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The Grouch’s column: 05/08/2010

Shakespeare gets it wrong and £50k for a Pacific Rim

Published on August 6th 2010.

The Grouch’s column: 05/08/2010

Much ado about nothing

I don’t want to get all BBC again – despite the fact it got Confidential into the Sunday Times last weekend (fame at last) and won the Grouch some high-fellutin’ BBC types as Twitter followers – but it’s hard not to feel disappointed by yet more trash talk coming from some embittered London types.

The inaccuracy of the Daily Mail is sort of expected – ‘Sian Williams quits BBC Breakfast over Salford move’ (she hasn’t) – but now the Evening Standard has weighed in through their geographically confused columnist Sebastian Shakespeare. Real name.

Shakespeare added his two-penneth to the issue of Peter Salmon not moving up north, or specifically ‘Manchester, the site of the BBC’s new HQ.’ Apart from the fact that it’s Salford. A separate city. Like, say, London. Easy mistake to make though.

The only indisputable fact Sebastian seemed able to put across in his entire polemic was that Salford, and even Manchester, ‘is not London.’ Can’t take issue with him there. Spot on.

He then says Northerners should ‘just rejoice that we all live in the same country.’ Perhaps we would if one city in that country didn’t spit its dummy out whenever something gets moved out of it instead of in.

After nabbing the Globe Theatre from Stratford, it’s just as well Chelsea won the Premiership last year or Boris would have probably made a play to move Old Trafford to Clapham.

I’ve lived in London and Manchester, despite being born in neither, and they’ve both got their good and bad points. I’ve also been to White City too, current home of the BBC. It’s hardly dripping in caviar or £1.8m houses.

Shakespeare alluded to the fact that Northerners have a chip on their shoulders about London. He may be right at times, but given some of the bleating coming out the capital, the same seems to be true about those looking north.

Although Shakespeare’s chips are probably hand-cut, stacked in a small ironic tower, and served with ‘mayo’.

Pacific Rim anyone?

There’s plenty going on in the city’s food and drink sector at the minute – the Northern Quarter seems to be throwing up new bars and plans are in for another one at 43 Thomas Street, although no other details are attached to the planning application as yet.

Living Ventures has also started the search for an ‘exceptional executive head chef’ for its new flagship casual fine dining restaurant Australasia, in Spinningfields. They’re offering a salary of £45k - £50k basic plus a potential 50 per cent bonus. How can you bag the job? Well, you need to be ‘passionate about flavours and innovation’ with a flair for the ‘Pan Asian, Pacific Rim, modern Australian style.’ No, I have no idea what a Pacific Rim is either, but I’ll try anything once.

The usual bean-counting/shouting at underlings is involved too. It will be interesting to see which end of ‘casual fine dining’ they’ll head towards though – it sounds like a bit of a paradox to me. Will it be kangaroo burgers or crocodile foam?

Another odd job

Another intriguing job ad in the same place as the Living Ventures gig, is from a firm called Thornway Leisure. The firm is looking for a manager for a ‘new 500+ capacity style club in central Manchester.’ No more detail than that though. You’re a clever bunch – any ideas?

Care in the community

Manchester’s got its fair share of flash city centre pads. Now another one has sprung up. It has fantastic views over the canal, double height ceilings and is close to all the bars and clubs near Castlefield and Deansgate Locks. Only one small condition - it’s for ducks. Manchester City Council has built the new house for ducks near Whitworth Street West after residents had seen ducklings falling into an overflow grid as they tried to get into the water. All very caring and sharing, but I hope their council tax ‘bill’ isn’t too big. No? I’ll get my coat.

Follow the grouch on twitter mcrgrouch

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DrakeAugust 5th 2010.

Like most people in Manc even know that Salford's a separate city...Get that fat chip off your shoulder, just cos we Mancs don't know the difference between Middlesboro and Sunderland...

London stole the Globe? Uhhr, no. It was a project of Sam Wanamaker to build a new version of the original Globe, which was based in Shoreditch. Like, a whole different city to Stratford on the Avon...

