Albert Vincent Reade, 1864 - 1940
Oatfield Adjoining River Mersey at Didsbury Bridge, Northenden, Manchester

inscribed  dated and signed on the reverse, "Oatfield adjoining River Mersey / at Didsbury Bridge / Sep 1931 / A Vincent Reade"

pencil and watercolour
29 x 39.50 cm. (11.1/2 x 15.1/2 in.


The River Mersey is 70.33 miles (113 km) long and flows from Stockport to Liverpool Bay. Historically it formed the boundary between the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire.

The towns of Didsbury and Northenden are now part of Greater Manchester, but historically Didsbury was in Lancashire and Northenden was in Cheshire. This part of the river is subject to flooding and the bridge is built on the site of an old ford.

"As Northenden is on a major (and very old) crossing place of the Mersey on the "Salt Road" from Cheshire to Manchester, it prospered in medieval times. The ford was an important way into and out of and into Manchester (now Ford Lane), as there was no bridge over the Mersey between Sale and Stockport, until in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie's army built a troop-bridge out of big poplar tree trunks where the B5095 (Manchester Road, Didsbury) now crosses the Mersey, south of Didsbury, in his abortive attempt to seize the crown of England. The Northenden ford was unusual because its northern and southern ends were not opposite each other, but people using the ford had to wade about 500 feet along the riverbed. The Simon's Bridge was built at the ford in 1901 to help access to Poor's Field." Northenden

There is a plaque on the bridge that reads "1901 This bridge was given to the people of Didsbury by Henry Simon" link

Nowadays as well as providing pedestrian access the bridge also forms part of the SUSTRANS national route 62, The Pennine Trail. The trail from coast-to-coast between Southport and Hornsea is 215 miles (346Km) long and is a route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders linking the North and Irish seas.

Artist biography

Albert Vincent Reade was born in 1864, he was a portrait, landscape and still life painter. He studied at the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and Colarossi's Paris, He exhibited  between 1901 and 1933 and lived in Manchester.