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West Didsbury: The Manchester Beat, Part One

David Blake heads to leafy land for some urbanteering

Written by . Published on May 29th 2013.


West Didsbury: The Manchester Beat, Part One
 

WEST Didsbury, it was suggested, should be our first port of call in what we hope to be a long-running and fantastically informative and interesting summation of a host of Manchester’s suburbs.

Are there indeed more delis than trees? Would the vast majority of folks be, well, a bit gittish?

What with that newly-fangled and early-opening Metrolink line reaching out to those three squabbling sisters, The Didsburys (Village, East and West: which could make for quite the mediocre sitcom, Dawn French would play some kind of bothersome WI figure in a lilac cardie, while Martin Clunes would stride up and down Burton Road giving people the finger and telling everyone to piss off), it seemed like the perfect reason to hop on board.

A great excuse to go and poke around a little, sniff under the carpet (Not an actual expression - but I’ve decided it’s a good one nonetheless) and attempt to eke out something vaguely intriguing and readable.

The new West Didsbury Metrolink stopThe new West Didsbury Metrolink stop

Boarding the tram bound for West Didsbury from the Deansgate/Castlefield station (windier than your average Curry Mile WC) the main questions running through my head were, in no particular order: Are there indeed more delis than trees? And would the vast majority of folks be, well, a bit gittish?

You see, as someone that rarely strays away from any M-postcode that ascends above four, you are fed a generalised caricature of West Didsburians. Yoga-going, Feng-Shui practising, racquet-swinging, Chardonnay-guzzling veganites is generally about there.

As with many generalisations this is a shallow assumption. Indeed it is complete and utter codswallop.

Veggie Restaurant GreensVeggie Restaurant Greens

The people that I came across were a perfectly conventional bunch, decidedly un-pratish and positively neighbourly. The area has managed to maintain a sense of community that you guess so many have lost. They were “good people”, Bill told me outside The Metropolitan pub (the big beating pub heart of West Didsbury), “Good to each other, but they also like to keep themselves to themselves.”

So it was that I stepped from the tram into West Didsbury, a carriage that contained Manchester’s leading Sigmund Freud impersonator no less. The first two things you are met with as you leave the new tram station are 1. A busy crossroads 2. An ugly Pizza Express. Now I loathe Pizza Express, the last time I dared to enter the one on Peter Street, the waiter just about fell short of whipping me across the chops with my flavourless calzone. I’m pretty sure he wanted to, and I'd defintely have enjoyed it more. So loathe may seem a little strong, but loathe it shall be.

Sigmund FraudSigmund Freud perhaps

Pizz OffPizz Off

Leaving the crossroads and Piece-a-crap Express behind, I ventured north-west up the delightfully leafy Lapwing Lane. It’s the kind of lane that makes you want to own a big, daft, slobbering dog (you know, like Beethoven) and totter on back to your Victorian terrace whilst simultaneously juggling the Sunday papers and macchiatos. Bugger, it’s infectious.

Lapwing it upLapwing it up

Up past the former Withington Town Hall, a modest but pleasing late C19 affair, past Simon Rimmer’s Veg-den Greens (Greens, Greens the place to be seens) and the Lime Tree Restaurant (these two forming the golden it-couple of West Dids dining) on to the imposing Metropolitan pub, standing guard on the corner of Lapwing Lane and Burton Road. Surely if there’s carpets to be sniffed under (persisting with that one) then I should have a sniff in here.

The MetThe Met

The Met’s interior is particularly handsome, all sweeping wooden beams, open fireplaces, dusty books and mothers discussing the ins-and-outs of weening nurslings off the nipple (at midday on a Friday at least). This gaff has character.

Enquiring after the barkeep, I explained that I was going to be doing abit of a profile on the area. Looking rather diffident the young man replied, “I’m the wrong person to ask mate, just moved here.” Good start.

Perhaps the two respectable looking chaps over by the fireplace could offer up more in the way of localised nuggets, “Sorry we’re in a meeting” comes the reply. I beat a hasty retreat. This would have been all well and good had the meeting not been about the intricacies of bridge, or some other form of card game. I can’t be entirely sure but the pair did use the word “trump” an awful lot.

Their meeting might be something to do with the fact the Manchester Bridge Club is not far away on Palatine Road. The website states that this place has 'a number of rooms which can be hired for celebrations and functions. Suitable for special occasions such as Birthday Parties, Receptions, Christenings and Barmitzvahs.' No honest. Isn't it grand when a comedy standard turns out to be real? 

