Friday, August 21, 2009

Use of piano

There used to be two pianos upstairs in the Hardy Lane rooms. They've gone now and it must have required some effort to move them both upstairs and downstairs on the steep narrow stairs.

Here is a report of one of them being used. There might only have been one in the room at that time. It's Saturday 16th March 1946, just after WWII and rationing is still in operation. There was a pooling of goods collected from members and over 60 members and friends sat down to a "splendid tea and were serviced by the Committee".

Later "under the efficient direction of Mr.Dean, with Mrs.Horton at the piano, the dancing commenced."

Before then there was Mr. Best of the Guild Committee "performing clever conjuring tricks" which put "everyone in good spirits". After the tea and before the entertainment there were several speeches. Mr. Rutter, President does the cordial welcome and introductions. Mr.Dale of the Education Committee, Mrs. Ashton from the District Council, Mr.Hill of the Co-operative Party, Mr.S.Coombs of the Publicity Dept tendered congratulations and best wishes.

The evening continues with Miss Gilman demonstrating the art of elocution with some monologues "which received great applause". Refreshments and ices served during the interval, plus singing "Auld Land Syne" at the end of the evening.

Report, M&SE Co-op Herald Pg 91 April 1946.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trip to Archives

Hardy Lane to the right
An afternoon looking at old archive material in Central Reference Library, Manchester. The good part was I found what I wanted in two hours. The bad part was it was a warm sunny day and the last place you want to be is indoors. There are so few great summer days you don't want to squinting over old handwriting and old typewritten reports.

What I did discover was the timetable for building the Hardy Lane store which was originally for two shops with flats above - not a co-op hall. Also the costs for construction and fitting out. The shops - grocer's and butchers were opened before all the work was complete because of competition being built nearby.

Now feel I can get the story written in booklet form which was the original intention.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Pitches

The Hardy Farm Playing fields haven't been used for years but they might get a new lease of life. They want levelling out first

West Didsbury & Chorlton FC have agreed to join with Oswald Road Junior FC to form a new Charter Standard Community Club to be based at Hardy Lane on the former playing fields adjoining their Brookburn Road ground.

Proposals for new junior and adult pitches with a full size 3g pitch and related changing facilities are being finalised and will be submitted to the City Council in the coming weeks. Interesting devlopements, might be ready for the 2010-11 season if all the approvals take place.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gramophone Records

I recently was shown a box of old gramophone records, the 78rpm shellac variety that were allegedly played at the Hardy Lane Co-op Rooms in years gone by the Co-op Guild. Most are dance band records by people such as Jack Hyland, or Joe Loss. I made an inventory of the contents. However unable to play them as I've no player that does 78rpm speed so never checked their condition.
The M&SE Co-op used to hire out gramophones in the 1920's and 1930's to organisations that wished to use them for a social, and there were such gramophone concerts held in co-op halls. The most intriguing were a couple of discs by Billy Williams. He was a famous music hall artist who recorded cylinders and gramophone records - one of his most famous tunes was "When Father Papered The Parlour" which was still being played on BBC radio into the 1960's. The video on You Tube is "Old Grey Coat" which was one of the titles on my list. If you like such old tunes you should go to Archive.Org because they have lots of his material.
You can email : coop AT with any information that will help in the making of this history.