the local people not to let this piece of Edwardiana crumble and collapse has won through. Quiz nights, Ceilidhs, Heritage weekends and hefty grants from both Manchester City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund have helped to get the campaign ‘over the line’. Many of those who have supported the ‘Friends of Lapwing Lane Arcade’ (FOLLA) campaign remember back to earlier times when this group of shops with its elegant canopy was a jewel in the West Didsbury crown. Key to reaching the target, however, has been the extraordinarily successful Pay for a Pane scheme. For £100 local people have sponsored one of the panes of glass in the renewed canopy roof structure - and in return are getting a line on the commemorative plaque that will be installed on the arcade when the work is complete. To date just over 120 panes have been sponsored and until the end of February we are still taking Pay for a Pane donations. Just go to the website (www. folla.org.uk), download a form and be a part of this community success story.
Book Reviews by Deborah Grace Louise is devastated without him. Meanwhile, her next door neighbour, Justin, is causing her sleepless nights by playing loud music at all hours. As Louise becomes increasingly obsessed with the idea of catching him out, Justin invents new tortures, apparently replacing Queen with the voices of young boys singing sacred choral music.
The Orphan Choir Sophie Hannah Louise Beeston is a woman on the edge. Her seven-year-old son, Joseph, is boarding at a prestigious choir school, despite her strenuous objections, and
Close to breaking point, Louise discovers Swallowfield, a luxurious – and unsettlingly quiet – gated community set in a rural idyll. A move to the country follows just in time to save her sanity – until, that is, Louise finds that the music has followed her. Even worse is the discovery that the haunting voices belong to a choir of
before the author’s recent death, ‘All Change’ comes nearly twenty years after the original tetralogy which explored the lives of an upper-middleclass family in wartime England.
All Change Elizabeth Jane Howard There is a distinctly elegiac tone to the fifth and final instalment of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s hugely successful Cazalet Chronicles. Published shortly
In this concluding novel we are in the 1950s; the battles of the past are all but forgotten and the England that has emerged in the post-war years is barely recognisable. With the death of the family’s beloved matriarch, The Duchy, so the old way of life – privilege, country houses, troops of servants – has been swept away by the bitter winds of change. Now in their sixties and facing the challenges of a bewildering modern world, Hugh and Edward are struggling to manage the family business. Polly and
children only she can see and hear… Sophie Hannah’s first foray into ghost fiction, as part of the Hammer/Arrow Books horror series, has led to inevitable comparisons with ‘The Woman in Black.’ While lacking, it must be said, the sheer, freezing terror of Susan Hill’s Gothic classic, ‘The Orphan Choir’ is nevertheless a subtle, little chiller that creeps slyly under your skin as the tension builds to the final twist in the tale. Louise Beeston’s unreliable narration is particularly unnerving, leaving the reader unsure as to whether her experiences are supernatural in origin or the hallucinations of a dangerous and paranoid mind.
Clary, children for most of the previous novels, now have adult responsibilities and are juggling the demands of marriage, family and career. But of all the family, it is Rachel, now living in a discreet lesbian relationship with her beloved Sid, whose faith and resilience will be most sorely tested. Despite a long and distinguished career, Howard often encountered a certain sniffiness on the part of the literary establishment as a writer of ‘women’s novels’. She herself described her readers as ‘women and educated men’. ‘All Change’, like her previous works, marks her out not only as a brilliant storyteller, but as a writer of rare insight, wit and compassion.