The website also says please ring Jeff or David on 0161 445 3712 for details. Maybe it was that pair I saw in the Metropolitan. 

Interior of The MetInterior of The Met

So far so bad. Then I saw him, a flat-capped weather-worn fella doddering through the pub on a walking stick. As a general rule of thumb, if there’s a bloke with a face like the Ancient Mariner saying “how do” to everyone in a boozer, he generally knows a thing or two about the area. I took up the chase.

Bill (His name may have been John, but he wanted to stay beneath the radar for reasons unclear but hopefully sinister) had lived in the area nearly all of his life. He then began to shower me with such a hail of information that was regurgitated at such a pace that the page on which I was writing actually combusted.

What I can tell you is that Bill oversaw the pub’s car-park (to keep out pesky non-patrons, parking is one of very few issues in the area), and is the Uncle of someone or other from Take That. The rest was mostly indecipherable in the howling wind, “Bookbinders… Elka Brookes… the old smithy.. Jewish… Bob Driver.. Piccolinos.. iron mongers.” Right.

Blaggs since 1871Blaggs since 1871

“See that place over there” Bill said, pointing to the plant heavy G.T. Blaggs over the road, “Well that’s been there since I was a lad.” A bloody long time then I joked, I don’t think he picked up on that little ribbing. Or at least if he had, he pretended not to have heard. The wind had probably done me a favour there.

It turned out to be an amazingly homely shop Blaggs, possessing the look and smell of a big old shed. Locals pottered in and out, chatting along the way (mostly about the limitations of the parking) whilst picking up a vast array of bits and bobs, mops and buckets, tupperware, pots of calathea, green wellies, kitchen utensils, bird seed, spanners and charcoal bags.

It's essentially a garden centre that the original Mr Blagg had somehow wedged in to a corner shop. Perhaps he used WD40 (developed in 1953, so no, no he didn't).

Geoff RamoneGeoff Ramone

This is where I came across both Geoff and Fred. Now Geoff, who was sporting a Ramones t-shirt (the only punk rocker in West Didsbury) worked in Blaggs and reliably informed me that the shop had stood on the very same corner for generations, “nearly 150 years” in fact. Just as we had began to discuss the failings of Burton Road’s relatively new parking regulations, in waltzed Fred.

Fred was, what you may call, a card. Probably around 80 years of age and just a few sandwiches short of a picnic, Fred is that wonderfully eccentric type of character that every village and community needs. Bumbling in to every shop on a half-a-day long expedition of the high street, he’ll buy nothing but talk to everyone, invariably asking the same question of “Where ya bin?”

I tried politely to turn the conversation to the hulking great gangsta’ rapper gold and diamante skull and crossbones chain that hung from his neck like some half-pimp half-pirate hybrid, a pimprate. Alas, Fred had had enough of me, so off he popped.

Once Geoff had told Fred that he’d been out delivering gas that morning (around six times), Fred turned on me. This was my moment. “Where ya bin?” I’d come from the city centre this morning, I explained.

At this, Fred almost instantly lost interest. Apparently Fred has no time for us townies. Up yours too pal. I tried politely to turn the conversation to the hulking great gangsta’ rapper gold and diamante skull and crossbones chain that hung from his neck like some half-pimp half-pirate hybrid, a pimprate. Alas, Fred had had enough of me, so off he popped.

Not a patch on Fred'sNot a patch on Fred's

Leaving Blaggs I turned right down West Didsbury’s beating aorta, Burton Road. The first thing that strikes you about this drag is the sheer amount of shop-frontage, Coffee-vendor after clothes-shop after deli after salon after bar after restaurant after more eaterie-drinky places, all the way down to Withington Hospital. It is an almost over-whelmingly pleasant stretch of road, there’s a certain hint of Portabello about it.

Frames on LapwingFrames on Lapwing

“It was nothing like this when we started 22 years ago” says Dean of Steranko, a trendy independent clothes retailer and stalwart the road, “It was all very localised, you know, butchers, bakers, that kind of thing.” So how do you feel about the way the street has developed? “Well it’s good for us, there’s a buzz here. When we started the most exotic food you could get down here was a Spud U Like. Now look at it.”

