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May 2011

Community Index - independent community magazines Delivered FREE to Didsbury homes

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M Duffin Property Repairs Chimneys Pointing Roofs Gutters

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DIDSBURY TAG NEWS save more, buy better, shop local


SPRUCE UP YOUR TREE PIT with Danielle Lowy






MAY IN YOUR GARDEN Katherine Watson


Community Index




3 Rainy day in Didsbury by Kath McGloughlin

Lesley Swann

SUB-EDITOR Sam Paechter


Sue Fleming, Katherine Watson, Maria Stripling, Philip Hannaway Danielle Lowy, Carol Thompson


Ellen and the Escapades

Andy Burgess Owl in Didsbury Park by N Holmes


Tel: Lesley 0787 589 5604 DEADLINE FOR THE NEXT EDITION 13th May 2011


4 Mosaics by school pupils & Sally Almond

Didsbury Open Gardens Blooming Great! For Manchester’s garden lovers, the Didsbury Open Gardens charity event just can’t be beaten and when it comes to a blooming great afternoon out with the chance to have a nosey at other people’s gardens, this is one event not to be missed! More than 25 public and private gardens will open this year, in aid of St Anne’s Hospice and The Alzheimers Society. Last year 1,000 people, young and old, walked or cycled between the

gardens and the event raised over £8,000 for good causes. The organisers hope to smash through the £25,000 barrier this year, which also happens to be the 40th Anniversary of St Anne’s Hospice. There are bountiful delights and secret gardens, scrumptious cakes, live Jazz and beautiful sculpture by local artist Judy Taylor. Then there’s the Chainsaw Wood carving from Didsbury’s very own Andy Burgess and an

Rainy day in Didsbury by Kath McGloughlin

exhibition of Mosaic flowers, made by pupils from Elm Grove and Broad Oak primary schools. Local artist, Sally Almond, who ran the school mosaics workshops will also be exhibiting some of her own sculptures that will soon be at The Eden Project where Sally will run workshops. The Open Gardens Photography competition will also be repeated after last year’s success. All the family can enjoy Didsbury Open Gardens, knowing that it is in a very good cause. The event will take place on Sunday 12 June from 12 noon till 5.30pm. Programmes are available from 3 May, at The Cheese Hamlet, Inman’s Newsagents and Delia’s Florist. Cost £5. Go to www. for news and updates.


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The Alexander Techinque Sue Fleming

What is the Alexander Technique? The Alexander Technique teaches practical skills to help improve how you move, perform, look and feel. It’s a self-help method that works with the dynamics of the neuro-muscular skeletal system so you can choose better balance and poise in your life.

What can I use it for?


The Alexander Technique is best known amongst actors, musicians and singers which isn’t surprising as its originator, F.M. Alexander began working on the Technique in the 1890’s because he had trouble with his voice whilst reciting on stage. He subsequently developed this selfhelp method as a way of enabling and improving performance, and began helping others with voice problems before gaining a reputation for addressing a wider range of conditions. From these beginnings, the Alexander Technique has been taught in music and drama schools internationally for many years, and has been used by a variety of performing artists including Paul McCartney, Judy Dench and John Cleese.

Sports and fitness But the Alexander Technique enables people to improve their performance in many fields and this includes any sports you might play, as well as your general fitness. In addition to the re-education that any qualified Alexander Technique teacher can provide, there are Alexander Technique teachers that specialise in sports such as running, swimming and horse-riding, who can provide more specific advice within their area of expertise. Short one-day workshops on cycle-technique are currently planned by myself and a cycle trainer. They will include an introduction to the Alexander

Technique to help with balance and make riding easier.

In the workplace Most people will be familiar, either directly or through someone they know, with the range of musculoskeletal problems that arise from work-related stresses and strains. Back pain is often associated with working practices, particularly with intense use of the computer. The Alexander Technique has been increasingly recognised in business and it is used by a wide range of companies including ICI, The Guardian and the BBC. The British Medical Journal recently published research that clearly demonstrated long-term success of the Alexander Technique in addressing chronic back pain.

How can I find out more? There are a range of useful books about the Alexander Technique, and the library, bookshop or the internet are all good starting points. There are also videos available on the internet, and a rich variety of information on individual teachers’ websites. A good starting point is the website of the Society of the Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) at

7 Both courses and individual lessons are available. Introductory courses are run in the daytime at Union Chapel in Fallowfield, and in the evening at St Clement’s in Chorlton, visit: for details.

