TV chef Simon Rimmer switches on the West Didsbury lights

Last night’s Christmas lights switch-on was a lovely event on Burton Road, with children from local schools singing carols and local restaurant Green’s owner & TV chef Simon Rimmer hosting the official power up. He does look a wee bit chilly on the photo above but it wasn’t as cold as last year when there was early snow on the ground. It was commented that the rather spartan lights weren’t exactly Blackpool illuminations but there’s a recession on don’t you know?!

I think it’s rather marvellous when famous locals take time out of busy schedules to support their community and Simon’s speech resonated with all in the crowd. He talked of the thriving independent local shops, eateries and bars in West Didsbury, many of them run by young enthusiastic entrepreneurs, and about how important it is to support or lose them. Green’s has been a successful local vegetarian restaurant for over 20yrs so I reckon he knows what he’s talking about. For such a small area to have such a collection of vibrant, individual businesses takes a huge amount of local determination to spend in those businesses and not just opt for the sometimes more convenient superstores. No wonder the Sunday Times name West Didsbury in their list of the top suburban areas to live in the UK (thanks for the link, Mike!)

Some crazy person in the Didsbury Life office decided to give RipRap a fluorescent jacket, don’t they know his reputation for destruction and chaos? He was in his element wandering around looking official but without actually doing anything (story of his life?!) and ended up standing outside a door doing his best imitation of a bouncer. Nutter. Last seen heading into the Met for a pint…

Surrounded by familiar faces and friends, we had a great night with cake from Dishes & Spoons, hot chocolate in Folk & finally a take home Rioja from Reserve. Thank you 5yr old Ava for the wild dancing, frequent songs and accompaniment of tunes played on forks! There was a party to celebrate Steranko’s 20th birthday, another fabulous Burton Rd independent (I remember when it was a bakery #old), which carried on without us on a school night, but the Christmas spirit definitely kick started last night. Roll on the 25th 🙂

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