SterankoSteranko

A shoe or two in SterankoA shoe or two in Steranko

Over the road, the bamboo canopy and palmed-foliage of Folk bar jumps out from the pavement. Formerly a Polish deli, Folk has slowly transformed into one of West Didsbury’s most successful independent bars. The interior is warm, wooden, eclectic and boudourish, with American diner bar stools, stuffed parrots, defunct wireless radios and paintings of da Vinci’s Last Supper. The place looks like it’s been put together by a hoarder. A hip hoarder.

Folk barFolk bar

Straddling a stool I got chatting to Neil behind the bar. You look like a young and modern fella, is it all bohemians, young professionals and poshos around these parts? “Not really” he replied, “You do get those types but there’s also quite a large student contingent around here.” Really? I thought they were all in Fallowfield? “Not necessarily” Neil continued, “A lot of the first and second years will be around Fallowfield and Withington, but quite a few third and final years end up here.” Why’s that? “Think they just want to get out of that area as they get older. It’s just nicer and quieter around here.”

There's nowt as queer as FolkThere's nowt as queer as Folk

“Not over in that dark side of Didsbury,” piped-up Neil’s pal, chopping limes on the bar top. The dark side? “Yeah up there over the tracks, it kind of deteriorates as you head over there. You get over the tracks and there’s not much to see, then you get further into Withington and there’s nothing to see. Everything gets more grim.”

Speaking of grim, what’s with that place over the road? The garish pink Thai restaurant, it looks a tad out of place. They both chuckled, “Oh that’s Crazy Wendy’s. She’s a bit of a character around here.” Is she actually crazy? “Well yeah a bit. She gets up on the tables to sing and dance. Not so popular with residents but good if you want to see a pissed-up hen-party pressing their tits up against the window on a Saturday night.” Count me in.

Crazy Wendy'sCrazy Wendy's

Goat's cheese and roast onion tartGoat's cheese and roast onion tart - Folk

Polishing off a beautiful goat’s cheese and roast onion tart (fluffy pastry, textured and flavoursome cheese with sweet onions to boot. All a tart needs to be for £4.50) I hopped from my stool to try and track down this Wendy.

“She na’ he’” came the shrieked response from somewhere in her restaurant. Would she be back anytime soon? “Don’ know.” That went well. So off I went to find the dark side.

Striding back up Burton Road, passing over Lapwing and Cavendish, I aimed for the tracks. Turned out the lime-chopper was right. Things did get a bit “more grim”. However, it is important to note that this is in comparison to the heart of West Didsbury, which for the most part, would make parts of Kensington seem occasionally haggard.

Over to the dark sideOver to the dark side

But yes, appearances became noticably more desolate, the bricks were less polished, the shop-fronts lost their gleam, gardens less tidied. There were certainly more skips. Having said that, continuing up the road I stumbled across Malvern Grove, the most beautifully quaint and visually striking little street I had seen that day (which granted, had mostly been me stomping up and down Burton and Lapwing). Added to this, there was also a corner shop offering three bottles of Echo Falls for a tenner. Now you don't get that at the Reserve Wine Shop.

Cheap wine and a skip, for your bottles presumablyCheap wine and a skip, for your bottles presumably

Spying The Old House At Home pub across the road from Malvern Grove, I went to investigate how the clientele in this dark side boozer measured up against that of the more upmarket Met down the way. Upon entry it was fairly clear to see. Bandit machines outnumbered patrons, and those that were in there were the solitary drinker-types, the ones with yellowing eyes and limps, sneakily snaffling pork pies from their pockets whilst nursing a 2-hour old pint of tepid IPA.

The Old House at HomeThe Old House at Home

They certainly looked like they had a tale or two to tell, it's just that they never wanted to tell anybody. Or speak to anybody. Or acknowledge anybody in anyway at all really. Thinking back to the clean-shaven, polished brogues and salmon knitwear of the Met, it was hard to imagine that this place was only five minutes down the road.

Ambling back in to the light, I spied Cocoa Cabana chocolatiers across the way, which is where I came across the refreshingly bubbly Sarah. Having moved her chocolate emporium from London to West Didsbury, Sarah felt that “the area is a lot more geared towards independents like myself, I get a lot of support here. They really don’t like chains around these parts.”

Sarah in Cocoa CabanaSarah in Cocoa Cabana

But what about the Tesco next door? “Well people use it but also complain about having it here. You should have seen the reaction when they put a Costa instant coffee machine in there. People just don’t want the chains moving in any way.”

Even if the chain takes the form of a single small machine. Hardcore independentistas these.