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Cracking Good Food Cracking Good Food is a Chorlton based not-forprofit social enterprise that encourages cooking tasty, nutritious meals from scratch through hands-on workshops and courses for paying customers and community groups. Their passion is that good food is not expensive when you know what to cook and how to cook it. The Cracking Cooks include bread expert Rob Tomlinson, Hairy Bikers star Harjinder Kaur, game expert Robert Owen Brown, 1847 Bistro and Noma Copenhagen’s Wendy Swetnam, and Michelin-trained Jules Bagnoli. They use seasonal, organic
and fair-trade ingredients from independent retailers, and they often source their produce for community events from Fareshare - food that would otherwise be destined for composting. In 2012 Cracking Good Food was short-listed as a Food & Drink Pioneer in the Manchester Food & Drink Festival Awards. The team has worked with various like-minded sustainable organisations, such as The Kindling Trust, and they’re currently in partnership with with Recycle For Greater Manchester offering free cookery sessions promoting the Love Food Hate Waste message.
Number One in Visit Manchester’s ‘Five Great Cookery Courses’, they run a rolling programme of cooking and bread making courses in Chorlton and Whalley Range, offering the cheapest cookery classes in the region. They also run wild food foraging events in Chorlton and Didsbury and in June they’re launching a new Dinner Party Cooking Club, hosted by Wendy Swetnam, in collaboration with And The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon in West Didsbury.
www.crackinggoodfood.org Facebook: Cracking Good Food Blog: http://crackingcooks. blogspot.co.uk/ Twitter: @CrackingFood Adele Jordan: 07910 673113
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Acupuncture... who needs it?
by Annie Walker RGN BSc MBAcC Lic Ac The Acupuncture Works Acupuncture can be effective for conditions that don’t respond well to conventional medicine, such as stress, insomnia, migraine, fertility issues, anxiety, depression and low back pain. These conditions may be chronic and debilitating, and can reduced the sufferer’s ability to earn a living; meaning there’s a strong likelihood that chronically ill people are also poor. The average cost of acupuncture in Manchester is £35-£50 an hour, putting it out of the reach of those who need
it most; a world away from Acupuncture’s original ethos. In response to this, there are an increasing number of ‘Low Cost’ clinics where Acupuncture is offered for a minimum charge, without compromising the expertise of the practitioner. The Acupuncture Works is one such clinic. It’s a not-for-profit community cooperative located in the city centre and at MMU. Treatments cost as little as £15 for those on a low income. How do they manage it? They use a multi-bed clinic, like a hospital ward. Patients are treated in one large space, with
screens for privacy, ensuring that everyone can be observed for safety, but enabling several patients to be treated simultaneously. The savings are passed on to the patient. The practitioners are members of the British Acupuncture Council and uphold its professional codes of conduct. This low-cost, multi-bed option is ideal for people with long term conditions, including chronic pain, diabetes, stroke, heart failure, dementia, mental ill-health, substance misuse issues and even maternity needs.
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Southern Cemetery Love’s final chapter by Nola Chesworth
A graveyard is not the obvious choice as a romantic destination; however, walking underneath the trees and reading the inscriptions on the headstones, it soon becomes obvious you are reading the final chapter of many people’s great love stories. Couples are reunited in their final resting places; some after many years apart are now ‘Together at Last,’ while others left this world close together; unable to live without the other, dying of a broken heart. We know how it ended for Romeo
and Juliet, for Anthony and Cleopatra and for Noah and Allie; but we can only imagine the stories that go with the names we read on the gravestones in the cemeteries we visit. Just because we don’t recognise the names, it doesn’t mean that the story is less beautiful, passionate or tragic than the ones we are familiar with. As you stroll around Southern Cemetery you are surrounded by thousands of gravestones and monuments, each one like the cover of a book; containing a great romantic novel which is yet to be read.
