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Sleuth 09/01/2009

The sound of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jackson's Wharf appeal thrown out, some lovely poetry and Sleuth wins a battle for the forces of good

Published on January 8th 2009.

Sleuth 09/01/2009

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

Jackson’s Wharf development rejected
Good news. The lumpen Jackson’s Wharf development in Castlefield has been rejected a second time. Peel Holdings, the owners of the Trafford Centre, who’d proposed the 117 apartment scheme, had the big legal guns lined up to argue their case. But to no avail, the impenetrable brick-like quality of the building – the way it clashed with older structures nearby cutting off views and so forth – saw it off. Sleuth says well done to the residents and businesses of Castlefield and to the city council planning department for successfully opposing the scheme. Castlefield has a world class history and needs architecture that goes someway to matching this.

Jackson’s Wharf, the big brick of doom: now rejected

Sleuth’s quote of the week
This comes from one Jodie Lomax who witnessed Cristiano Ronaldo's Ferrari accident on Thursday. She told BBC Radio Manchester: "I wasdriving behind, going under the Manchester Airport tunnel, when a Ferrari infront of me dropped a gear. It was an awesome sound. I put my window down to listen to the exhaust. It sounded absolutely superb. Then the Ferrari went straight into a wall." Sleuth feels the emphasis is all wrong with these sentences somehow. And what did that sound like, 'Vroom vroom BANG!' perhaps?

Plaque removal
Good to see that everybody concerned is working hard together on the tourism side of things, at least as far as preserving recent commemorations of city heritage. Back in 2003 there was the Gay and Lesbian feast of fun and thought that was Europride. As part of this the Out in the Past heritage trail was created, looking at points of significance in Gay and Lesbian history in Manchester and marked by rainbow mosaics in the pavement. The trail itself was available in a printable form on a website. There was a mosaic in Kennedy Street where the Committee for Homosexual Equality met from 1967. It’s recently disappeared, tarmaced over by council officials, who clearly didn’t have it on their job sheet and thus destroyed the thing. Shame really given all the effort. And the cost. Some interesting stuff on that trail Sleuth thought.

Another Manc in Private Eye
Last year it was Mr Scruff, famous DJ and tea-brewer, who made Pseud’s Column in our fave satirical mag, Private Eye. Pseud’s Column is devoted to wordy over the top prose. Now we’ve got well-known and former top City Life journalist Daniel Martin, aka Dan Martin, featured. His error was writing this in thelondonpaper: 'Oasis wielded a supernatural power that the fripperies of the physical realm could never hope to blunt?' So those latest scores in full: Noel and Liam 5, The Fripperies of the Physical Realm 0.

Boxing clever
As we reported in Thursday's 250 column: ‘A shop assistant at Kays Newsagent in Chorlton kept a robber at bay with a cardboard box as he attempted to steal cash. Detective Constable Louise Howarth, of West Didsbury CID, said: “She deserved enormous credit for sticking to her guns and not letting this thug anywhere near the till.”’ Sleuth would like to reiterate to the DC Howarth, that the shop assistant was not stuck to her guns but wielding a box. Following this Sleuth now always keeps a good strong cardboard box to hand when he turns in for the night, and carries a smaller, but still potent, cardboard box with him in his manbag in Manchester’s darker streets. This makes him feel enormously secure.

In verse it’s worse
Sleuth was touched by the MEN story concerning Mark Topping’s farewell poem to his staff. The manager of the Woolies in Northenden wrote lines such as: ‘Woolies was truly a part of my life/ even my girlfriend would call it my wife’; and ‘though a sadder place the high street may seem/ let’s pay tribute to the Northenden team’. The Smiths' song ‘Frankly Mr Shankly’ leapt to Sleuth’s mind, then he remembered some other verses he’d received recently.