How can I find a teacher? The Society of the Teachers of the Alexander Technique is the oldest and largest professional society and details of approved teachers are on their website. These teachers have all successfully completed a three year training course at an approved school, hold professional indemnity insurance and adhere to the Society’s Code of Professional Conduct. Good luck with your journey.

Sue Fleming PhD, MSTAT

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Didsbury Civic Society Didsbury Open Doors (Heritage Open Days) Planning is already well under way for this year’s Open Door weekend to be held on September 10th and 11th. Every year this event has become larger with over 2000 visits to venues last year. This year we are expanding even further to include buildings in West Didsbury such as the Manchester Islamic Centre and Christ Church on Darley Avenue. We cannot undertake this event without volunteers, just an hour or two of your time over that weekend would be greatly appreciated. You don’t have to be knowledgeable about the buildings concerned since printed sheets will be available and more expert help is always on hand.


You do have to like meeting people and having an enjoyable time. Please contact Steve Parle tel: 434 4682 email: s.parle@ to put your name forward, or for any enquiries. We need you!

around 18 months ago. We want to involve all ages and ask that people give a little time to do something they enjoy,developing good ideas, organising, sharing skills and active projects together.

Archive Day ‘The Second World War’

Practical projects are now underway, including a community orchard of around 40 fruit trees planted by volunteers at Fletcher Moss (to the north-east of the rugby fields). There is also an exciting Archimedean Screw Hydro Electric Scheme project proposed at Northenden Weir in association with Northenden Civic Society.

Saturday 14th May 11am to 4pm at Emmanuel Church. Please come along and bring your old photographs and documents etc. We will scan them into computers and show you how the items can be electronically indexed. It is hoped these electronic archives will then be available in Didsbury Library. Trees, Bees and Waterwheels The Greening and Growing team at the Civic Society was formed

If you’d like to get involved in these projects please email Judy:

theburtonroadclinic OSTEOPATHY

Nicholas Vine & Carolyn Greenhalgh Registered Osteopaths Osteopaths treat back and neck pain and muscle and joint problems such as whiplash, sciatica and headaches. These problems may be caused by manual work, computer use or stress. Osteopathy can help with the mechanical effects of pregnancy – both during the pregnancy and afterwards, and with age related conditions and the pain of arthritis. We also treat sports injuries such as shoulder problems and knee problems, and injuries due to repetitive actions such as playing musical instruments. Appointments are available Monday to Saturday, including early mornings and evenings.

0161 446 2533 The Burton Road Clinic 121 Burton Road, Didsbury M20 1HZ to advertise call Lesley: 0787 589 5604




please mention Community Index when responding to adverts


Didsbury Tag News Community News The Tagpassiton scheme has been designed to help community groups raise money; every £5 card bought from a charity, school or community group raises £2.50 for their cause. In Didsbury you can support Cavendish Rd Primary School, Broad Oak Primary School and Mencap (through the Co-op on Burton Road) by buying your cards from the school offices or in store. Tagpassiton cards give you great savings time after time with fabulous independent traders in your local area. Didsbury, Chorlton, The Heatons, Levenshulme and Cheadle all have vibrant, independent businesses that are working together to encourage us to consider the community balance when we spend - so come along with a tagpassiton card in hand (or on key ring) and join in! Please visit our website for members and their offers and look out for our distinctive hand logo.

Chorlton FM 87.7 ’s Treasure Hunt Tagpassiton Scheme members Sian at the Flower Lounge

from our community loyalty schemes across South Manchester are also working in partnership with other local businesses in raising money for Chorlton FM which will be covering innovative community projects and the Arts. Here in Didsbury we can also listen to Chorlton FM 87.7 for its broadcast period during Chorlton Arts Festival. The Festival runs from 16th May to 30th May. As part of this initiative, we are running a Treasure Hunt with a huge number of prizes donated by local businesses (not only in Chorlton, but Didsbury and Levenshulme too). Entry is open to all, so if you fancy joining in, just pick up your entry forms (with map) from the Chorlton FM Studio in Chorlton Precinct Centre from 14th May and collect Pirate Tokens from local shops- a great way of discovering what Chorlton has to offer with lots of ‘treasure’ along the way. Make sure you tune in as there are prizes to be won every day too with Chorlton FM 87.7

Congratulations! In a recent prize draw for

registered cardholders Ms Alison Hunt has won a bouquet of flowers from Sian and her team at The Flower Lounge situated at 98 Barlow Moor Rd (near the Palatine Rd crossroads). If you are looking for flowers for a loved one, flowers for somebody under the weather, to express sympathy or simply ‘just because’ then look no further, The Flower Lounge can help you turn those thoughts into flowers. And congratulations to Mr Ian Hyde who is the lucky winner of a complementary Hair Cut or Shave from The Gentry Grooming in Didsbury Village. Jon and his team put the Great into British grooming, as Ian will be finding out very soon. Don’t forget to register your cards for entry into the next draws!

