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Sleuth 03/10/2008

Manchester this week, Dylan Jones and the remarkable Jim Morrison, Food and Drink foot in mouth, United offer us a mortgage

Published on October 3rd 2008.

Sleuth 03/10/2008

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows.

Foot in mouth disease at the Circle
Dylan Jones was in town last week at the Circle Club. The dapper GQ editor was being interviewed live by Dave Mallon. Dave is the entrepreneur who owns The Circle, the General Store and the Ringspun clothing label. He's a very good lad when it comes to fashion. Perhaps needs a researcher in other areas though. Dylan Jones back in 1992 had a biography of Doors’ singer Jim Morrison published. Dave Mallon asked Jones: "So what was it like interviewing Jim Morrison?" There was a pause before Jones replied: "It was difficult. He'd been dead for a couple of decades." In fact, when Dave realised what he'd said he looked just like this man (Click here.)

Dylan Jones

Food and Drink launch
Sleuth loves it when people tell it as it is, concentrate on what matters or suddenly reveal what they think. The pressure of public speaking is better than a polygraph for getting to the nitty gritty. Thus there was a whole hat-trick of incident at the Food and Drink Festival Launch at Spinningfields on Thursday evening. The director of the festival had to refer to the festival brochure for the names of sponsors and other details. Doh. The editor of City Life, the main sponsors, referred to Spinningfields, the hosts and also key sponsors, as an urban wasteland. Oops. And the marketing boss of Spinningfields from London committed the condescending faux pas of saying she’d been surprised at how much friendlier Manchester was than the capital - like bands telling every audience they play to they are the best ever. This, however, may have been because the editor of City Life had introduced her as being from Essex. All splendid stuff. Fortunately it’s now time for the real punters to get on with enjoying several really good festival events – click here.

Congestion Charging
Speaking of that London thing (see above) of saying how much friendlier we are, talk to each other on the bus or whatever, blah, blah: there has it seems been genuine feeling extending up north from the capital. The Deputy London Mayor, Simon Milton, is quoted on a think tank website as saying there was "definitely a better way" to do the congestion charge in London. Sleuth hears he then went on say he thought “the proposed Greater Manchester scheme was an interesting alternative - with its peak-time, rather than all-day, charges”. Now, whether we’re pro or anti the Manchester Congestion Charge, that’s the sort of compliment we’ll take. An acknowledgement of a pioneering plan, something concrete, not that ‘nice to whippets, call a spade a spade' bollocks.

City Life website needs help
Sleuth is intrigued by the unusual interactivity being asked of staff down at Hardman Street over the City Life listings website. Employees are being asked by the massively saleried boss of Guardian Media Group Regional, Mark Dodson to add content. For example, a staff member can suggest bars and restaurants and ‘give them a star rating to help populate user ratings’. Also they're being asked to ‘add some content. Look through sections and write a few comments...write some reviews’. The fifty MEN staff who contribute most will get a bottle of champagne with ‘the top contributor getting a magnum of champagne'. Very prudent thinks Sleuth, wondering if he can join in. Who needs writers when you can ask the staff?

United we crunch
Sleuth got an email from Manchester United this week saying, 'Just ask for a Manchester United mortgage quote, and you could be one of four people to win £5,000 to put towards your household bills for the next year. That would help you stay on top of your finances, wouldn't it?' Sleuth thought, nice deal, until he realised that United's shirt sponsors AIG are at the centre of the US property crash and that the club themselves are £600 squillion in the red (so to speak) after the Glazers’ take over. Sleuth feels financial advice from United feels a little offside.

Building down
This is the sign on a building at the corner of Oak Street and Thomas Street. It's been allowed to moulder in the Northern Quarter since Noah jumped from his boat and said,"turned out nice again." Now, it looks like that something's being done at last. Although the superb full refurbishment advertised on the signboard looks a little thin, unless they've refurbed the graffiti - as one wag suggested. Yet there’s a deeper story. This is a key building in the Northern Quarter, one of a number owned by the family of an ex-Lord Mayor of Manchester, Sir Neil Westbrook. It’s been an eyesore for ages. This is hardly a surprise as that’s how the company likes it. People may remember the long-running row in the 1990s over the decayed Princess Street premises opposite the Chief Executive and the Council Leader's Town Hall offices. The company seems to feel eyesores in a city Sir Neil once represented are dandy. Sleuth also wonders about the timing of this sign given the economic climate. Another delaying tactic perhaps on a promise of doing something, then maybe demolition of the dangerous property and a cleared site for redevelopment? Those old buildings are so awkward to refurbish after all.

Toilet humour
Sleuth was captivated by the row over Manchester University Student Union and their decision in deference to trans-gender students to make their bogs gender-neutral. This involved replacing 'Gents' and 'Ladies' with 'toilets with urinals' and 'toilets'. Sleuth loved the BBC interview where a journo in love of a cliché asked a spokeshetero/gay/lesbian/transgenderperson (let’s not be judgemental) if this was ‘political correctness gone mad’ and was told off by the said spokeshetero/gay/lesbian/transgenderperson for an inappropriate use of the word ‘mad’. What a spazz.

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

mark mOctober 3rd 2008.

errrm, what sign?

DisappointedOctober 3rd 2008.

Gordo, don't be so bloody sycophantic.

david mallonOctober 3rd 2008.

...and on that bombshellclearly a sense of humour bypass was the order of the day for sleuth......ill ensure a drumroll and a clash of cymbals when next i make a joke for the less droll out there

AlOctober 3rd 2008.

I was in Zinc bar the other week and it took the barman there about 3 hours to make one cocktail so let's hope it's not him!

Ali McGowanOctober 3rd 2008.

I. P. Freely. The toilet debate is hilarious - let's all just piss everywhere. That should annoy the cleaners.

mark mOctober 3rd 2008.

And you need an excuse to get wasted Avo??

GordoOctober 3rd 2008.

Eh, Phil, that was Scrotefield reporting on your excellent launch, not Gordo! Gordo had a fab time, loved the TeePee! Gordo is looking forward to the do.

WayneOctober 3rd 2008.

That toilet's thing is amusing. Honestly how many definitions of humanity do we need.

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