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Sleuth 12/02/2010

Owen Hargreaves' special menu, police and the Fantasy Bar, pie outrage

Published on February 12th 2010.


Sleuth 12/02/2010

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.

Owen Hargreaves menu
So Sleuth learns that at Rosso Restaurant in Spring Gardens the other night there were Owen Hargreaves, Roberto Mancini and Jeremy Kyle all dining separately. Hargreaves' has been out of the United team since about 1910 with injury. Sleuth learnt of a special menu the restaurant had put on for him. Starter of Crocked Monsieur, a main of Cheek Rouge a la Ferguson and a pudding of Crème Brokenleg. Maybe if United get a team going for that table football machine in the Peveril of the Peak pub, Hargreaves might make the first team again.

Duck on the river
So Sleuth bumped into movers and shakers Howard Sharrock and Thom Hetherington in the Mark Addy as he went to sample bull's testicles (click here). Looking over the river Sleuth saw three young ladies armed with all manner of oddities, a measuring wheel, a megaphone and a net. Turned out to be Fran Goddard, the Communications and Events manager for Spinningfields, and some helpmates, checking out the route for an Easter duck race. Reminded Sleuth of the time when falling in the River Irwell meant you had to have your stomach pumped – indeed the Mark Addy's named after a man who saved people from the river until he swallowed some of the toxic soup and died. And now we get kids activities. What a sweet transition.

The Spinningfields Duck Squad

More balls from Sleuth
Intrigued by the bull's fries, aka testicles, for sale in the Mark Addy, diner Howard Sharrock asked the waitress, “so when they arrive here, in their raw state, are they all hairy?” The girl looked at him before saying, “They don't come in a scrotum!” A pleasant lunch time conversation indeed.

Cops outside Fantasy Bar
Sleuth was walking along Deansgate last week when he saw this scene (below). A police guard outside Fantasy Bar. Sleuth wondered if maybe Chief Constable Fahy was entertaining the Police Authority in the well-known lap-dancing venue.

The GMP Fantasy Squad

Royal jiggery
Of course it wasn't the Chief Constable who was visiting. The guard was for Prince Charles and Camilla on the occasion of their visit to Manchester. Camilla was apparently doing a private dance in the Fantasy Bar for HRH around a special royal pole.

The real story
Actually the police were there as part of the guard for the royal pair as they visited the nearby and utterly gorgeous John Rylands Library. The crowds were so enthusiastic to see the prince and his consort, that Sleuth counted as many as thirty-seven people. Maybe thirty-eight. Sleuth loved the monarchic love all around. He overheard one young man talking to his mate, both of whom were sharing a fag and a particular taste in matching tracksuits: the young man said, “where are the numpties then?” Manchester has always had something of a Republican outlook since the English Civil War, when the city supported Parliament against the Royalists. Apparently that spirit still lives on.

Wilmslow Road or New Cathedral Street: vote now
Google have announced the launch of the Google Street View Awards, a celebration of Britain ’s best-loved streets. Four streets from within the North West have been shortlisted for the awards by an 'expert' panel. Manchester has two entries: Best Foodie Street for Wilmslow Road and Best Fashion Street for New Cathedral Street. Liverpool has two nominations in the same categories: Hope Street for Food and Mathew Street for Fashion. The four streets within the North West will battle it out against 46 other streets nationwide with voting closing on Sunday 28 February. To vote, go to www.maps.google.co.uk. And help ensure Britain has no corner where we can't be watched.

How to deal with officialdom
Gordo was with Sleuth at Manchester Art Gallery's launch of the Facing East and ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions last week. This is his video of the exhibition (below), which is worth listening to and watching, for the final half minute as Gordo deals with some pointless bureaucratic mumbo jumbo from an admittedly polite Gallery chappy.

Burnley pie ambush
So Sleuth's friend, Ash, went to the Burnley v Chelsea match a couple of weekends ago with a busload of Manchester-based Chelsea fans. Chelsea won 2-1. When Burnley scored their fans celebrated by throwing pies at the Cockneys. Sleuth's buddy finished the afternoon off in the Hilary Step in Whalley Range drinking beer and talking over the match. “What's that?” someone asked after a minute or two. There was a smudge on Ash's jacket leading to a pocket. Inside the pocket, nestlingly snuggly, was a chicken tikka pie, a testament to the unerring aim of a fan from the club which once employed top England cricketer and bowler Jimmy Anderson. This was little comfort. “To find somebody else's partially eaten chicken tikka pie in my pocket all mushed up, was bad enough,” said Ash, “that it was a chicken tikka pie and I'm a vegetarian added insult to injury.”

Vegetarian Cockneys targeted in Lancashire..with pies

Sleuth commends the MEN
After the Guardian's shameful disloyality to the MEN by selling it off this week (click here) it was good to see the paper showing some spirit. An MEN headline was 'Guardian cuts 142-year link with Manchester Evening News'. Other quotes included: 'Over the decades, during which the Guardian was transformed into a national paper, dropping Manchester from its masthead in 1959, it remained dependent on the MEN's profits. Take the 1970-71 financial year, the Guardian's £1.19m loss was offset by the MEN's £1.44m profit.' One Guardian editor had admitted to an MEN editor that “you make the money we spend". The article then went on to point out that as soon as the MEN made a loss, the Guardian sold it straight away.

