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Didsbury Festival 2017

Date: May 3, 2017 Author: Si Categories: Archives


This Year’s Low Down On Didsbury Festival

The date for this year’s Didsbury Festival is Saturday May the 20th, which sees the organisers move it from its usual June weekend. We’re not sure if the weather gods have forced their hand in this but we’re quite happy to try our luck at a new month and we’re already planning for plenty of sunshine!

Didsbury Parade

This year’s parade theme is: The History of Didsbury. So we have decided to try and keep it as open as possible and gone for The River Mersey as Cavendish’s entry. Our thought process is simple. Firstly Didsbury would never have become a village without the location of the River Mersey and we thought we could encapsulate The History of Didsbury On The River Mersey quite nicely.
So here’s our plan of attack.

Make & Do Session

To try and motivate more people to take part and get involved in this year’s parade we are hosting a ‘Make & Do’ session at Cavendish on Friday the 12th May. We will use one of the halls – still to be decided – to set up a number of stations where kids and adults can help make and decorate props that will then be carried by the paraders on the day. Plus smaller stations where you can pick up ideas for individual costumes and/or start to make items that you could wear.

We hope as many people will join us at the session. Please let us know if you can help run it. We will need help in making the props pre event and during the session so if you’re creative and love a bit of ‘here’s what I made earlier’ please get in touch.


As said above, we have chosen The River Mersey theme to try and make it as open as possible for people to get creative. But to get you thinking, these are the sort of historical things that could be incorporated and come floating down the river with us:

During the English Civil War (1642-1651) between the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and the Royalists (Cavialiers), of which Manchester was on the Parliamentarian side, there was much troop movement in and around Didsbury. This was because it was one of the few places between Stretford and Stockport where the River Mersey could be forded. The Royalist Commander Rupert Prince stayed in Didsbury – just south of Barlow Moor.

In the 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie crossed the Mersey at Didsbury in the Jacobite march for the throne.

Reflect the great industrial revolution and the changes in the Didsbury landscape. From a quiet hamlet with thatched cottages and handloom weavers houses to large villas and country houses overlooking the River Mersey, built by businessmen who acquired their wealth from the industrial revolution.

One of these large properties was The Towers, owned by the proprietor of the Manchester Guardian, John Edwards. Located next to Didsbury Cricket Club, it was purchased in 1874 by Daniel Adamson, an engineer who instigated a meeting at the property in which the decision to construct the Manchester Ship Canal was made.

The RSPB started life from the Didsbury home of Emily Williamson in 1889. Originally known as The Plumage League, Williamson joined forces with Eliza Phillips – head of the Fur and Feather League in Croydon to form the RSPB.

Margaret Ashton, a suffragette, councillor and key reformer of education in Manchester as a whole, hailed from this area. She was also the very person who laid the stone, incorporated into the front of our school building to mark the opening of Cavendish in 1904. Take a look at the plaque on the front of school.

Reflecting our favourite pastimes along the river. Cycling, fishing, bird watching, jogging and walking.

And of course depicting nature in general with flowers, fish and birds.


We are hoping to have as many hand held boards to depict The History of Didsbury pictorially and through words for people to carry on the day. This will be subject to volunteers helping to make them pre the Make & Do session and at the event. We will also be looking to purchase a blue foil strip (often seen on floats) to illustrate the river and offer a natural demarcation for Cavendish’s walkers in the parade.


Due to the fluidity of the theme, we are leaving all individual costumes to you. You may fancy the pomp and tartan of Bonnie Prince Charlie or the battle cries of the Roundheads versus the Cavaliers. Birds and fish could float your boat or perhaps the the suffragettes and industrial revolution get your vote. What ever it is that inspires you, the main thing is getting as many
Cavendish children involved and participating in the community event.
It can be full on fancy dress or just headbands or plaques to carry. Alternatively if dressing up isn’t your thing but you would still like to march please feel free to join us. All we ask is that you wear something red to denote the Cavendish colours.

Parade Details

Meet at St Catherine’s Primary School playground, School Lane, Didsbury between 10.00 - 10.30am. Procession starts at 11am and proceeds down School Lane, turns left into Wilmslow Road, passes though the village, turns left into Sandhurst Road and then into Didsbury Park. No prams, pushchairs or dogs are allowed to join the procession.

Cavendish Stewards

Each walking group has to provide a minimum of six adult stewards. A steward’s responsibility is to ensure all children remain safe within the group’s walking area. Two stewards walk at the front, two in the middle and two at the end. If you can volunteer time to steward please get in touch.

Didsbury Festival

We have booked our usual stall and bouncy castle offering at the festival. Any help to set up, pack up and run the offering will be greatly received.
We will also be looking for baking contributions and face painters.

Get in touch

If you can help in anyway please let us know as soon as possible. We need help with: prop making, make & do session, parade stewarding, festival stall, baking and face painting. Drop us a line at:

Final Note

Cavendish won the parade last year. So let’s see if we can claim the trophy for a second year in a row!

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