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Sleuth 03/06/2011

New Indian restaurant, Heaton Hall closed, Tara Fitzgerald, Glamour Model vampires

Published on June 2nd 2011.

Sleuth 03/06/2011

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. 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.

Top new Indian restaurant for the city centre

Sleuth was enjoying Dilli in Altrincham the other day. Across the way was the editor of Manchester Confidential tucking into 47 courses of food - click here. The owner of Dilli, Ravi Bajaj, introduced Sleuth to Kuldeep Singh who owns top London West End establishments Mela and Chowki. Sleuth learnt that Mr Singh has designs on city centre Manchester. Keep your eyes peeled for some interesting Indian restaurant news – Sleuth will.  

Tara Fitzgerald’s massive sunglasses

fitzgeraldt.jpgSleuth was walking with a chum through the Avenue at Spinningfields when he saw a lady with massive sunglasses. It was a grey day. “That’s somebody who thinks they’re too famous for the rest of us, look at those shades,” said Sleuth. Turned out to be the actress Tara Fitzgerald. “What TV programme was she in?” asked Sleuth’s friend. “Waking the Dead,” said Sleuth. The friend looked around at the empty shopping street, “How appropriate,” he said.


Sleuth and the Vampire Glamour Models

New DG of BBC.jpgSleuth was doing the Haunted Underworld tour of Manchester for Confidential on Saturday. Checking that everything was ready he found instead a BBC scene builder working under arc lights. Sleuth chased him off so he could take thirty lovely readers under the city and scare them with the stories. Before the man disappeared Sleuth asked what the show was going to be.

“It’s one of those reality TV shows where contestants get voted off,” the chirpy chappy said. “This one is about glamour models, lots of flesh mate. Here the girls will be dressed as vampires and the wall I’m building is where fake blood will get spattered.”

“And this is for the BBC?” asked an incredulous Sleuth, thinking of Reithian values, Newsnight and so forth. “Yep for the Beeb,” said the man. “Can I watch?” asked Sleuth without a moment’s hesitation.

Later Sleuth had an idea about who should be the next BBC Director General - see the picture above. 

Office space 007.JPGGordo’s footwear

Gordo, food reviewer, epicure and man of culture and rude words, has had a very sore little toe. This has required him to attend sales meetings, seminars, symposia and presentations sporting a shiny brogue on the right foot and a slipper on the left. The slipper is of the sort passed up by middle-aged bachelor under-managers in DIY stores as a little too traditional.


Sleuth’s new favourite theatre company

149708_459440229597_9276999597_5251210_7428987_n.jpgSleuth went to see Lorca is Dead at the Lowry last Friday. This was in the Studio and was performed by Belt Up Theatre. The actors all played famous Surrealists. It was interactive, hilarious and moving, and in the character of Salvador “I am surrealism” Dali, gloriously absurd. Sleuth’s advice is: if this theatre group are in your area get down and watch them. www.beltuptheatre.com



THE SERIOUS STUFF - Heaton and Wythenshawe Halls closed, all year at least

Sleuth has drifted round Heaton Hall, the centrepiece of Heaton Park, on many occasions, speechless at the effortless grace of the interiors. He nearly swooned when he first saw the Cupola Room and the Salon. The delicate patterns designed by Biagio Rebecca from the 1770s are a triumph. The house was described by architectural guru Niklaus Pevsner as ‘one of the finest houses of its period in the country’.

Now it’s been closed, for the foreseeable future, certainly all this year. As has Wythenshawe Hall.

Heaton Hall1.jpgSleuth talked to Councillor Mike Amesbury, the council’s executive member for culture and leisure, about this. He said given the scale of the cuts imposed on the city from central government, the emphasis had to be on maintaining essential services. 

But, “reports this week that we are getting rid of the Halls is a non-story without a grain of truth,” says Cllr Amesbury. “We’ve had discussions with the National Trust, and with English Heritage, to see if there’s a way to secure investment and find a sustainable future, but we would remain owners. And we not letting them deteriorate, will be spending £350k on maintenance at Heaton Hall next year for example.” 

HeatonHall3.jpgThis is the worst of both worlds for Sleuth. The Council still has to spend money but the public can’t visit the houses. Apparently to bring Heaton up to scratch as a modern visitor attraction would cost £10m plus. 

Whatever the reasons and the excuses, the closures are a blow to the civic and cultural life of Manchester. With Manchester Day coming up on 19 June it’s a backward step.


Sleuth’s most interesting facts THIS WEEK

Classrooms get their name from the practice of separating the children into their respective social order and teaching them to speak accordingly. 

Camper vans are often shunned by the other more macho ones.

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

Captain SensibleJune 3rd 2011.

Heaton Hall is one of the great Manchester buildings. Can't it be opened on a voluntary basis...with volunteer management and staff

Duke FameJune 3rd 2011.

I'ts not been completely open for some time. The National trust are better than this sort of thing than a local council.

Let the NT take it over with the usual sell on covenents in place.

Maggie MilnerJune 4th 2011.

There have been volunteers at Heaton Hall for ages - The Friends of Heaton Hall played a big part in the failed lottery funding bid (we only missed out by a very narrow margin). I know that the current funding is not a huge amount and will all be swallowed up by essential electrical and roof repairs. The Hall is very special to us as we got married there 2 years ago in the beautiful library and held our reception in the Orangery. Nothing I have read makes it clear whether weddings and other functions will continue - surely that would be a valuable source of revenue??

Maggie MilnerJune 4th 2011.

PS - Gordo's slipper looks good to me - surely you wouldn't expect him to choose something that a middle aged bachelor under manager would like - he has too much class for that!!

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