Facts, those damned facts...

Craig SutheranAugust 5th 2010.


The GrouchAugust 5th 2010.

Drake, I like your style. Technicalities aside, the point I perhaps didn't make was that London likes to have a piece of everything and give away nothing. Fair enough, it's the capital city, but the way they're going on you'd think the entire corporation was leaving town.

Perhaps I'm just bitter that Middlesbrough is still just a lowly town, when Sunderland is a city.

I'm sure most Mancunians know that their fair city is separate to Salford. Salfordians certainly do.

BelgianAugust 5th 2010.

what's wrong with chips and mayo? never understood the salt and vinegar thing, it's for poor people...

DrakeAugust 5th 2010.

Craig, it was deliberate. Not clever, not funny. But still deliberate.

Grouch, I know. But 'boro is, of course, really a Yorkshire town which is a hundred times better than being a Northumbrian city.

On Salford/Manc, this is one thing Londoners have right. No-one cares. Except the sort of people who, if they lived in villages, would hate the people in the next village for trying to hook cheeses from the pond.

Belgian--you are SO right.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2010.

yep I passed the duck house this evening. It's by Rain Bar on the Canal but it's not on MCC property and I assumed that together with the Dove Cot it was a private initiative maybe paid for under the scheme that give residents fun money. {Labour's version of 'the Great Society') But I think they need advice about keeping the rats out.

Incidentally there are now a two pairs of Geese on the Canal at this point (there were only three individuals earlier in the year). So no more gaggling threesoms you naughty birds

James11364August 6th 2010.

Actually there is a serious point about the nonsense fights between different met boroughs. I think Media City and the Quays are within the boundary of what the Planners call the Regional Centre (not the City Centre though that's included) I prefer the term the Regional Economy Centre. 30% or more of the City Regions employees work in this area.Grouch should tell us how the powers-that-be believe it should be effectively managed. It's discussed in the documents on Manchester Core Strategy since most of the area lies within the City boundaries.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2010.

James - it's Friday today. Make sure you have some plans this weekend. I think you are in desperate need of a night out!

Drake - there's nothing wrong with people having a sense of identity and it's not parochial to describe yourself as being a Salfordian or a Manc. In the same way people would describe themselves as being from Notting Hill or Shoreditch, wherever those places are.

The GrouchAugust 6th 2010.

I hate the term 'mayo', It's mayonnaise. Saying the extra syllable won't kill you.

NortherngeezerAugust 6th 2010.

Them thar yanks say 'slaw' as well. I can see Dolly behind the counter at Th'asda given me suspicious looks if i used THAT one!!!!.

HelAugust 6th 2010.

I wish Manchester and Salford would just merge like Newcastle/Gateshead (at least for the purposes of marketing and communication). Trying to pretend they are separate cities when in reality there is no gap between them is daft. I work in Manchester and park my car in Salford sometimes. If they were genuinely separate cities like Manchester and London (as the original article implies) that would hardly be possible.

Northern Monkey TennisAugust 6th 2010.

HEL - Even in Greater London they still to this day have the adjoining 'cities' of London and Westminster (albeit they're more like boroughs) but I agree that it is slightly daft. Not nearly as daft though as the once-touted idea of having an M62 'super-city' between Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds! ;)

BrevitymanAugust 8th 2010.


stephAugust 9th 2010.

Having moved to Salford ten years ago, i quickly became aware of how "London-centric" the news can be. Remember the dustbin men strike in Leeds? That strike was on for about six weeks before it hit the national news. If it had been the London binmen it would have been on News at 10 the following day. I agree with the Grouch having lived in both Salford/Manchester and London both have their good and bad bits. The parks in London are something very special but the compactness of Manchester City Centre and it's constant buzz of things happening are to be treasured ... and that is where the Salford/Manchester thing comes to a head. Salford will never really be able to compete on a level footing with Manchester as it just doesn't have a city centre, it is just a collection of towns.

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