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<b>Friday 24 April:</b> Pubs forced to close on St George's day, titan prisons scrapped and Manchester poets for Poet Laureate title

Published on April 24th 2009.

ST GEORGE'S DAY CELEBRATIONS were disrupted yesterday in four city centre pubs after a minority reportedly began making racist chants. Sinclairs Oyster Bar, the Old Wellington Inn in Shambles Square, The Brunswick and the Moon Under the Water all had to be closed earlier than usual because of rowdy behaviour.

TITAN PRISON PLANS are going to be scrapped. The BBC reports today that Justice Secretary Jack Straw will reveal proposals for five 1,500-place jails instead of three 2,500-place Titan prisons. One of the super jails was due to be built in Warrington at a cost of £350m. The justice secretary is due to make a statement on the issue.

SAY GOODBYE TO THE SUNSHINE. Weather forecasters have predicted that April showers are on the way following what is possibly the warmest April in decades. The Met Office expect some rain this weekend and looking ahead to next week, say: 'Tuesday and Wednesday it is expected to be unsettled with periods of rain or showers, perhaps with gales in the Northwest.'

MANCHESTER POETS Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage are joint favourites to be the new Poet Laureate. The successor to Andrew Motion, who has had the title since 1999, will be the official poet of the monarch and chronicler of national events. The 400-year-old role commands a salary of £5,000 and, by tradition, a barrel of sherry. Duffy and Armitage are both lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University. Bookmakers William Hill say Liverpudlian Roger McGough is second favourite for the role.

This 'n' that wisdom*: You can build a house, but a home must grow

*Taken from the free calendar available at This 'n' That, Soap Street, Northern Quarter. Those curry meisters are so very very sagacious. How does this wisdom rate? Confidential rating: 6/10

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Armitage ShanksApril 24th 2009.

'Manchester poet Simon Armitage'?Were he from Saddleworth you could possibly get away with it, but I think Marsden may be a train stop too far...

citizenandrewApril 24th 2009.

I think similar behaviour was reported last year on St George's day. I wish these morons would emigrate and stop embarrassing our nation with their ridiculous behaviour.

Disappointed of ManchesterApril 24th 2009.

I am all for celebrating St George's Day but for the first time yesterday I wondered what there actually was worth celebrating about being English, and actually felt embarrassed to have some national pride. It seems that it has been hijacked by anti-social lager louts and racists who show exactly what is the problem with England nowadays. Can't Manchester organise something to appreciate what is good about England and its culture for the reasonable majority?

AnonymousApril 24th 2009.

he's based in manchester. it doesn't say he is mancunian.

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