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Sleuth 11/03/2011

New Chorlton Police Station, Salford's Montmartre, Balotelli on grass, Gridlock, the Archbishop of York, Salons and Sir Richard Leese

Published on March 11th 2011.

Sleuth 11/03/2011

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 in a hole – almost
Sleuth nearly came a cropper this week. Walking down King Street West in the city centre, he went to cross the road and nearly feel down a hole. The grid over the drain had been stolen. Sleuth had heard about the problem just not experienced it. Thieves are apparently stealing grids to sell for scrap. It's hitting council finances hard. Grids cost up to £200, and in Greater Manchester around a 1000 have disappeared. Stockport is experimenting with plastic grids, Sleuth suggests creating a grid lock.

But what gets Sleuth is how do you sell on a grid?

What happens when you get to the scrap-yard and the scrap merchant says, “What are these grid-like pieces of metal, are they legal?” Do you say, “Er...well this is my collection of large aperture antique cheese-graters, which I’ve decided to let go.” Or maybe. “Nope, these are all part of a very low, but very tough fence I once forged to keep out armed frogs.”

Whatever the excuse, Sleuth has to assume that the scrap-dealers, then say, “Ah yes, I see, here’s some cash. Do you have anymore of these large aperture antique cheese graters of which you speak?” Wouldn't it be easiest to stop this silliness at point of sale: a grid is very recognisable.

Sleuth’s iron resolve
Mind you if any metal thingies had to be melted down in Manchester, Sleuth has some ideas. Anybody seen these silhouettes in Spinningfields? Anybody like Sleuth, never want to see them again?

Sleuth, the fuse, the bridge and the Archbishop
Sleuth was walking around Ancoats last Wednesday with the lovely Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. He was on a four day visit to the city which had included opening the MediaCity footbridge with the Archbishop of York. The footbridge swings over the Ship Canal to connect Trafford with Salford, opening to allow ships through on occasion. “Nearly didn’t happen,” he said to Sleuth, “a fuse had blown. It was fixed just in time.” “Divine intervention?” asked Sleuth. “No, there was an engineer who fixed it,” said the Archbishop.

Tesco improves local services
Salford’s Montmartre - Monton - has a journalist’s colony for reasons unknown. Loads of the buggers plague the place wandering around with notebooks and pens asking awkward questions of pensioners and children. There are political journos from the MEN, correspondents from other diverse business organs, even Confidential’s own Grouch columnist.

On 1 October 2010 a Tesco Express opened. Montonians (or maybe Montoners, or even Monotonons - any help for Sleuth here would be appreciated?) flocked like seagulls over landfill to the tidsy store. One of the Montonite hacks was chatting to the staff last week (in otherwords informally interviewing her) and learned of an unseen benefit that’s accrued from the huge popularity of the store. Salford has scooped £40k in parking fines over the last five and a bit months. Given the huge cuts the Council has to oversee it’s clear that every little helps.

Sleuth’s enigmatic picture of the week
Here’s an electric wheelchair in Birch Park, Rusholme. It seems to have been driven into Gore Brook, the stream that flows through the park. The options: a) the authorised driver had an accident - let’s hope said driver is ok; b) the machine seems set up so perfectly, that it looks like a sales brochure shot for these vehicles and maybe the cameraman has popped away for a coffee. Or c) it was stolen by rogues as part of the world’s least dangerous joy riding caper.

New police station in Chorlton
Sleuth’s a little bit in love with the old gentleman who lives on Oak Avenue, Chorlton cum Hardy. He had a break-in. To deter further activity he’s put a sign on his outside wall. It reads ‘Police. Oak Ave Station’. It’s not a police station at all. In fact it couldn’t look more like a suburban house on a side street if it tried. Still it’s an appealing ruse.

Sleuth’s Happy Monday’s memory of the week
Confidential is always the first to criticise about harping on about the Hacienda days. But this link here is so very sweet – via Luke Bainbridge. Ah, look how fresh faced they are. Even Mr S Ryder. Give it a go here

Sleuth, Sir Richard Leese, words
Sleuth was in the City Arms and bumped into Sir Richard Leese (SRL) and joined him for a drink. They chatted about the Regeneration Debate a week before. SRL thought there should be more. Sleuth mentioned a conversation with novelist Sherry Ashworth a while ago, where she said that Manchester could do with a place that acted as a proper ‘salon society’. Not hairdressers meeting up folks, but a place where people come to chat and debate the issues of the city. Serious, with a bit of fun. SRL was in agreement. It’s been on our minds for a while here, so Confidential’s going to get a series of salon style debates up and running soon. Engagement in city life folks is what it’s all about.

Sleuth’s society suggestion of the weekSleuth was in conversation the other day. The conversation was about professionals such as receivers and insolvency lawyers and the like. We were thinking that any company that feeds on misery in this way, makes a living off it, produces nothing, creates no wealth, only parasites off it, should be made to pay higher tax rates. Anybody agree?

Sleuth’s Balotelli of the week
In Thursday’s loss away to Dynamo Kiev Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli failed to return to the pitch at half time leading to frantic dashes down the players' tunnel by City officials. When they found him, did he rush back? No, he sauntered back. The man’s arrogance borders on insanity. The reason for his tardiness, his face had swelled up after an allergic reaction. Really. Or maybe, Sleuth thinks, his face was just trying to keep up with his ego.

Sleuth isn't sure about the way Radio 5 Live reported this either. "It seems he's allergic to certain types of grass," the presenter said. Sleuth thought he'd be suspended for that type of thing. But it does explain his late arrival on the pitch. A cheeky spliff in the bogs.

Twitter love
Sleuth is somewhat scandalised by the latest courtship rituals. It seems there are certain young ladies who are looking for Twitter boyfriends in our city. They want Manchester men who are hot with a capital H. Hot. That’s what they say. The ladies in question are @nadsyfergie, @ccitsme, @georgiouskiss, @emsteph and @Princessnjd. Scroll down their Twitter pages to find the details of their cunning scheme. Sleuth thanks the Captain of Sales at Confidential for this...er...gem.

Follow Sleuth on twitter Sleuth

Follow JonathanSchofield on twitter @JonathSchofield

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

DescartesMarch 11th 2011.

Isn't this guy on Oak Avenue going to get done for impersonating a policeman?

RitaMarch 11th 2011.

Amazing - my street is famous! I love having our very own nutty police station.

StephanieMarch 11th 2011.

I think there was a competition to name those statues in Spinningfields. Does anyone know the answers as most of them are totally obscure. Is that one with what looks like a pineapple on top really Tina Turner?

NeilMarch 11th 2011.

Love seeing the parking tickets being issued super-fast at the Tesco in Monton. Also love seeing all the locals who campaigned against the shop in there doing their shopping.

AnonymousMarch 11th 2011.

Everyone hates tescos until it opens a store near them and they see the deals and then they love it. Everyone except for women with children that is - they still think tescos is f*cking shit and can't see why people give up their soul and shop there: that's why mum's go to iceland.

Simon TMarch 14th 2011.

More debates like the one the other week at MMU would be fun. But has Sleuth a view on http://www.manchestersalon.org.uk ??

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