Carol and Sam


Spruce up your Tree Pit Do you have a tree growing in your street? Why not plant up the soil around its base and brighten up the neighbourhood? Here’s how: What to plant “Small is beautiful” is a good starting point as you don’t want plants to outgrow the tree pit or compete with the actual tree for soil and water. Aim for around the year colour and performance: In the Spring and Summer, plant out bedding plants such as marigolds, nasturtiums, cornflower, lovein-the-mist or petunias. You can grow these from seed or buy plants from nurseries. Hardy perennial plants like geraniums, available in pinks, blues and white should fare well. Forget-Me-Nots will do well and spread. For a tall plant that doesn’t need staking and copes with shallow soil, try verbena bonariensis. It will seed for more plants the next year.

Wildlife gardening Into wildlife gardening? Chuck in some wildflower seeds to attract insects. How lovely would some bright red poppies look? Sedum should do quite well, looking colourful

well into the Autumn. For more Autumn colour, try some bulbs such as cyclamen. In the Autumn, plant up early Spring-flowering bulbs such as snowdrops, muscari, crocuses or miniature daffodils. During the Winter, pansies and primulas will add colour and require little maintenance.

Plant for fragrance Fancy something fragrant? Plant some lawn camomile or creeping thyme. You could theme your tree pit, for example trying different colour schemes. You might like to link up with your neighbours—a street in Chorlton planted World Cup themed colours. Do use the metal tree guard for growing climbers like sweet-peas or morning glory, but be warned,

they can suddenly be removed by the Council when the growing tree is deemed not to need protection. Shady space under that tree? Try busy lizzies, begonias, foxgloves, wood anemones or Japanese anemones.

Hints & tips • Before you start add extra compost as the pit is likely to be quite shallow and have poor soil. Pull out any stones, weeds or other rubbish, but be careful not to damage the tree roots whilst you do this. • Stick to plants that don’t need deep soil, are inexpensive to replace, or not too delicate to cope with the occasional attention of passersby. • Different plants will suit different stages of the tree’s life. Smaller, younger trees will create less shade, whilst larger trees will need to have more shade-tolerant plants. • If growing from seed, the emerging seedlings may need more protection from passing people/animals than those sown in the garden. Perhaps start the seeds off in pots to plant out once sturdy.

15 • Why not share plants with your neighbours, doing a bit of ‘mix & match’? Buy a bag of bulbs or seeds together and split them.

emissions previously mentioned). Salt spray in winter can unfortunately also be damaging to plants.

therefore not recommended.

Some pitfalls Village Physio

Village Physio

Tree pits that experience a lot of passing traffic from pedestrians • Don’t overplant—plants, Don’t forget the tree! will be at risk of trampling. Dogs including bulbs, are likely to and cats may have ideas other The pit’s original inhabitant—the reproduce and spread (bring your than flowers in mind as they tree— needs nurturing too. It will surplus to Chorlton Plant Swap!). pass... to & beJoint well watered • Back, Neck & Joint Pains • Back,need Neck Pains when • Shrubs are likely to grow too Whilst many passersby will admire it is first becoming established. large for a• tree pit Injuries Sports • SportsDon’t Injuries plant too much permanent and enjoy a planted tree pit, ground cover, such as spreading others will be less public-spirited Care & •maintenance Ergonomic Assessments • Ergonomic Assessments ivy, as the tree may then be and help themselves to your Feed the soil to keep plants for nutrients from the • Deep Tissue Tissue Massage blooms; so big investments •notDeep competing healthy, weed as needed andMassage top soil and for water. recommended. up with compost as needed. You • Podiatry • Podiatry Close to a busy street with narrow All mature trees are pruned as probably won’t need slug or snail by Manchester Council. pavement? Cars may drive over or neededMassage control; but who knows, this is • Pregnancy Massage & Pilates • Pregnancy & Pilates For any maintenance issues or even park on the tree pits. Manchester after all. queries, phone the call centre on • Nutritionist • Nutritionist Do steer clear of growing edibles Health & safety 0161 954 9000. due to cars’ emissions (and other Although it may look nice, help to contain compost and provide some protection to the plants, any edging (whether a little 3 Warburton St, Didsbury Village, M20 6WA 3 Warburton St, Didsbury Village, M20 6WA fence, stones, bricks or tiles) is considered by the Council to w w w. c h o be a potential trip hazard and

& Sports Injury Clinic

& Sports Injury Clinic

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Chorlton Arts Festival 19th - 30th May

The Chorlton Arts Festival returns this year with its busiest and most diverse programme yet and will see performers from around the globe descending on South Manchester. As ever, they will be joined by the best local, regional and national talent for 12 days of exceptional performances.