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There’s More to a Tree Than Just Leaves by Sam Turner BSc (Hons) Arboriculture, TechArborA Local hardwood firewood | Timber for joinery Mulch for local allotments Arboricultural Consultant, Greater Manchester TreeStationSleepers and Weatherboards Biomass woodchip
The ‘January Blues’ must surely be directly correlated with the final consumption of leftover Christmas confectionery. It may also be compounded by the fact that the urban greenery is looking rather bare to the untrained eye at this time of year. So, if you think that trees and shrubs don’t have much to offer in winter, please read on. Less obvious tree features to admire at the moment include buds and bark. Buds come in all shapes, sizes and colours and there is a real satisfaction in observing them ripen and burst as the temperature warms up. Large obvious buds to get started with include horse chestnuts - an oppositely arranged and sticky to the touch affair, containing tiny undeveloped versions of its palmate leaves. Interesting bark can be found on introduced species such as the snake bark maples and paper birch, but our native birches (silver and downy) provide attractive silvery white stems and branches. Winter flowering trees and shrubs bring a real level of sophistication to a garden or public space and have the added benefit of providing an otherwise largely absent source of nectar for the birds and the bees (a great argument against the ‘native trees only’ debate).
Glamorous trees and shrubs of this persuasion include the winter flowering Japanese cherries. Less glamorous but far more robust, the many varieties of Mahonia present large spires
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“...if you think that trees and shrubs don’t have much to offer in winter, please read on.” of (normally yellow) flowers which can be found in car park borders. Then there are the berried trees, which provide all important winter fodder for birds and give us a wonderful colourful splash to brighten up even the greyest of Mancunian days. These include rowans, whitebeams and holly, but also large leaved cotoneasters which hold on to their berries for a very long time. Just this weekend I spent an hour watching a group of three Redwings feeding from one in a Chorlton back garden. Other birds to look out for include mixed flocks of Blue, Great and Long-Tailed Tits. These may be accompanied by Nuthatches and Goldcrests as they move around foraging for food. Winter thrushes such as
Redwings and Fieldfares may still be seen and be sure to listen out for the sound of Mistle and Song Thrushes. One thing for tree owners to bear in mind is that with the approaching spring comes the bird nesting season (the majority of UK birds nest from March to August), but we wouldn’t expect any to be nesting at this time of year. So if you’ve been putting off any hedging work (leylandii especially…), now really is a critical time to get it done before the birds move in and get down to business.
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Didsbury Through Time by Andrew Simpson Wood Lawn was one of those very big houses that Didsbury used to excel at.
It stood on what was Fielden Park and is now Mersey Road which runs from Palatine Road up to Barlow Moor Road. It had fifteen rooms, was set in extensive grounds which ran down towards the Mersey and was flanked by the even more impressive houses of Brockhurst to the north and Mersey Bank to the south, both of which commanded even bigger gardens and both of which had their own fountains. Now I can’t be sure exactly when it was built but it was there by 1891 when it was the home of James and Rosamund Halliday. He was an accountant and partner in a number of firms including Deloitte and Halliday with offices at Queen Elms on High Street and on Oxford Street and later described himself as a banker. Born in Scotland he was here in Manchester by 1861. We can track him from Chorlton on Medlock to Broome House in Didsbury where the family were living in 1881. And like so many of the other residents of Broome House they went on to bigger and better homes which, in the case of the Halliday’s was Wood Lawn. There is no doubting that this was an impressive property. You reached it by a tree lined drive with paths off across the gardens down towards the river and past a series of large greenhouses. The house was built on a raised bank which meant the entrance up to the front door was by way of a set of stone steps. Looking at the pictures of the place you have to admit that it was a solid and magnificent place, which befitted a banker.
Halliday died in 1913 and this will have been when Mrs Laura Churchill bought the property, a year later offering it to the Red Cross as a hospital at the start of the Great War. But that is a story for another time.* The house was demolished, I think, in the 1990s and may have been a convent school which pretty much means there is more to find out about the place and that also will be for later.
