Submitted to the 2020 BSS Sundial Design And Restoration Awards by Louise Smail, trustee for the Old Parsonage Building and coordinator of the sundial project:
The Didsbury Parsonage (The Old Parsonage) is a Grade II listed building, next to what was the original village green of Didsbury. The building and gardens were left to the citizens of Manchester by Alderman Fletcher Moss in 1919. Through the Didsbury Parsonage Trust it provides a thriving community hub for the people of Didsbury and beyond, in a locally significant and picturesque setting.
The original stained glass sundial in the Library of the Old Parsonage was designed by the then owner, Alderman Fletcher Moss. This sundial went missing at some unknown time before the Second World War. Using archive evidence, including photographs, John Carmichael constructed full-size working drawings including a rendering of the intended replacement sundial on acrylic. He incorporated his own design of a demountable gnomon which is held in place by two magnets. Any accidental knock results in the gnomon falling harmlessly to the ground without damaging the glass. It can be replaced in a matter of seconds. Unlike the original which had white painted glass between the hour lines, the replacement has clear glass that was frosted (sandblasted) on one side. This creates the darkest optimum shadows. Fuller notes are provided separately.