One of Sarah's wonderfully gooey browniesOne of Sarah's wonderfully gooey brownies

Apart from Costa instant coffee machines terrorising the neighbourhood, were there any more gripes around these parts? “Not really" replied Sarah. "Actually they’re always tearing up the roads. But apart from that not much at all.”

Did she think the arrival of the tram would have an impact on the area? “I think it’s a good thing, it may bring me a little more business. I had people here yesterday who’d come all the way from town. At least we don’t have to get a 50-minute bus into the city anymore.”

So apart from Costa instant coffee machines, a few roadworks here and there, a spot of bother parking and Fred chuntering "Where ya bin?", the people of West Didsbury really don’t have much to be vexed about do they?

As Paula, one of Sarah’s truffle enthusiasts perfectly summated, “To be honest, I think people are more bothered about who’s got the best vegan deli.”

Follow David Blake on Twitter here.

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59 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMay 29th 2013.

I got so board I gave up reading this half way through.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonMay 30th 2013.

Yes it is quite little long, but I'm sure David can spell 'bored'

AnonymousMay 29th 2013.

They won't be slagging off 'over the tracks' when they want to buy a house! Yes it's nice, but so over priced to live in, and for families it's no good, far too much traffic and tiny cafes you can't fit in! And you're far more likely to live next to a corporate lawyer than a hippy vegan, speaking as a former resident!

Prince_HarmingMay 29th 2013.

I live just 'over the tracks' and perhaps if your article wasn't so completely focused on how hilarious you are rather than the subject at hand, you may have noticed a few important things. In the years I have lived here I have see West Didsbury change and grow and become a darling of South Manchester shopping and dining. Over the last five years and now more so with the opening of the Metrolink stop, the 'money' is spreading further along Burton Road and a whole new gentrification and economic independence is appearing which includes new restaurants, bars and a total refurbishment of The Old House at Home, which starts next week. Perhaps you could have gone with hopeful and optimistic rather than sneering and 'hilarious'.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMay 30th 2013.

...

Jason BoardmanMay 29th 2013.

As an over the tracks resident & a family man there are limited options for family entertainment beyond a quality meal & cavendish road park. Burton Road has certainly progressed & i think the metro will certainly help savvy independent businesses like Steranko & Cachumba prosper & find new customers. most parents only option to go for a beer & sit outside is the Greenfinch which has spotted the gap invested in a children's play area & done a fair job of meeting our requirements. Hopefully any canny new entertainment start ups will recognise this huge hole & cater more for families than hipsters day & night tripping..

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Andrew DaviesMay 30th 2013.

The Woodstock has a family friendly (till 9pm anyway) beer garden.

Jason BoardmanMay 30th 2013.

Service at the Woodstock is piss poor Si refuse to go but thanks for thinking of me ..

CharlotteMay 29th 2013.

I actually quite liked this quirky little write up until you described the tart as beautiful. ;-)

Darren LMay 29th 2013.

Odd to give column inches to 2 large corporations but despite walking past them you didn't even mention lime tree one lounge taste of honey drawing room bistro frog mary and archie love2eat pintjos rhubarb pomegranite rose garden bakery violet hour azzuro thyme out etc etc

John MatherMay 29th 2013.

Hey what about the Railway!

1 Response: Reply To This...
JanusxxxJune 1st 2013.

If you note the clues in the title (part one) Patience is a virtue!

John MatherMay 29th 2013.

and the Katmandu

1 Response: Reply To This...
JanusxxxJune 1st 2013.

If you note the clues in the title (part one) Patience is a virtue!

John MatherMay 29th 2013.

Gurkha Grill too

2 Responses: Reply To This...
JanusxxxJune 1st 2013.

If you note the clues in the title (part one) Patience is a virtue!

JanusxxxJune 1st 2013.

And he doesn't cover any more then Boo Hoo !

Jonathan SchofieldMay 29th 2013.

John, it's a profile of a suburb, it can't be every place on Burton Road because that would be a million miles of copy. Prestwich next.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Ben HodgkinsonMay 30th 2013.

I hope the Prestwich one is better than this. Despite being far too long, I've been left knowing very little about what West Didsbury actually has to offer to anyone thinking of visiting. What was the profile supposed to achieve?

John MatherMay 29th 2013.

Just saying what it means to an ordinary guy as an alternative to many of the poncy places you reviewed.

AnonymousMay 30th 2013.

Having previously lived in Didsbury I was looking forward to reading this article. Unfortunately however, it was far from enjoyable, and more a test of endurance! Why the 'writer' felt the need to bulk out every single paragraph with some failed attempt at humour I have no idea.