Picture of Wood Lawn courtesy of Rob Mellor. Read more on the history of Didsbury in Andrew Simpson & Peter Topping’s new book “Didsbury Through Time.” chorltonhistory.blogspot. com
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Community Index Societies & Groups
Didsbury Village East Residents Association
Didsbury Over 50s Group 247 2323
Acting For Fun Central
South Manchester U3A
Didsbury Village WI
Didsbury 431 4794
Didsbury Amateur Dramatics celestaplayers.co.uk
Didsbury Civic Society didsburycivicsociety. org.uk Didsbury Cricket Club didsburyccsports.co.uk
Dolls House and Miniatures Group 2nd
Monday of each month, 8 - 10pm, Whalley Range Venue. Ann 07814 861285
Friends of Didsbury Park friendsofdidsbury park.co.uk
Friends of Fletcher Moss Park Alan Hill 215
didsburydinners.wordpress. com For general enquiries/ Community growing group: didsburydinners@yahoo. co.uk
0971 awhill@globalnet. co.uk
Community cooking group community.
Didsbury Good Neighbours Every Tues
10-11.45am coffee morning. Holt Pavilion, Didsbury Park 07749 504298 www. didsburygoodneighbours. org.uk
Didsbury Ladies Probis Club Alternate Monday
afternoons in East Didsbury. Joan Woodall 0161 434 2532
Didsbury Lawn Tennis Club Bob Peel, 01614 45 0465 didsburyccsports. co.uk
Friends of Marie Louise Gardens Manchester JKF Karate Club Didsbury
MMU Sports Centre, Tuesdays 8.30pm Ben Pollock, 07894108944
Oneness Deeksha Meditation Saturdays
11am-12 at The Didsbury Parsonage, Stenner Lane M20 2RQ. Donation £2 Christine 07734 072040.
South Manchester Camera Club Mondays at 8 - 10pm, Didsbury Methodist Church smcc. org.uk
1st Tuesday of the month 2pm, Emmanuel Church. Edna 434 2509
West Didsbury Bookgroup Meets every
four weeks at 7.30pm. Lively mixed group of all ages. Call 445 4483 leaving your name, address & landline
West Didsbury Residents Association Pam Siddons
445 5406 westdidsbury. org.uk
Withington Civic Society Roger Smith 445 1473 withingtoncivicsociety.org.uk
Social & Support Groups Manchester Diabetes Support Network Details/ venues/ monthly dates etc diabetesinmanchester@ gmail.com 0161 860 5688/07414 635992
New Family Social UK charity for LGBT adopters, foster carers and their children. Meets every month in south Manchester. newfamilysocial.org.uk email: nwdevelopment@ newfamilysocial.co.uk
Useful Numbers Didsbury Library 227 3755
Environment on Call 954 9000
Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service 905 1100
Manchester City Council 234 5000
Didsbury East Councillors Andrew Simcock
Didsbury West Councillors Mark Clayton
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February In Your Garden by Katherine Watson Since handing in my allotment keys, time-poor and shamefaced at my lack of discipline in the crop-rotation department, I have resorted to growing a few more manageable bits and bobs at home, not necessarily for the savings it creates in my weekly shop, but for the satisfaction in growing something that, a few weeks later, produces something else that you can eat. Radishes and cut andcome-again salads are great for garden growing, as are dwarf sugar snaps, peas and beans that can mingle in the borders happily. But perhaps the most exciting garden crop is the potato, producing a secret cache under the compost in as short a time as 8-10 weeks. The good thing about potatoes is that you can start the first earlies in February. First earlies, often called salad potatoes, come to maturity the fastest of all the potato groups; second earlies and maincrop being the others. I have just ordered four varieties of first earlies in a New Year haze of enthusiasm, so that I can start chitting them this month. After an afternoon’s trawl of t’internet, varieties recommended by proper allotmenteers include: Sharpes Express a heritage variety going since 1901, Lady Christl and
“...perhaps the most exciting garden crop is the potato, producing a secret cache under the compost in as short a time as 8-10 weeks” Home Guard which was one of the main potato staples during the second world war. Chitting a potato requires an egg box or other container, some potatoes (obviously) and some light inside the house or in a porch or conservatory. When the
tubers have sprouted, around the end of February/beginning of March, you can plant them. I have used big plastic pots for my potatoes in the past but you can also use old compost bags (with holes for drainage) or special potato grow bags. Fill the pot/bag a third of the way with compost and place tubers at 30cm distances, sprouting bits upwards. Cover in compost to a depth of 10cm. When the resulting growth starts to ﬂower the potatoes are ready. I found some good suppliers who can provide small quantities for modest aspirations: JBAseedpotatoes.co.uk and simply-seed.co.uk but there will be others to choose from.
