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MediaCityPub Opens, Metrolink Machine Thumping, Mad Gift Idea

Sleuth Wk 50: Absurdity, Perspicacity, Beer, Tickets

Written by . Published on December 6th 2013.

MediaCityPub Opens, Metrolink Machine Thumping, Mad Gift Idea

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Pub For MediaCityUK

The Dockyard pub is to open at MediaCityUK on Thursday 12 December. The idea is to bring the hard-edged office quarter a neighbourhood boozer. Run by the team at the nearby Damson Restaurant there will be a strong food offer as well as space for the simple pleasures of quaffing and mulling. The opening event will see Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie of BBC 6 Music, cut the ribbon on the new venture. Since the BBC will form a large part of the customer base this is only appropriate thinks Sleuth. 

Some Drinks For The Beeb 

Sleuth reckons The Dockyard could create a special range of cocktails for the Beeb. The Executive Payoff would be where you get more drink than advertised or necessary. The Virgin would be a very small cocktail so you finish it quickly and get the London train back at the earliest opportunity. The Franchise will be a British drink but with a main if rather needless American element so it can be sold in the States more easily. The Strictly would be a very elaborately decorated drink that keeps falling over. The Cox will be a complicated drink nobody really understands and finally, of course, Nigella’s Christmas, just straight coke. 

Old-fashioned Metrolink Ticket Bother 

Sleuth got to Firswood tram station the other day and put his money in for a ticket.

Money was taken, but no ticket was delivered. He pressed the customer service help button on another machine about ten metres away. "Hello, can I help?” came the disembodied but pleasant voice. “Hope so,” said Sleuth, “I put in my money, but didn’t receive a ticket.” “That happens occasionally we don’t know what it is. Static maybe,” said the sympathetic lady in a control centre somewhere. “Just flap the door of the ticket machine a few times, that usually makes the ticket drop.” Sleuth laughed, “That’s it, I give the machine a bit of a slap.” “Just the door please,” said the woman.

So Sleuth did just that, rattled the door of the machine like a letterbox and hey presto the ticket appeared. Ah the joys of the twenty-first century transport system that is Metrolink. 

Something Local And Sweet For Christmas

Sleuth loves these City Council posters from the 1930s. They feature places to visit in Manchester and the surrounding area. You can buy them here. The price is £18 for large A2 prints and £22 for jumbo A1 versions, the high quality posters are printed on premium 240gsm silk paper. And the odd slanty shape? Apparently this was the shape of the panel close to the bus driver’s cab where the posters were displayed. 

Manchester Central Library

Manchester Central Library

River Mersey At ChorltonRiver Mersey At Chorlton

Something Mad For Christmas 

Sleuth loved this man in Niamh Spence’s Inventory story. James Medd of Madlab has invented something very useful. He explained how an app on his phone connects to the internet, then via GPS works out how long until he’ll be home and then relays that message to a gadget called an Arduino to check how much water is in the kettle, so that said kettle can be ready and boiling as he gets home. That’s somehow genius thinks Sleuth, wondering if something similar could be performed with the opening of a bottle of wine. 

Sleuth’s Council Report Of The Week 

A company has been ordered to pay more than £7,500 for selling dangerous mobile phone chargers. HL Trading Ltd were fined £3,000 for each offence with £1,517.99 costs and a £120 victims of crime surcharge. Odd, but not as odd as the statement from Cllr Kate Chappell. Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment said: “Anyone who bought one of these chargers could easily have got a nasty electric shock when trying to use it, which could have been very unpleasant for children or elderly people.” Sleuth reckons it could been very unpleasant for any age group despite the well-known middle-aged love of electric shock treatment.

Sleuth’s Deal Of The Week

Sleuth is very familiar with loyalty schemes. You know the ones: get your card stamped and the tenth coffee is free. He’s not heard of it with beer before. But in the Ape and Apple this is exactly what is happening - but after only eight beers. Good old Joseph Holt brewery.

Photo %2819%29

Beer loyalty

Lost Buildings Of Manchester: Part One

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policemen, concierges, Stuart Maconie, Mark Radcliffe, Metrolink customer service officers, beer, Cllr Kate Chappell and all the transport posters in the world and asked: "Where was one of Manchester's best buildings that got needlessly demolished in the fifties and replaced by something much duller?"

"Why," says Sleuth, "that would be the old post office on Spring Gardens, now replaced by an awkward concrete structure."

And to prove this he showed the policemen, concierges, Stuart Maconie, Mark Radcliffe, Metrolink customer service officers, beer, Cllr Kate Chappell and all the transport posters in the world, this picture.

The wonderful old post - why would you demolish it?

The wonderful old post office - why would you demolish it?

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

AnonymousDecember 6th 2013.

The first beer loyalty scheme I heard of was the Tetley Pub Hunt of 1984. You got a free pint after paying for 20, and you got a free T shirt as well. I've still got my T shirt and it still fits. The next year they repeated the scheme but called it the Tetley Pub Inquiry.

AnonymousDecember 7th 2013.

Not just the old Spring Gardens post office you know, small-minded Manchester councillors would have demolished "so much more" if only they had the funds back then. Has that mindset really changed? Too late for many of Manchester's "characterful" old buildings, of course, but should/could local councils be stripped of their town planning obligations I wonder?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
crisbyDecember 8th 2013.

Agreed that the loss of this building was a tragedy, as with thousands of others in every town in the UK in those days, but you are wrong on a variety of counts. (1) Lack of funds would not be likely to discourage demolitions like this as they were part of commercial schemes intended to make money. (2) The City Council didn't own the Post Office, the Post Office did. (3) As Victorian buildings were rarely listed in those days, planning permission wouldn't have been required to demolish it, therefore the City Council wouldn't have been able to stop it even if they had wanted to. (4) If you strip local councils of planning powers, who would decide? Eric Pickles? The RIBA? The wonders of hindsight!

AnonymousDecember 9th 2013.

Apologies for my clumsy opening sentence in the above post - heck I didn't really mean to imply that the then Lord Mayor of Manchester owned & personally demolished that Post Office building. But anyway,we are talking about (sorry, I was referring to) the post war period here you know Crispy, when Manchester City Council DID actually draw up comprehensive redevelopment plans that would have "swept away" much of city centre Manchester - including the Town Hall & that Post Office building. Fortunately the city just didn't have the finances/funds back then to implement their plans - that's what I was getting at Crispy. (Commercial schemes & private finance? Councils, public money, built city centre boulevards & parks, new town halls etc back then you know.) Oh, a directly elected planning officer & his/her personally selected team "would decide" by the way, that's who.

AnonymousDecember 7th 2013.

Love those posters but really MCC- £5 delivery? Is there a place you can buy them from in person?

AnonymousDecember 9th 2013.

Can I just add that whilst some of the old buildings looked ok from the outside they are simply not fit for purpose these days. Poor plumbing, no air con etc are not acceptable in this day and age. Sorry if that offends some old gits but workers should not have to pay the price for your nostalgia.

AnonymousDecember 9th 2013.

They are beautiful posters, sad the st peters square one has the added poignancy of very current destruction.

soulman1949December 10th 2013.

I'm one of the old gits here. Some of the older buildings in the area around Spring Gardens are/were beautiful. While anonymous would like them consigned to the bulldozer, how come a lot of them are still in active use? Because someone could see that some refurbishment was all that was necessary to give them a new lease of life. I wonder how many of the monstrosities erected in the 60s/70s will stand the test of time?

Trish KarneyJanuary 2nd 2014.

Is the Piccadilly Hotel a listed building?

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