The Flashing Blade and Olive Shapley
Didsbury is lively at the moment. Across East and West – from School Lane to Burton Road; Parrswood, Wilmslow and Barlow Moor Roads to Lapwing and Fog Lanes there seems to be an independent spirit rising.
It could be the Metro, MediaCityUK or the double dip recession but there is somewhere interesting to look at and something new to try on and taste each week.
The banks and Estate Agents are retreating as their markets shrink. We have so many charities represented in the village that it resembles the London Marathon at times and Didsbury is now regenerating again; it’s Tardis holding treats for every taste.
I am old skool and love the river and Fletcher Moss. We now have Dimitri’s on hand and The OldCock is back from its fishy failure.
But the less showy roads are making a big leap for attention and the Metro does seem to be at its heart. The building work has done more than take away the best mooching route in South Manchester and dislodge some rats’ nests.
School Lane is now a cultural delight. The superb Blade at the Kingsway end deals out sublime and polite £6 wet shaves and haircuts to a backdrop of genuine Didsbury Diversity. It is a haven.
At the village end the old Reporter offices are now a swanky cake shop opposite a private gym and proper chippy. To get between them there is a musical, fancy dress and boutique heaven journey taking in Peking House’s best Hot and Sour Soup in Manchester (their number is on speed dial).
Old faithful the scout hut hosts generations of confused Beavers, eager Cubs and spotty scouts and Olive Shapley Court; soon to have a ticket office in it’s lobby.
This leads us past the Milton, Milson, Millets – the Wetherspoons to Jem & I – never understood the name and the optician that used to be Namaste Village, which backs on to the Warburton Street Notting Hillesque gateway to the village.
As Didsbury Son and I pound these not mean streets we notice a little West Didsbury bohemia creeping thankfully Eastwards to mingle with our corporate Nero,Costa and M&S consistency.
Oh and The Peking House is 445 01…