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Sleuth 04/09/2009

Director forced out of Royal Exchange, Biggest Tesco in the world proposed, IWMN changes history...oh, and dreary lampshade problems

Published on September 4th 2009.

Sleuth 04/09/2009

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.

Miser is mean for Royal Exchange director
Sleuth hears of an almighty row at The Royal Exchange. Apparently and allegedly, Helena Kaut-Howson, the director of Moliere’s The Miser, has been shown the door. Sleuth learns that this happened the day before the opening night on Wednesday. Given the title of the play Sleuth hopes it wasn’t over money. More likely the real reason - according to Sleuth's little bird - is that it was that fruity old chestnut, ‘artistic differences’ which did for her.

Gordo gets washed by NWDA
Gordo was round at the North West Development Agency’s (NWDA) offices on Potato Wharf in Castlefield the other day. He had managed to avoid slipping into the nearby Bridgewater Canal, or mud diving in the puddles in St John’s Gardens. He had even refused the opportunity to handle coal on the steam exhibits at MOSI. Yet before being allowed entrance to the NWDA he was bemused to find a hand washing apparatus blocking his entry. Here you had to wash your hands. Sleuth can’t recall any other similar machines in city offices. Maybe the quango staff are just very clean, or think the rest of us very dirty. Actually what it really is a wild case of bureaucratic swine-flu hysteria.

Biggest Tesco in universe proposed for Streford
There’s a row kicking up at Stretford about the massive Tesco which is being proposed for scruffy fields behind the municipal baths. The proposal is for a 140,000 square foot Tesco. Yet consultation currently out with local residents blandly states that ‘a new foodstore is proposed which already has full planning permission for a supermarket’. That permission from January 2004 referred to a 48,502 square foot store. The new store will be the largest Tesco in the UK – for comparison the sales area of Pentagon-sized Asda Walmart at Eastlands is 100,500 square foot. The new Tesco is so big in fact that it won’t be open 24 hours a day but 36 hours a day, people will have to drive round it and satellites will be able to steer by it. The bigger question is who the hell needs the monster?

Massive job opportunity on city streets
Speaking of shops and the like, a Confidential ranter informs Sleuth that a city Spar shop has got desperate over beggars. This is the Spar off Oxford Road, down Hulme Street, near the BBC. It has taken to photocopying an article from The Sun headlined 'Beggars make £73,000 a year' and sticking it to the doors and along the counter. Given that wage Sleuth’s thinking of a career change. He thinks he might go and find a spec next to that Hulme Street Spar, seems lucrative.

Sleuth sees the light
Sleuth’s thinking of expanding his skills set. He’s thinking of doing something with the Manchester based Ministry of Craft (www.ministryofcraft.co.uk). The first courses starting on 10 September are a game of spot the odd one out: ‘Tile with Style: Make a Mosaic’, ‘Flowers for your Home’, ‘Basic Sewing Alterations and Machine Skills’, ‘Sew Your Own Applique Cushion’ and ‘Night Photography: Manchester in Darkness’. Eh? Best of all is the course starting 14 November, 10am-3pm, £60. It’s called ‘Let there be Lights: Lampshade Making.’ Sleuth finds this title really amusing. He's not sure why. Maybe because he’s never stared at any of his lampshades before and thought, “I could do better than that.”

Sleuth’s graffiti of the week
This from the Castle pub toilets on Oldham Street. Sleuth likes a person with aspiration.

IWMN rewrites history
Sleuth thinks he knows his history. So he was a bit surprised by this part of an Imperial War Museum North (IWMN) press release. ‘A Closer Look: Tuesday 1 and Thursday 3 September, 2.30pm. On 1 September 1940 Germany invaded Poland and on 3 September 1940 Britain declared war on Germany. On the anniversary of each momentous day a themed tour of the Museum will look at a number of objects on display that relate to the outbreak of the war.’ Damn we’ve all got it wrong, this was only the 69th anniversary of the outbreak of war not the 70th, why didn’t IWMN tell the media?

Joleon Lescott sets sights low
Joleon Lescott has shocked City fans. The £22m signing from Everton has declared he wants to be just like the departing Richard Dunne. So Joleon that would be slow, clumsy and prone to giving away dangerous freekicks.

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

Nick TSeptember 4th 2009.

Can I be the new Sleuth - boring, lazy and one eyed.

antSeptember 4th 2009.

re tesco in stretfordall very well saying a Tesco's provide cheap food - but at what cost to the environment or the third world and uk farmers who end up having to sell to tesco's for less than cost. also what about the negative impact on the rest of the local businesses and the variety of shops thio store will sell more than food- do we want a country where the only choice is no choice i.e. tesco's. More importantly - what is the dodgy deal that has been done between tesco, Trafford council and the cricket club - how much money has changed hands so the cricket club can get its shiny new stadium - all for the sake of the odd cricket match. also we have the council encouraging us to shop local in locall businesses yet working with Tesco to shut most of them down.

DidsburyGirlSeptember 4th 2009.

My housemate's office also has those handwash things, put in place since the swine flu breakout. Didn't stop anyone getting swine flu though.

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2009.

Lescott is very mobile, dangle some cash in front of him and he'll go anywhere.

HowardSeptember 4th 2009.

Ref the big Tesco do I smell a bit of nimbyism from Sleuth?

Beefy stewSeptember 4th 2009.

I like Tescos, me.

LallySeptember 4th 2009.

Congrats on moving to Spinningfield!Just a thought - your e-mail address needs changing from Spear Street!I love ManCon - continue the good work!

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2009.

