There are two blue plaques on the side wall of the Library. One commemorates Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who was the nephew of King Charles I. Prince Rupert was a soldier who was appointed commander of the Royalist cavalry during the English Civil War and he stationed himself in the building which formerly stood on the site of the library. He surrendered after the Battle of Naseby and was banished from England.
The other plaque commemorates Sir William Brereton (1604-1661). Brereton was the MP for Cheshire and was also a soldier, politician and writer who was involved in the Civil War when he was stationed at Didsbury. He was appointed Commander in Chief of Parliament’s forces in Cheshire, Shropshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire. Brereton developed a network of spies and conducted a relentless military campaign against the Royalists in the region.
Howard Spring, the author (1889-1965) lived at 26 Hesketh Avenue off Barlow Moor Road. He was born in Cardiff and moved to Didsbury in 1915 to become a journalist at the Manchester Guardian.
Didsbury and the Old Cock feature in several of his novels which are generally based in Manchester and include “Shabby Tiger”, “Rachel Rosing”, “Hard Facts” and “My Son, My Son”. He used The Limes on Wilmslow Road, which is now a nursing home, as the home of the Artingstall family in his book “Fame is the Spur”.
Walter Carroll (1869-1955) lived at 117 Lapwing Lane. He taught at the Manchester College of Music before becoming one of the founding members of the Northern School of Music. In 1918 he was appointed the country’s first Local Authority Music Adviser for Manchester Education Committee. His daughter, Ida, was later a Principal of the Northern School of Music.