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Cockle Popcorn, Shaun Ryder, Otter More Important Than Corrie

Sleuth Wk 33: Corrie, hanging kebabs, madness, absudity and honour

Written by . Published on August 8th 2014.

Cockle Popcorn, Shaun Ryder, Otter More Important Than Corrie

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

Otter Bigger Than Coronation Street 

Sleuth has been watching the giddy hordes visiting the old Coronation Street set in the city centre. Re-opened since spring, visitor numbers are well over 200,000. This makes Confidential wonder why the set is still under threat of demolition for residential or commercial development. We outlined the arguments against this a while ago here

Sleuth is still puzzled, given the cultural significance to millions of people, why English Heritage has refused to 'list' and thus protect the site. They have said: "The criteria against which we must assess the architectural significance of buildings - or in this case, a television set - is extremely strict. The set as it stands today is an active reminder of the long-running television programme, rather than a survival of an earlier era of television productions."

English Heritage clearly think there are more significant sites, such as the hut in a remote part of Devon where Henry Williamson wrote Tarka the OtterEnglish Heritage announced last week it had been given official protection, 'not because of any great architectural merit, but because of its link with a renowned author'.

So Tarka the Otter hut, hard to get too, fanbase of a few thousand (at a push), listed. Coronation Street in the heart of a major city fanbase in their millions upon millions, not listed. Neither of architectural merit, according to English Heritage, yet they still decide to save one of the two sites.


Sleuth is no fan of Corrie but sometimes the open and outrageous snobbery of middle class institutions such as English Heritage is appalling.

This is more important than a set watched and loved by millions of people

This is more important than a set watched and loved by millions of people

Speaking of Coronation Street...

Sleuth attended Allied London's presentation this week, outlining the Spinningfields developers next lot of plans (explained here) for Granada Studios on Quay Street, the 13.5 acre former-ITV site. The site will be renamed 'St John's Quarter' and contain a mix of retail space, workspace and residential, including something called 'lateral living' - Sleuth has no idea what this is but assumes it's for people that do 'lateral thinking'. Sleuth doesn't understand that either. During a Q&A session with Allied London chief Mike Ingall, a session in which he spoke of a 'legacy for ITV', one person asked: "So what of Coronation Street?" "Well," said Ingall with a wry smile, "Do you see Coronation Street in the plans?" Sleuth looked back at the 3D model. Bye, bye Rovers.


Ape And Apple Holts' Pub Is Hanging Too

Sleuth was amused whilst perusing the menu at one his fave boozers, the solidly down to earth Ape and Apple on John Dalton Street. Seems the Holt pub has taken inspiration from bar and restaurant maestros Living Ventures down the road. As with the Oast House (and now The Botanist), hanging kebabs appear on the menu. This time instead of lurking round the £10/£11 mark they're £7.95 including a drink. Not bad. As yet, Sleuth noted, the Ape and Apple have yet to introduce Manchester House's Cumbrian veal fillet with cacao beans and foie gras mousse at £34. You don't want to stretch it, do you?

Spot the Hanging Kebabs

Spot the Hanging Kebabs

It's Never Quiet On Albert Square

Sleuth has been following the protestations of residents close to Albert Square over Transport for Greater Manchester's tram preparation works. These will require several months of 24/7 noise and disruption in the near future - click here. Sleuth is pleased that the residents are being led by one Phil Mitchell from the Booth Street apartments. Perfect. Phil Mitchell, Albert Square. Roll the credits, cue the drums. "Oi you, keep the noise down I can't get to sleep, you slaaaaaaaaaaaags."

Shaun Ryder Performs... Er... Somewhere

Now and then Sleuth likes to let his hair down, throw off the shackles, wear shorts. So Sleuth dropped into Lake District music festival Kendal Calling last weekend - which, confusingly, is just outside Penrith and around half an hour from Kendal. Weird. Sleuth was pulled out of the real ale tent to catch The Happy Mondays (yeah they're still going) perform on the main stage. By this stage Sleuth had sunk a few and was the right side of fuzzy, unlike frontman and notorious good-time-guy Shaun Ryder, who bellowed to the crowd, "Hello... er... festival." Smooth Shaun, smooth.

"Where am I again?"

