Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

Archive for the tag “The Olde Cock”

Twenty First Century Pub Crawl, with children

Every place has its pub crawl and M20 is no exception. Back in the ’80s when hair and collars reached for the skies and there was no such as thing as too much make-up, it was a full night out that started with The Olde Cock and The Didsbury ( Now both gastros with differing successes)  and via Crown, Dog, Albert, Nelson, The Old Grey (now Zizzi’s) and The Railway – it would be chips at Sweaty Betty’s now a poster site but rumoured to be Didsbury Lounge 2) before the Three Lions. The Golden, The Red and The White. The White Lion had bands downstairs, could be a bit lairy and a cab home afterwards from Tripps cost £2.

 

Courtesy of pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.com  I used to stare at this after a long night drinking and think "One Day I could swipe a Nectar card here".

Courtesy of pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.com I used to stare at this after a long night drinking and think “One Day I could swipe a Nectar card here”.

It was pints (although not for me, always the shorts and being really honest – I was really more interested in the snacks than the drinking. The advent of Scampi Fries in 1986 opened up a whole new world), Malibu if you felt lucky, Silk Cut and the latent threat of violence – heady times. A really good night could stretch to Mulberry’s or Severe/ Murder in Fallowfield. You could make a complete show of yourself without a single text, picture, Vine, Facebook, Pinterest, What’s App or truth getting out – marvellous days with less comeback. 

You never knew who you would meet on a night out

You never knew who you would meet on a night out


Last week, to celebrate Easter and Didsbury Son being out for the day, Didsbury Wife and I decided to recreate it for the twins. The Golden Lion is now a car park, The White Lion a Sainsbury’s and The Olde Cock is now crap – but we were not daunted. 

However, the thought of pushing the pram and downing drinks between nappy changes no longer enthralls; Didsbury Wife and I created the 40 something, small children Didsbury crawl.

1. Late breakfast at Caffe Nero with Pain au Raisins to share.

2. Then in the car for an adventure which took us to Alderley Edge for a toddler sized walk and lunch at The Wizard. Lunch out with toddlers and no high chairs does mean you need to be able to down in one. – bit it’s the parfait not the Pernod and Black.

3. Back via John Lewis where the Mighty Headed Boy lay down and staged a protest in the toy department. We coaxed him back with afternoon tea in the cafe; where at 18 months old they are SO last year. The number of floppy necked baldie babes not only made me pine for the days when they were toothless and inert but they looked huge; it was brilliant. With the sugar rush from a JL Battenberg calming down we left, satiated.

We got home feeling as we had done 25 years ago – not sure how we had spent so much, a little ashamed of our indulgence, with a stomach ache. We also had stories to tell and lots of laughs and the only time anyone had tried to hit me they used Iggle Piggle and shouted “Mummyo”; result.

M20 Top 10

This much I know… Spring is starting to breakthrough with green and blue starting to edge out the grey. It set me thinking about My 10 favourite places in Didsbury.

1. The little “beach” by the Mersey between Simon’s Bridge and the Parrs Wood flood plain. It’s a little haven awash with scrabbling Jack Russells and careful parents watching small children who think they are in Abersoch or Blackpool. You can see herons, can’t hear traffic or golfers and can walk for miles or pop back through Fletcher Moss; just gorgeous.

2. The garden next to The Olde Cock. This walled floral palace is a Fletcher Moss warm-up. Didsbury Son likes to climb the trees. I like the flowers and the space whilst slurping coffee from The Didsbury (pre Costa franchise).

3. The Old Railway Line / New Metrolink. Gone now to make way for the metro but the Didsbury section hosted my favourite Saturday mornings, walking a tiny Didsbury Son up and down a magic avenue full of bright graffiti, shopping trolleys and remnants of nights gone by. A thoroughfare of dogs to stroke, runners to avoid and shortcuts to the scout hut, the park and Tescos for Saturday morning breakfast. Also a sled run when it gets icy.

4. Fusion Deli: a haven of great coffee and a proper welcome from Pete and Tom. Nowhere else could a £2 bag of crisps seem like a good deal.

5. The Slug & Lettuce. Has hosted some memorable moments. None more than my first meeting with Didsbury Wife. She thought I looked like a bouncer, I thought she looked tasty. Been guarding the door since.

6. Burton Road. It’s constant evolution, boho sensibility and Co-Op are a perfect blend.

7. Withington Baths: always unnervingly warm with changing options from a bygone era. In the 80s you could smoke in the gym room.

8. My mum’s kitchen. Or as it is widely know, The Jewish Homeland.

9. Inman’s. Any day you see Josie has to be a good day. Football banter without malice and an Archersesque feeling of continuity.

10. My back garden on a summer’s night sitting back with Didsbury Wife whilst Didsbury Son is asleep listening to the sounds of the village wafting across and making big big plans.

Joint 11th: The Manor House, Fog Lane park when it had a zoo, walking up Parkfield Road when the trees all block the sun, the building formerly known as The Barleycorn, Mr Marvel and Withington Town Hall.

Next week… My top ten dogs in Didsbury Park, my top ten Independent cake shops in West Didsbury and Wilmslow Road’s greatest charity shops

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…

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