AnonymousMay 30th 2013.

utter codswallop

Dave ThorleyMay 30th 2013.

What an irritatingly self indulgent waste of a review. If the writer was any more smug they might possibly cause the internet to actually explode.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Alex24May 30th 2013.

Glad it wasn't just me.

Prince_HarmingMay 30th 2013.

Or me...

AnonymousMay 30th 2013.

Or me. Actually no, sorry I don't live there, the review didn't hurt my ego.

Butcher BoyMay 30th 2013.

And that folks was only part 1. Can't wait for the next instalment!!! And having lived in the area where I think the writer is referring to as "the wrong side of the tracks", I think some of the commentors here need to lighten up : )

paulsouthernMay 30th 2013.

For god's sake leave Prestwich out of any of this. Do not publish anything about it! Stay away! It's full of regular people who don't need an expose to encourage loads of dickheads to move in because they can't afford to buy in Didders. It's grim up North, so stay away!

Ramon TowersMay 31st 2013.

west dids is a decent place to live - good night life, decent pubs, plenty of places to eat... + food wise great kathmandu would be my pick - great curry and the best poppadoms you'll have (but it lost a bit of its soul after the refurb the other year) the lime tree (nice enough 'special occasion' place, see also rhubarb, rose garden) greens (decent veggie) gurkha grill (not as good as it used to be) the bakery - decent for breakfast (but veggie black pudding - what's that about?) albert's - wag central + pub wise 'the railway', 'old house at home' and 'the greenfinch' (formerly the four in hand) for the old school and the armchair football fans. 'folk' and 'mary and archies' for the hipsters 'the met' and 'violet hour' for the yuppies 'the woodstock' is good esp. for the sunshine and pub food (gets packed, indolent bar service) decent jukebox in 'the drawing room' real ale fans - railway + mary and archies cocktails in the drawing room the albert club (hidden gem, members' club) great place in summer - snooker, bowling green, beer festivals + travel so-so - the bus takes about 40 mins into town in the morning, but oxford road corridor can be unpredictable. plus you have to get to palatine road for it. the 111 runs down burton road then through the back of fallowfield and moss side - takes longer. not tried the tram, but costly for daily commute. + downsides it's missing a green grocer, butcher etc. there's a piss poor tesco metro and a half decent co-op. gets busy at weekends (although, possibly a plus) your rent / mortgage 1 cash point outside co-op (+ 1 inside tesco)

Ramon TowersMay 31st 2013.

^ imagine there are line breaks and stuff

AnonymousMay 31st 2013.

As a resident of West Didsbury, having moved from Didsbury I was looking forward to this. I thought you might have picked up on the fact that this is a fiercely pro-independent suburb that moved on many years ago from the stereotype you think you are challenging. Writing in the confidential is better than this. I look forward to the prestwich review, complete with talk of bagel shops and salt beef amazement.

Ramon TowersMay 31st 2013.

@anonymous - i've moved the opposite way. i find didsbury village a better place to 'live' - shops, transport etc. how are you finding the west side? (my missus prefers west) btw. as a former middletonian we used to call prestwich the south manchester of north manchester.

DavidMay 31st 2013.

I hope you ain't paying this writer for this article. What a load of "ain't I funny", up my own bottom crap. Not one part of this article is worthy of any intake. Like many others I actually stopped reading half way through. First time back on M.C. and have quickly realised my life is so much better without you.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldMay 31st 2013.

David, at last, with that final sentence I agree with something you say. We felt the same.

DavidMay 31st 2013.

Oooh I feel very special that you have decided to only fire back at me! You know how to make a reader feel special don't you!

Jonathan SchofieldMay 31st 2013.

I think so

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

Mancon always has to have the last word...

Jonathan SchofieldJune 3rd 2013.

No we don't

AnonymousJune 12th 2013.

Yes you do

AnonymousMay 31st 2013.

West Didsbury suffers from being in Manchester. Schools are not great, crime is high, traffic is dreadful. It is good for shops and restaurants, but Manchester is not Tokyo and West Didsbury is easily reachable from other parts of the city, especially the south. Another plus point is that houses there are reasonably priced compared to other desirable parts of south Manchester, but that could be because many people will want to move to outer suburbs when the kids arrive.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 1st 2013.

Nobody 'wants' to move to the dismal environs of the outer suburbs. They are forced to because that's where house builders can get away with building cheaply. Sprawl costs us all in the long run.