Sleuth And Robert Owen Brown

Sleuth’s colleague, Neil Sowerby, was hoping for a bushy-tailed treat on the a la carte menu at the Northern Quarter’s Rosylee in Stevenson Square. After all, Rosylee's consultant chef Robert Owen Brown’s cook book (which Neil helped write) was called Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle (available from here). Nuts, he had to settle for the likes of Morecambe Bay shrimp shooter with cockle popcorn, Inka grilled lamb rack with broad beans, smoked garlic and rosemary and warm Battenberg cake with roasted almond smoothie and hazelnut brittle. Excellent nosh. Meanwhile Sleuth has turned the phrase 'cockled popcorn' into a polite curse. He used it the other day when a tram had been cancelled at Firswood Station. "Oh cockle popcorn!" he exclaimed, to the astonishment of the packed platform. Who then broke into a round of applause.

Robert Owen Brown gets everyone to shout


Robert Owen Brown gets everyone to shout "Cockled Popcorn!"

Protesters protesting the protesters... eh?

Sleuth was wandering down Market Street on Thursday and happened across a small scale protest outside H&M fronted by Council spokesman Cllr Pat Karney (sometimes Sleuth thinks there must be seven Karneys spread around the city). "What's this all about?" asked Sleuth. "Well," said a disgruntled shopworker, "We're protesting about the protesters that keep protesting outside our shops." "So you're protesters protesting against protesters?" asked Sleuth, utterly baffled. Sleuth's head then fell off.

Cheap Eats? Piss off...

Sleuth took note of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival's awards shortlist last week, which included a whopping four nominations for Aiden Byrne's Manchester House and three for Simon Rogan's Mr Cooper's in the Midland Hotel. Sleuth was out for a shandy with one of the proprietors of a restaurant nominated in the 'Cheap Eats' category. Sleuth informed him of the good news. "You've been nomiated for an award." said Sleuth. "Which award?" asked the proprietor. "The MFDF Cheap Eats award." replied Sleuth. "Cheap Eats?" said the proprietor. "They must be joking, right, I'm doubling prices and halving portions." And the MFDF restaurateur award goes to...

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

Agnes GuanoAugust 8th 2014.

I've seen otters running around the Bridgewater Canal by Lock 91 - does that help?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

I think those are minks, not otters.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

They are minks.....saw one the other day

Henry VAugust 8th 2014.

bad tempered and vicious little bastards those minks. At least they will sort out the geese

Flatten It...August 8th 2014.

Stupid idea to knock down the Coronation Street set. There's more to life than posh restaurants and shops. People from Canada to Australia love this show and would pile in here in their thousands in they ever visit Manchester. Surely someone with some authority can step in and save it? So short sighted.

GimboidAugust 8th 2014.

Re the Metrolink works, "These will require several months of 24/7 noise and disruption in the near future" Er, noise 24 hours a day? I doubt it, Sleuth. Can you check that?

EllieAugust 8th 2014.

I worked for Granada Television from the 60's and if you remember - there was a SET open to the public, just a few years ago and it eventually closed - so presume not that viable?!

soulman1949August 8th 2014.

Wrong, Ellie. Around the time the set closed, there was a lot of political jostling within ITV following the takeovers of the various regional companies. The plan was to sell that site off for development which is why the tours were stopped. But things changed and the plans were dropped among infighting within the Granada camp.

O'PedantAugust 8th 2014.

Tarka the Otter hut, hrd to get TOO ? Why?

AnonymousAugust 10th 2014.

Sad about Corrie Street being so overlooked and hidden beneath other news

AnonymousAugust 10th 2014.

So the Ape & Apple £7.95 hanging kebab & drink deal? For those that don't understand how pricing works let me enlighten you. The drink costs £2 of the deal so we have £6 for the food? £1 goes to the taxman leaving £5 and the expected profit level % will be 65% which means they are spending £1.75 on the dish... Good look with that meat quality (swerves to avoid it!)

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barry MaginnAugust 10th 2014.

Really? 'expected profit level % will be 65%'

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

As I put on another page.. ITV do not want it to stay as it will eventually become tarnished and damaged, damaging the Corrie brand.. much better to let it go... I agree it would be great to keep it.. but as the show changes it will no longer reflect the show... another reason ITV want it to go...

1 Response: Reply To This...
Flatten It...August 12th 2014.

Can ITV tell the council to knock something down that has attracted over 200,000 visitors?

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