Record audiences After record audience figures of 27, 000 last year, the Festival has a growing reputation as being one of the most exciting events in the region, and this year has focused on new performances, never before seen at the Festival. Ellen and the Escapades

Ellen and the Escapades New music is a Festival focus and Australian band Cloud Control (Sat 28 May) and Leeds’ indie folksters Ellen and the Escapades (Fri 27 May) headline the event. Chorlton resident Graham Massey and his band The Sisters of Transistors will also play on Bank Holiday Sunday. Also included in the music line up are John Smith, Matthew Halsall, The Moulletes, Joe Galen, Pyjama Party and Chorlton band Blind Atlas. Continuing the international flavour, New York based dance duo Sobers and Godley will be performing in the UK for the first time (Sat 21 May), as well

as giving free dance classes to students at the Zion Centre in Hulme.

Comedy A strong comedy line up includes Tom Binn’s new creation Ian D Montford (Sun 22 May), after packing out the festival last year with his Ivan Brackenbury show. Also picking up the comedy mic will be Dan Nightingale, Rich Wall, Red Redmond, Sam Gore and Katie Mulgrew.

Art The Festival’s growing significance on the Arts scene in the UK and further afield, meant 2011 was a record year for submissions. The majority of applications came from local artists and they remain at the heart of the Festival. Festival Director Philip Hannaway, says “This year’s Festival builds on the success of last year and is our most ambitious yet. I hope that audiences will enjoy our diverse programme, featuring a record number of performances from the best local, regional and international talent, right here in Chorlton.” An example of the Festival’s work in the community is the Arts Council Funded This Way Up, which is being developed by Bread Arts Collective. The project will see young people from Chorlton and surrounding boroughs in Hulme, Moss Side and Whalley Range create large-scale artworks to be placed on the tops of buildings throughout Chorlton.

Flash fiction Also there’s the Festival’s first ever flash fiction writing competition, Flash Mob. The

competition is already underway with writers submitting short stories, micro tales and flash fiction, with the winning writers revealed at a fun filled awards ceremony.

70% is free Some good news for audiences is that over 70% of the Festival remains free and ticket prices remain the same as last year. The Festival is working hard to secure a mixture of income moving forward, combining public, commercial and private income with ticket sales to help ensure that the event is here for the long term. Philip Hannaway, says “ I think what makes the Chorlton Arts Festival so special is that we work with so many local artists and community groups, whilst at the same time adding to the mix some of the best new talent from further afield. I think it makes for a really exciting Festival and a healthy exchange of ideas and practice.”

Festival hub A welcome return this year is the Festival hub, in the precinct, which has housed a number of Chorlton based artists over the last year. Throughout the Festival the hub will be the place to get information and buy tickets for the Festival highlights. For the first time this year tickets are available to buy online at the Festival website.

Chorlton Arts Festival May 19th-30th


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Manchester Montessori School update

In February, we reported on the Manchester Free School, which a group of local parents is trying to set up. We caught up with them to see how the project is progressing. Our article was the first to publicise the school and brought them a very positive response. Many parents asked for more information and expressed an interest for their children. Also, quite a few teachers got in touch as some feel that the current mainstream system doesn’t suit all children, one of them saying “after several years of teaching secondary maths, I can see how detrimental the current examdriven education system can be to students of all ages. I am eager for my daughter to spend her childhood exploring and learning in a very natural way, which encourages independence and problem solving.” The group behind the school are understandably delighted as it confirms their feeling that many parents are desperate for a real alternative in the way children are

educated. Dominique BrockhausGrand, member of the steering group, says that “many parents expressed their surprise and disappointment that a city the size of Manchester didn’t have any Montessori schools at all. The Montessori philosophy benefits all children and it would be a fantastic asset for Manchester if we could have a state primary school offering this to our children. The fact is that there is a shortage of primary school places which really makes it a perfect time to set up an innovative community school. I would urge all supporters, with or without children of their own, to fill in our interest form to reflect the strong community support we enjoy.”