‘The voters said no to a charge on congestion,
Labour won’t help, so I’ll ask Mr Cameron.’
Sir Ricardo Lease, bard of Mancunia

My players are confused, they don’t know what to do.
We score one goal and the others score two.
There’s only one thing that can save our necks:
Please Your Royal Highness sign some blank cheques.
A Welshman called Hughes calls for assistance from an Arabian gentlemen

‘We squandered all the money and made a big loss,
But Gordon sorted it and gave us loads of dosh.
Redundancies, depression, evictions too:
I’d rather be a banker, than a wanker like you.’
Mr M Erchantbanker

(That's enough rubbish poems, Ed)

Beaten down
Sleuth loves the £5 eat all you want lunch in Karim’s. This is the Asian restaurant that sits in the vast space once occupied by Establishment. Across the street is the faded, to put it mildly, Athenaeum. This has declared war and is offering two meals for a fiver. Capitalism and competition, marvellous eh?Over to you Karim's, Sleuth thinks.

Blackwell House
Sleuth got the hump the other day. He was up in the effortlessly beautiful Blackwell House, in the Lakes. The house was built by Edward Holt in the 1890s and is just about the finest Arts and Crafts residence in the country. Sleuth couldn’t believe the cafe though which was selling bottled lagers such as Peroni. Very annoying. And slightly mad. Edward Holt is after all the ancestor of Holt’s Brewers in Cheetham Hill. Sleuth pointed out to the Blackwell’s director Edward King that it’d be delightful for tourists to sample the drinks that created the house they were visiting. Sleuth also pointed out, with the cold smile of an assasin, that if there were a Blackwell House equivalent in say, Northern Germany the management would be ashamed to bring imported beers. Result. Mr King is now looking to source some Holt’s bottled ale. Sleuth will keep an eye out to make sure this happens.

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

PaulJanuary 8th 2009.

Great news about Jackson's Wharf plan being rejected - in general I am very positive about the re-development of the Castlefield area - however this plan from a company with the wealth of Peel Holdings was just plain greedy. Something needs to be done but another bunch of Buy to Let rabbit hutches is NOT what is called for. Lets hope sense prevails and a more sensible scheme emerges.

James WJanuary 8th 2009.

Castlefield...why is it so depressing? It should be the shining light of the city centre and it's largely horrible. The scheme as proposed was the least of its porbalem.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2009.

Unfortunately in this situation it was 'damned if you do, damned if you don't', look at it if they had got planning:1. Peel tried to sell site on, no current market for development land for 117 apartments, unable to sell it, remained in current state. The building could not be demolished without commencing re-development.2. Peel builds development, apartments remain unsold, empty apartment block for the foreseeable future, certain vistas in the area irreparably ruined.Yes, Jacksons Wharf is in a bad state and Peel have disconnected the outside lights(in case a squatter electrocuted themselves apparently) but here's to a better solution being found & brought to the planners by Peel, I can't see an 117 apartments scheme being viable for the foreseeable future...At least some of the apartments currently looking onto the site will keep their views of the canal basin(for the moment), rather than views out into someone else's bedroom window.....Anyone fancy taking the lease to the pub on....oh wait, Peel have stripped the inside fixtures & fittings out...can anyone think of another use for it?I reckon we get these artists involved in the mean time http://www.christojeanneclaude.net

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2009.

There is nothing wrong with striving for something better, accepting a bad proposal on the basis of existing problems cannot be right?, I think Peel assumed a free ride through the planning process courtesy of the state of their building, how wrong they were. Whatever ends up being build will be there for a LONG time so we best get it right eh?

Local BoyJanuary 8th 2009.

Yes the proposal wasn't ideal but better than what is there now. What's going to happen? Is it going to remain a derelict building for ever? The area needs somehting and their proposal was better than what's there now!

ChrisJanuary 8th 2009.

Your emails and website are fantastic and you really serve the Manchester community well. Thanks for providing such a great service to us.

SharonJanuary 8th 2009.

Yeah its all very well opposing the Jackson Wharf development but how many of you lot have to look at it out of your bedroom window with its half-ass covers :( its a complete mess and should be flattened!

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