Simon TurnerJune 1st 2013.

Schools are great, Anon. Cavendish is a wonderful school. The houses in West Didsbury are not "reasonably priced", they are, in fact, higher than anywhere else in Manchester apart from some streets in Didsbury. Nobody wants to move from West Didsbury to "the outer suburbs" because no-one knows what you mean. Where are the "outer suburbs"? You think people want to move from West Didsbury to Northenden?? Why would they do that? Or even worse, Lymm? Apart from that consider yourself an expert.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 4th 2013.

I know quite a few people who have moved from both Chorlton and Didsbury to the Cheshire/Trafford suburbs. Secondary schools are not much cop around in Manchester, unless you get your children into the likes of MGS or Withington. And the need for trendy bars on your doorstep lessens with age and parenthood. Good schools make houses expensive.

David SmithJune 1st 2013.

I moved from West Didsbury to Northenden. Postcode snobbery's rampant

JanusxxxJune 1st 2013.

I hate the spelling and grammar snobs who feel they so mightily have to let you know you've spelt it wrong, it's not an English exam, get a life ! And a lot of the time it's the damned predictive text. Blogs like this like it or not are surely not to judge you on your grammar or spelling. Rant Over !

JanusxxxJune 1st 2013.

And for the record flats in west didsbury are way less expensive than Chorlton.

Poster BoyJune 1st 2013.

Not ManCon's finest hour...

AnonymousJune 2nd 2013.

Since when were the likes of Malvern Grove and certainly the Old House At Home pub, in West Didsbury-?!? Think you'll find that they're in the rapidly disappearing suburb of Withington dahlings...

Simon TurnerJune 2nd 2013.

Malvern Grove and the Old House At Home are definitely not in West Didsbury.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonJune 3rd 2013.

Just typed Malvern Grove in to google, one of the first things that popped up said 'Malvern Grove West Didsbury' ..also Rightmove.com would beg to differ. Think people (residents) need to calm down here

Simon TurnerJune 4th 2013.

I actually did that, googled it like you said Steve. And almost every entry says its Withington apart from estate agents who have a vested interest in pretending its in West Didsbury. The Old House At Home's own website says its in Withington.

Oliver Survey-MapJune 4th 2013.

This is a massive issue fellas phew glad we're sorting it. If not WD then Malvern Grove must be fifty yards outside.

Simon TurnerJune 4th 2013.

Its not a massive issue. BUT it is indicative of the attractiveness of West Didsbury that until a few years ago anything north of the bridge (now the Metro) was Withington. But bit by bit Withington has shrunk and more roads/houses etc are calling themselves West Didsbury.

suzyblewJune 3rd 2013.

Lived in West Didsbury for 9 years and I quite enjoyed it the article. Everywhere gets stereotyped. It has the ultimimate postcode snobbery though. Although I know I was guily of that when I moved in! With reference to Malvern Grove, will a review of The Gallery follow, given it is the 3rd incarnation in 6 months (previously Elvis's kitchen, Verso etc). Will the tram encourage people to turn left?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Prince_HarmingJune 5th 2013.

It's actually the fourth incarnation - it was (very briefly) Terrace Bar just after Verso and before Elvis' Kitchen. I think that building may be cursed...

JanusxxxMarch 8th 2014.

Old house at home pub on burton road was where Dave Rainford did a lot of pub quizzes before he won quarter of a million on who wants to be a millionaire. He is now an egghead on the tv show. He's spent many years running pub quizzes and can be seen in the red lion sometimes. He's a friendly sort of guy or was years ago. He was a withington man as I remember. I do enjoy all this postcode snobbery. It's a proper chuckle! I live in the area of withington but I'm happy to use west didsbury or didsbury if it increases the value of my property! Just think nowadays there's hardly any of moss side left, just the bit that is is Alex park estate! Royal Mail tend to leave the sub area out but as I'm M20 I'm keeping my place as West didsbury!

AnonymousMarch 17th 2014.

West Didsbury didn't exist about 20 years ago, it was called Withington. It was pretty ropey and the Metropolitan wasn't a nice place. Much better up there nowadays but certainly some gentrification going on.

Jane AlesAugust 14th 2014.

Jeez...me and 'I'm indoors' sometimes travel in from the 'outer suburbs' to visit one of the WD swanky bars... (Please come and set your bars and indie shops up in boring old Sale) anyway... Yer puttin' us off chaps... Calm down... It was funny that article.

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