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Sleuth 09/05/2008

Dave Mallon’s hair, Eric Cantona’s trams, Tony Blair’s fountain, Rochdale passion and has anybody seen Joey Barton’s brain?

Published on May 9th 2008.

Sleuth 09/05/2008

Smart food
Sleuth likes the upmarket, designer filled emporium called Flannels owned by Neil Prosser. The store’s being going thirty years now and to celebrate Prosser has brought out a book called Flannels: thirty with pics of his customers in his togs. It costs £25 and Sleuth was intrigued to see the tallest restaurateur in the North, Jobe Ferguson, in there, dressed in a flamboyant suit with a pink tie. Jobe owns the Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar, and is quoted as saying, ‘Clothes gorgeous clothes’. Odd that thinks Sleuth. Jobe usually dresses down around his eaterie with a fierce determination. Sleuth hopes he got the suit for free: and hopes to see him round the restaurant showing it off, rather than just that T-shirt, jeans and pinny.

Stupid footballers
The oldest shop in Manchester, Edwards shoes, is located close to General Store in the Barton Arcade. Sleuth loves this place: you can go flamboyant with crocodile skin footwear or restrained with classic brogues. Last year the prolifically thick footy player Joey Barton, formerly of Manchester City and now of Newcastle United, bought a pair of custom cobbled crocs for several hundred pounds. Then he forgot to pick them up. Meanwhile he might get sent down soon for getting into a fracas in a McDonalds in his native Liverpool. Work that one out: hundreds of pounds worth of shoes left in Manchester, scrap in a McDonalds, and, what, £40k a week wage. Footballers eh?

Trickle down effect
All this talk of Barton Arcade and the St Ann’s Square area of the city, reminds Sleuth of a conversation he recently had with an ex-senior planning officer. The man was recalling the opening of the fountain in St Ann’s Square in the nineties - the one in the shape of cotton bud, between the Early Learning Centre and Starbucks, referring to the city’s textile history. There was much fanfare and much fuss.

Then the guest of honour, one Tony Blair, pressed the on switch and declared the fountain open. A couple of seconds later it dramatically burst into an unenthusiastic trickle. Tony Blair watched for a while before saying, “Is that it?” Good old Manchester, the city were fountains come to die. By the way Sleuth wonders if Tony's repeating his words about Gordon Brown.

Celluloid misers
Ken Loach and Eric Cantona are in town at present filming Finding Eric. This is either a biopic of Eric's time at Man Utd, or a movie about a football loving postman called Eric, depending on which rumour you believe. Eric is the producer. Oddly enough they've eschewed staying at the Lowry or the Radisson Edwardian for a three star chain hotel. Which may mean the film’s about the postman after all. Anyway keep an eye out and you might spot Cantona, en famille, travelling around the city by tram or minicab. Ken meanwhile seems to have developed a bit of thing for the Northern pub, on Tib Street. He’s been spotted enjoying a drink under the Albert Finney wallpaper there, clearly unable to break away from the movie business.

Passion unabated
Keen footy fans will have noted that Rochdale AFC have made the play-offs in League Two. This Saturday they play the first leg of a semi with Darlington. If they win over the two games they get to a play-off final in Wembley. Apparently football fever has hit the town. As the MEN reported, ‘when the ticket office opened its doors there was a long queue snaking around the club's car park’.

This is a picture of that long queue. It’s taken from the Rochdale AFC website on the morning the ticket office opened. Sleuth might call the cops, clearly that play-off fever is out of control.

Honest politician shock
Sleuth was talking to a well-known North Western politician this week about the Labour MP for Blackley, Graham Stringer’s column on Manchester Confidential – click here.The politico said the opening sentence was stunning and then the article got more and more direct and honest as it went on. Stringer started with: ‘Last Thursday’s local election results are the worst for a governing party since one person one vote was introduced.’ The politico said: “So many of us agree with what he says, it’s spot on. But then he puts his name to it. Unbelievable.” “Can I quote you on that?” Sleuth asked. “Of course not,” said the politician.

Hair raising
Another man of fashion is Stretford’s finest, Dave Mallon, co-owner of Manc labels, Ringspun and Elvis Jesus, and also of General Store on Deansgate. He’s well-known for one of the most famous set of dreds in the city. These are denser than the average acre of rainforest but hopefully with less bio-diversity. Now he’s going to have his hair style changed for the Alzheimer’s Society on Wednesday 21 May. Is this, or having your head shaved, now officially the most tedious way of raising money? After all isn’t it a bit ‘look at me’ rather than about selfless charidee? Anyway Sleuth’s decided to help him out with some suggestions. What do you think of these, Dave?

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

AnonymousMay 9th 2008.

I used to work at Rochdale College , the place is the pits , best bit is the road out of it , A total s...house !!!!

david mallonMay 9th 2008.

Well knowing how stylish the mancon crew are and how seriously they take their fashion i'll take the pointers with a huge pinch of salt if thats OK.Touch harsh on the charriddee angle as its hardly like Gordo being sponsored to go on a bender now is it

Mr TMay 9th 2008.

Mallon, quit your jibba jabba! Hey, everybody gotta’ wear clothes and if you don’t you get arrested.

DescartesMay 9th 2008.

I don't know who this Mallon guy is, but of all the mock ups I reckon the first is the funniest

W Mellor MorrisseyMay 9th 2008.

Baldness is nice, baldness is good, but baldness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like too.

KatwomanMay 9th 2008.

Is it just me or....who is this Mallon guy!!!

Yul BrynnerMay 9th 2008.

I got my head shaved as part of a sponsored thingy and nobody came. And then I died.

cool as a cucumberMay 9th 2008.

I will give a bit of dosh if Mr Mallon gets his toe nails cut as well. Just checked, he needs another couple of grand at the mo.

GordoMay 9th 2008.

I thought that comment a little harsh meself, Crusty. Anyways, as promised I will ensure a nice article with a link to where people can give a little bit, as the song goes, to charridee. By the way, are you saying our Kelly's dress sense is ****e?

Up the Dale!May 9th 2008.

Never mind the bloody hair do come on Dale for saturday. Not even your knocking can stop us now.

KellyMay 9th 2008.

Oi! Leave me out of this ;-)

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