I am a little puzzled at the odd things said about Chorlton. When I was there a few weeks ago I spotted a large Morrisons supermarket (cheaper than Tesco) two butchers one more upmarket than the other, a fishmonger, a discount store, an Oddbins, a world famous deli, a shop selling Belgian beer, a greengrocer with cheap veg and fruit and of course Unicorn, good for pulses, dried fruit, and bombay mix. There is also a Tesco. All these are with half a mile of the Manchester Road /Wibraham Rd junction. I don't think the Choltonistas will need Tesco. Its's certainly more interesting than DisburyI agree that it would be better to redevelop the Stretford Centre to provide competitive shopping rather than Tesco version of Asda Walmart. I will be interesting to see what Trafford say. But I doubt if residents will object as they did in Hale with the support of the Council who lost the appeal and it cost half a million.

Dr WhoSeptember 4th 2009.

Let me correct a couple of people here - using antibacterial gels certainly can help stop the spread of swine flu, even though it is a virus.

aroundM21September 4th 2009.

M30 - the other thing is you have this choice : you CAN buy cheap fruit/veg from Tescos in Stretford. Do you go there ??I choose differently, but the point is we should both have the choice.We all know that the issue is that huge supermarkets suck away the choice that keeps us all happy and makes areas interesting. Oh, and there's a Tesco in Chorlton already as well as Stretford -- you ignore the "end-game" of every damn shop being either Tescos or a derilict site.

Richard is doneSeptember 4th 2009.

Nick must referring to the Joleon Lescott headline in which case he's missing the point as I don't think it's anti-City at all. As a City fan I think Dunne has performed well for the club but now it is time to for us to move him on. He has become a liability. So much so that I'm surprised Villa showed the interest. If we are to compete with the top teams we need a mobile pair of centre halves, Lescott and Toure will do nicely thank you.

Michelle RSeptember 4th 2009.

What most people don't realise is that antibacterial hand wash/ gel don't work against swine flu as swine flu is a virus not a bacteria. The 'nanny state' once again controlling our lives!

Karen GageSeptember 4th 2009.

Sleuth definitely has two eyes I can see them on the picture. I think that lampshade course is a great idea, people really should make more effort over their light fittings.

M16September 4th 2009.

We all loved TESCO opening a store in Whalley Range. Will stop Maliks ripping off his customers...

BlameSeptember 4th 2009.

They should rename Chorlton 'Upper Stretford', it's what it is really.

Friday2008September 4th 2009.

How about catering for the many residents of Manchester city centre? Any half way decent recipe requires a visit to multiple shops and the half full site at Ancoats is just begging for a supermarket.....

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2009.

Stretford needs a better town centre, not a huge out of town supermarket.The competition created by a huge out of town supermarket will reduce the likelihood of future private investment in Stretford town centre. Without significant investment the long term decline of the town centre will continue.Stretford Mall currently has many empty retail units and its dated and run down appearance means that it will continue to struggle to attract new visitors and retailers. The town centre affectively shuts when the mall shuts and there are no restaurants and very few amenities available for the community.The town centre is also split in two by a six lane highway and the subways underneath are widely considered unpleasant and unsafe. Shops isolated on edge lane have been vacant for years and key buildings such as the Essoldo have been closed for decades.Stretford town centre needs to be redeveloped to address these problems. There is a need to not only offer a more appealing and viable shopping experience but also to create a focal point for the community, a place that the residents of Stretford can actually take some pride in. No out of town supermarket can offer this.

SleuthSeptember 4th 2009.

Howard, not nimbyism just boredom with these mince-meat makers of retail. I'd rather they just maintained them as a recreational area for kick arounds, or built a new Belle Vue with a massive big dipper. Anything but another bloody Tesco. Shall we have a whip round and try to raise money for a proper botanical gardens?

M30September 4th 2009.

Re Tesco and the Third World: I'm personally not losing any sleep over the impact Tesco has on the Third World, nor am I bothered about the impact Tesco has on the over-subsidised backsides of UK farmers. As for the impact Tesco will have on local businesses around the bottom end of Stretford where the store is to be situated: There isn't a good-quality sensibly priced general grocers for miles around that area, instead there's a plethora of the usual stinking double-price corner shops and just as many kebab shops. Much is made of the Tesco in Chorlton - it's miniscule - it's not even a proper supermarket - the hyseria that erupts when Tesco and Chorlton is mentioned beggars belief. I've been a long-time user of the Tesco Metro in the Stretford Arndale, and see no harm in a complimentary superstore down near Old Trafford.

DaveSeptember 4th 2009.

The proposed Tesco will probably get a lot of passing trade going down Chester Road and there's really nothing else around that area - Gorse Hill - than a load of takeaways and the odd newsagent. Anonymous, whoever you are, Chorlton is a running joke on MC because of the enormous local opposition to a Tesco the size of a petrol station shop (which it replaced). Yes its still thriving.

Clean HandsSeptember 4th 2009.

They have those hand cleaners everywhere in Japan, not a bad idea considering the state of some people walking around town.. they should have a bath in it!

GadgeSeptember 4th 2009.

The handwashes are rather pointless as I believe that they are anti-bacterial gels, when swine flu is a virus and not affected.

M30September 4th 2009.

No doubt the Chorltonistas will be up in arms about a Tesco opening just across the border in Stretford. Tough. Tesco provides fresh quality produce at a price that normal people can afford. Not everyone can afford to shop ethically at Unicorn alongside the Tabithas and Jocastas. Why should I pay £2 for a loaf of stale bread from some filthy double-price corner shop? I've not heard any objection to the many new Co-Ops or Aleefs which have mushroomed over the city of late.

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2009.

Re: Friday2008 - the 'half full site at Ancoats' where Ilva used to be looks like it's going to be a big Aldi. I noticed a planning app on a lamp post nearby the other day.I was hoping for a waitrose or a booths

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