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Sport in Didsbury by Geoff Garnett
Action man Bob’s up for the job Bob Bolton has been a faithful member of Withington Golf Club for the past 39 years and has served in many voluntary roles over the years lending his skills in marketing and advertising. Now he is delighted to take on the role as the Captain. He has always been a top player with a current handicap of five. He’ll share the Captain’s Charity with Lady Captain, Helen Card; This year it’s the Alzheimer’s
Society. Bob’s also chairman of Trafford Metro Swimming Club, still competing as a masters swimmer and he also loves cycling. Bob’s golfing idol is Jack Nicklaus. Bob said: “He is the greatest-ever and a true gentleman and if had to play with him in a four ball I would send the other two away so that I could spend time with him on our own.” Bob driving into office
Get back to Netball The award winning ‘Back to Netball’ programme has seen over 35,000 women start playing again. Now the the programme is being offered at Loreto High School, Nell Lane, Chorlton. Organiser Lucy O’Gorman said: “The sessions, led by qualified coaches, provide a gentle re-introduction for women over 16. The aim is to get fit whilst having fun in a social environment. We cover basic skills like passing and footwork and even playing a fun match.” Mondays, 6-7 pm, £3. They are also looking to start after
Ladies enjoying a session at Loreto
school u11s and junior sessions. If you are interested in joining, contact lucy.o’gorman@ englandnetball.co.uk.
If you have any stories about sport in Didsbury contact Geoff on 0161 881 7550 or email@example.com
Things that you can’t really get from an energy performance rating or spending 5-10 minutes walking round the place.
The ‘Trip Adviser’ for rented homes needs your reviews!
We need your reviews
by Sam & Aidy, Rated Rentals The idea for Rated Rentals came about after one too many freezing cold, soaking wet, semi-naked trips downstairs to re-set the boiler whilst trying to have a shower! We thought ‘If only we had known we were moving into a house with the worst boiler ever in the depths of winter!’ So, we have set about trying to change that. As long as there are people, there will be renters, and we want the rental community to help each other out.
The idea is to create a level playing field for tenants, landlords and agents. We aren’t saying all landlords and agents are bad, or all tenants are perfect. We just want to create a forum for open and honest feedback.
individual sessions and groups
Sue Fleming MSTAT www.alexanderteaching.co.uk ☎ 861 8848 mob 07796470163 Chequers Road Chorlton Union Chapel, Fallowﬁeld
& Sports Injury Clinic • • • • • •
Physiotherapy Sports Massage Massage in Pregnancy Core Strengthening Podiatry Ergonomic Assessments
☎ 445 8530 mob 07821470349 The Didsbury Holistic Centre and Lidgate Grove Didsbury
It’s free and quick to leave a review, there aren’t any annoying ads and we don’t bombard people with emails. Just go to www.ratedrentals. com, add the property and leave a short review.
Before you can think about moving into a property, you have to provide credit checks and references, but what do you Open really know about the place? HOUSE Simple questions like; ‘is the Calling Allwww.ratedrentals.com Chorlton & Whalley Range Renters! landlord reliable when it comes twitter We’ve launched a new@RatedRentals review website for people just like yo to fixing things quickly?’ or ‘what To find out You more and toalso be in with can finda chance us onof winning a £10 are the bills like in winter?’ worth of Ikea vouchers, log on to www.ratedrentals.com Facebook
What we need now, are your reviews, and lots of them! The more reviews we get, the better tool the site will be for other renters.
3 Warburton Street, Didsbury Village, Manchester M20 6WA 0161 448 7844 firstname.lastname@example.org www.didsburyphysio.co.uk
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