Community school The group is in the process of finalising the application for Free School status and, if successful, would be able to open their doors to their first intake of pupils in September 2012. In keeping with the Montessori ethos, the school would have small classes and mixed age groups working alongside each other. The location

still remains unconfirmed as the Department for Education would need to assess the suitability of the various potential sites. Rebecca, another member of the group stresses that “this will be a community school and the group welcomes community engagement and input from interested parties”.

Yorkshire visit Two members of the steering group recently went to visit an existing Montessori primary school in Yorkshire and it really brought home to them what Manchester children are missing out on. “Children were able to concentrate and work in a really calm environment. Teachers were there to support the children’s learning and did so in a very gentle and unobtrusive way. Self-discipline and respect for others are fundamental elements of the Montessori approach. The children we saw clearly thrived and we came back more determined than ever to do our best so that Manchester children can also be given this opportunity”.

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May In Your Garden Historically May has been a real turning point in the year, both symbolically and horticulturally. Named after Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth it is no surprise that May has been tagged as the real start of productivity and industry for gardens. Folklore has it that on the 1st May, young girls would rush out into the garden to wash their faces in the morning dew in order to preserve their beauty and get rid of spots. I’m not advocating such a practice of course - especially in catpopulated neighbourhoods – but it is definitely time to get into the garden and do a few small things to help your plants spring into action. For example, if you have planted

any trees or shrubs through the winter and spring they will repay you with growth and vitality if you remember to water them on warm days. If you have established plants in pots they will spring to life with a small amount of care now – a sprinkling of general fertilizer watered in - the dry variety blood, fish and bone is good or even a top dressing of your own or shop-bought compost. The same goes for your beds (flower not divan). Feeding and watering now will pay dividends later in the year and a top mulch of leaf mould or compost will also protect and enrich your soil. Mulching is basically covering the soil bits in-between your plants with something – and there are

Katherine Watson lots of choices. Compost provides nourishment and gives plants a good start to their growing year, leaf mould - rotted down leaves collected the autumn before and left over winter in black plastic bags with holes in – whilst not really providing any nutrients is great for improving the structure of the soil. You can also use gravel and bark chippings as decorative alternatives. Weeds will always defy any laws of probability and break through your mulch barrier eventually, but as the garden really puts on growth this month your beloved plants will have a bit of a head start. Katherine Watson, Fat Grass Garden Designs

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Business Index Food & Drink

Building & Maintenance Broadoak Preservation Devine Building & Maintenance

24 2

Carpet Cleaning Profresh


Chimney Sweep Acorn Chimney Sweeping services


Barbakan Delicatessen


Caritas Care


Fostering & Adoption Gardens

Fat Grass Garden Design


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Didsbury Handyman


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Northwest Sunblinds

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Devine Kitchens


Gas Engineer Handyman

Computer Services greenh


Dry Cleaners

Village Dry Cleaners


Andrew Maunsell Reynolds Electrical

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JP & Brimelow


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Estate Agent Floors

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Village Physio


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Plumbers Roofer

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Tagpassiton Didsbury


Alexander Technique


Therapy & Healing

Please note: Community Index accepts no responsibility for transactions entered into or work undertaken by any of the businesses advertising in the Index or any loss, harm or damage arising from using any of the products & services listed.

Useful Numbers Council

Gas Emergency 0800 111 999

Manchester City Council 234 5000

GMPTE 0870 6082 608

Bus, Train & Tram 228 7811

Environment on Call 954 9000

Rail Enquiries 0845 7484 950

Didsbury Library 227 3755

NHS Direct 0845 4647

Friends of Didsbury Park

Police - non emergency 872 5050

Friends of Fletcher Moss Park Alan Hill 445 1535

Local Councillors Didsbury East Helen Fisher

Andrew Taylor

David Sandiford

Local Councillors Didsbury West Mark Clayton

Graham Shaw

Lianne Williams

Samaritans 236 8000

Community Didsbury Amateur Dramatics Didsbury Civic Society Didsbury Cricket Club Didsbury Good Neighbours Marie Greenhalgh 07749 504298

Didsbury Village East Residents Association Didsbury Village Women’s Institute

Friends of Marie Louise Gardens Oxfam Didsbury 434 5380 South Manchester Camera Club West Didsbury Residents Association Pam Siddons 445 5406 West Didsbury Society for Writers Jane Woolley 957 1663

Didsbury Over 50s Group 247 2323

Services Citizens Advice 0870 126 4094

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