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Sleuth 10/12/2010

Clarkson’s crocked car, Sleuth’s Hot and Numbing Beef, Rolf Harris, Shaun Ryder, Manchester tarts and Ben Kingsley

Published on December 10th 2010.

Sleuth 10/12/2010

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.

Sleuth’s menu of the week
Sleuth was nosing around Princess Street the other day when he saw a restaurant. It was called Middle Kingdom and advertised ‘5 star Chinese Cuisine’. Sleuth thinks Confidential needs to review it. Soon. The menu looks interesting. Very Red Chilli style from up the road: ‘Fish Fillets and Intestine in Hot Chilli Fiery Soup’ and‘Quick Fried Sliced Sea Whelks’. Sleuth’s favourite sounding dishes might well be ‘Fire Exploded Kidney Flowers’ and 'Hot and Numbing Beef’.

Things not to say on a first date
If you do visit Middle Kingdom, the restaurant in the above story, on a first date, Sleuth has a tip. He reckons it might be unwise for a chap to lean over the table and say in a quiet voice with a knowing wink, “Would you like to try my hot and numbing beef?”

Harris Need
Sleuth was astonished by this queue outside the Whitewall Gallery on Deansgate last Sunday. It was queue to see Rolf Harris in the flesh with his artwork. Apparently some people think of him as the new Rembrandt. No, honestly. Sleuth recalls talking to a man who used to go to Manchester’s ‘Cavern’, the Oasis Club, now long gone from Lloyd Street. On one early sixties night Manchester band the Hollies played with the Beatles. The following day it was Rolf Harris and the Kangaroos. Fella’s still got it, thought Sleuth, crossing the road and averting his eyes.

Taxi card
Some Christmas cards reveal things about your character. Sleuth got home the other day and found a Christmas card. Ah someone must like me, he thought. They did. The card was from the taxi company Sleuth uses. Well....over-uses.

Sleuth’s deregulated bus picture of the week
Bus deregulation really makes sense doesn’t it?

North Pole Car barred
Sleuth was at the North Pole bar in Cathedral Gardens on Wednesday for the Manchester Confidential Festive Quiz. “Hey,” said David Norris of Ear to the Ground, the event company who own the bar, “this week we were going to have the car Jeremy Clarkson and the rest of the Top Gear lads went to the North Pole in. Promotional exercise. Didn’t turn up.” “Why not?” said Sleuth. “Couldn’t make it ‘cos of the weather,” said Norris.

Try againThis Tuesday the car is trying to make it North again. Unless the rain stops it. Or maybe it gets frightened by blowing litter. Or by an emo in Cathedral Gardens gurning at it. Speaking of which Sleuth wonders what’s happened to all the emos and Goths that traditionally gathered where the North Pole bar presently sits. Rumour is they were rounded up and the bar was built directly on their torn corpses. Just a rumour of course.

Shaun Ryder wins again
During the Manchester Confidential quiz the contestants were invited to make a Manchester landmark: it could have been Manchester Town Hall or Shaun Ryder’s face. Anything. Click here for some pictures. Great fun. The event was only slightly tarnished by a group of imposters who stole some plasticine and fashioned their own special Shaun Ryder – see the picture below. Sleuth is confused: what is that rolled up £20 note doing there, what are those white lines?

Tart response
Sleuth did a couple of quizzes this week. On the second he asked, “Name the traditional ingredients of a Manchester tart?” “Willingness?” came the immediate response from Dave Spooner, gentleman of this parish on a birthday bash in the Marble Arch pub.

Easy does it
Coronation Street has been much in the headlines this week, what with tram crashes and fiftieth birthdays. Sleuth remembers interviewing Tony Warren, the man who created the Street. “The difference between Coronation Street and Eastenders is how they were conceived and delivered,” he said. “Coronation Street was made by the Light Entertainment department in Granada, and Eastenders, the Drama department of the BBC. It’s the key difference.” True thinks Sleuth: Corrie is tragedy and comedy, Eastenders just tragic.

Shoe-rly not
Sleuth once took a group of old ladies from Middlesbrough on a tour of the city when the Corrie set was open to the public. After walking down the Street, one lady took her shoes off, put them in her bag, and put on some other shoes. “I’ll be keeping that first pair on the mantelpiece, in a place of honour, they’ve walked down the Street,” she said.

True or False: astounding facts about Greater Mancunians
Ben Kingsley, Salford-born actor, famous for his Ghandi-role, was once the official sparrow catcher of Eccles. He was fired when caught training sparrows to impersonate policemen. True or false?

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

HellyesDecember 10th 2010.

I once got a Christmas Card from my local Kentucky Fried Chicken...that's worse than from your taxi company

Voice of the Ironing BroadDecember 10th 2010.

16 ... the highest number of buses contiguous buses spotted on Wilmslow Road. You cannot count them if there is a car in between.

SostriDecember 11th 2010.

Hot and numbing beef...sounds great

Mandy PicklesDecember 11th 2010.

Rolf Harris should be judged on his artistic merit not on whether he once did comic tunes on a didgeridoo

1947December 11th 2010.

I vividly remember the great Oasis club on Lloyd St and the Twisted Wheel on Brazennose St. Both very different. I saw the Beatles, Stones, Hollies etc etc at Oasis. I was 15 and also used to go to twisted Wheel to see many of the Blues greats - Lightnin Hopkins, Sonny Boy Williamson and many more. The lunch time sessions at the Oasis were legendary and I remember "missing" school to go to some of them. Manchester had,and still has, a great music scene.

A pedant writesDecember 13th 2010.

I don't understand how a queue of buses in itself is an example of deregulation?

BaxterDecember 13th 2010.

Because there wouldn't be this queue if it weren't for deregulation. Doh.

J E SibberingDecember 13th 2010.

Except, weren't the buses lined up because of the student protests jamming up the city centre?


BaxterDecember 13th 2010.

You don't need a student protest to see queues like this on Oxford Road with seven people rattling around in each bus.

BlakeyDecember 13th 2010.

Isn't it because the busses are all different operators? Also, the 42 and 142 are probably going to do almost exactly the same route (I don't know this for a fact, I just made it up).

If it wasn't deregulated they'd all be the same operator, no?

A pedant respondsDecember 13th 2010.

All the buses in that shot are operated by Stagecoach - Megabus is Stagecoach's discount service. I still don't get what Sleuth's point was.

BlakeyDecember 16th 2010.

Well, you learn something new nearly every day.

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