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Message For Manchester Cynics

Sleuth Wk 35: Ignore the vandals and make more love-gardens

Published on August 23rd 2013.


Message For Manchester Cynics
 

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

Message To MCR Cynics - Knickers To You

Sleuth has been away on holiday so he hasn't got a tidy collection of seven or eight stories for readers.

But he has got a point-making, finger-jabbing bit of good news.

So forget vandalism cynics of Manchester, gardens, playgrounds and the beautification of the city centre leads to acts of love - or at least lust - in public areas. 

Regular visitors to this site will have noticed rants on Confidential can be populated, on occasion, by cynics. Negative sorts for whom nothing will ever be any good. A common theme is don't try with pleasant fixtures and fittings in the city centre, new gardens, street furniture and the like, because they'll just get vandalised.

We don't believe this at Confidential.

In 2007/8 we started a campaign to make Castlefield more attractive. It's been successful; so much so that the residents have now one of the most significant city centre forums in the country. More can be done in Castlefield but the residents and businesses are on the case ensuring that will happen. 

Right from the start of our campaign in Castlefield we've argued that beautifying the city and making it better for families, residents and visitors will not result in vandalism but an improved city.

Often council officials (with some very notable exceptions) have been equally worried about city centre improvements. Like so many ranters, neg-heads and others in the city, they were obsessed by vandalism rather than opening their minds to improvement. 

But as the editor has said on this site: 'We should look to aggressively design spaces and areas as best we can. We should design for the majority of the population not let the tiny minority of vandals and bad boys dictate that every element of design comes from worrying about them first and the well-being of the majority second. If the bad 'uns vandalise something, then we fix it, and keep on fixing it. Giving up should not be a policy.'

So it was lovely on Thursday evening when Sleuth met people from Manchester Cathedral and received further vindication of this principle.

While the Cathedral is undergoing refurbishment there is a temporary place of worship on Victoria Street. This is adjacent to a small playground and growboxes filled with plants donated from and tended by Manchester businesses including Confidential.

Playground

Playground

The playground went on site early in the year, the growboxes three or four months ago. 

"None of the rhubarb or flowers have been stolen from the growboxes and we've not had any vandalism of the playground," said one of the Cathedral chaps to Sleuth. "People seem to genuinely care about it and use it the right way. Well, mostly the right way."

"What do you mean?" asked Sleuth worried that the vandals would have some form of last word.

"We've been keeping it tidy," said the Cathedral officer, "but after weekend nights when we have a clear up we do find lots of knickers around the gardens. We now have bags full of ladies underwear. The playground seems to be being used for all kinds of 'play'. But it seems to be respected."

Sleuth loved this. 

So forget vandalism, cynics of Manchester, gardens, playgrounds and the beautification of the city centre leads to acts of late night love - or at least lust - in public areas. 

Sleuth and Confidential is clear on this.

The more amenity and beauty we put into the city centre, and the suburbs for that matter, means they are better used and better loved.

Although they may get littered with lingerie.

But we can probably cope with that. 

Rhubarb to the cynics

Rhubarb to the cynics

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

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2013.

fertilizher in the garden, how apropriate.

C BoykoAugust 23rd 2013.

It should be pointed out that local residents also use the growboxes in addition to local businesses. City Co (and by extension, Manchester City Council) have donated the boxes.

Sean O'mearaAugust 23rd 2013.

Good post ManCon. I agree. Making an environment more pleasing to be in should always be a priority. Look at Copenhagen and Munich as examples of how life genuinely improves when people are given an environment they can't help but respect. It's always annoyed me that they take the football goals in Chorlton Park down during summer (end of football season), just when there will loads of kids off school who'd love to use them. So I emailed the council and they said it was to "reduce vandalism." This is as infuriating as it is illogical (vandalism can happen during the winter). We really need to design our spaces with form and function front and centre, not vandal resistance. Stats have proved too, that tackling petty vandalism like graffiti and keeping places nice really lowers crime. www.nber.org/…/w9061.html…

1 Response: Reply To This...
Poster BoyAugust 23rd 2013.

Goal posts are usually taken down in order to let the pitches (and specifically 6 yard boxes) 'recover' during the Summer months.

GimboidAugust 24th 2013.

I'm confused why you would take a leading line about cynicism and whingers just a couple of weeks after you published that totally out of proportion screed about New Islington Marina? Selective memory, editor?

Barry TravisAugust 26th 2013.

They should hang the discarded undercrackers on a washing line or some other sort of display. Like a shrine to gods of love and lust :-)

David in CheshireSeptember 17th 2013.

Those of a certain age will remember Tommy Duck's, where the ceiling was festooned with knickers. Perhaps we could get these cast-offs pinned to the ceiling of the temporary cathedral ...

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