Sleuth gets the city reaction
Sleuth asked for an official reaction from the city council, after all, if the MEN moves out to Hollinwood or wherever, this would be the first time for almost 300-years that the city centre wouldn't host a major print paper or magazine. The city council sent this carefully worded message back: "We recognise the importance of a strong, independent regional press. If Trinity Mirror's acquisition of the Manchester Evening News and its weekly titles will secure their futures, that can only be good news for the city and the wider Manchester City Region. We hope to meet with the new owners soon to discuss their plans for the paper and how we can work with them. There has been speculation that the MEN may move from the city centre. Even if true, there is no suggestion that the MEN would leave the Manchester City Region."

Sleuth's MEN question
So what next for the MEN? Will it become a weekly magazine? Will it change its name? Whatever happens there's a massive swathe of opinion in the city that thinks it should talk up to its readership and not live off the GMP press releases of crappy little crimes. We want a city organ that we can be proud of: and that's achievable. As one commentator said to Sleuth, “the district newspapers can cover the house fires, obituaries and the muggings, the MEN should look at the bigger picture of the city, the big policy issues while keeping, or creating, top notch regional sport, culture and business sections." Sleuth couldn't agree more.

Sleuth's most shoe-horned in promotion ever
Sleuth loved this crazy Valentine promotion from the city council. 'Gorton’s Sunnybrow Park is set to receive a gift of love this Valentine’s Day – 600 metres of newly planted hedgerow. And volunteers helping to plant the 3,000 saplings may also be in with a chance of finding true love, by participating in a speed date as they plant. Councillor Richard Cowell, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, said: “This hopefully will provide a chance for love to blossom.”' Speed dating and hedge planting? You what? Something like this thinks Sleuth: “Hello, this is a hawthorn you know?” “Yes I love you, will you marry me?” “Yes, I love you too.” Actually, its a nifty way of getting some trees planted for nowt.

Sleuth's lies to tell tourists part eleven


Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays is, on his father's side, directly related to Samuel Ryder, a seed merchant and golf fanatic, who donated the trophy which now bears his name in the famous golf tournament between Europe and the USA every two years.

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

Simple piemanFebruary 12th 2010.

If the Burnley fans through chicken tikka pies at me I would open my mouth and swallow them. Yum

CheesemanFebruary 12th 2010.

Gordo's bloody funny on that video.....

Peter GreeneFebruary 12th 2010.

It doesn't matter in the least that the MEN is leaving the city. Your vision for a big minded urbane paper will never be realised, they're obsessed with little people stories.

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2010.

The MEN hasn't lived of Lunchtime O'Booze police crime stories for years. It publishes stories where the police ask for witnesses, (and it gets into trouble when the witness request comes in three months after the crime. L o'B sacked years ago. It does publish court cases especially those which are about SEX (and it's pursuit of these cost the College I was a governor of £1000 in extra cost when it intervene to appeal gagging order at an Employment Tribinal.

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2010.

Undoubtable cost savings will be made by combining certain things with the L Echo operation like the columnists' rants. The flavour is given by the Echo Website. Certain coverage will disappear (like Health ..not stories for six months!) Council stories are better, and Education is goodish. but based on reader and press handouts There are lots of crime stories so L O'b operates but perhaps won't get a lot of help from GMP or officers wanting to make a quick £50.00 It's Liverpool you know!!

The Queens ConsortFebruary 12th 2010.

The visit to John Ryland's was a 'private event' not listed in the public diaries - hence the lack of crowds.

AgricolaFebruary 12th 2010.

The Queen's Consort? Is Prince Philip a Mancon reader then?

DescartesFebruary 12th 2010.

"We don't allow filming in the gallery"<Br>
"What about them over there?"<br>
"oh, well they have permission"<br><br>
Genius exchange.

loadofballsFebruary 12th 2010.

ok we get it....you had "balls at the Mark Addy", enough already

EditorialFebruary 12th 2010.

Listen it was unusual. We want to bask in the glory and the madness of it all.

loadofballsFebruary 12th 2010.

It not unusual, thousands of people eat bulls balls everyday, everytime they tuck into a Big Mac....ooops I'm off to speak to my solicitor

B'KingFebruary 12th 2010.

Do Big Macs have anything as nutritious as balls in them?

Sly Lunchtime O'BaileyFebruary 12th 2010.

I can assure you there will be no boozing at the MEN on my watch. Besides, when we relocate everyone (and of course I use the term 'everyone' loosely) to the DP and Echo offices they won't dare venture into the local hostelries for fear their Manc accents will attract unwanted attention from their Scouse cousins. As for this talk of 'big policy' stories, let's nip this in the bud right now. We don't tackle issues at TM, we write about what we say our readers want to read and that's fluffy people stories. Got me? People stories! Nothing else. Regards, Sylvia. PS The correct terminology for animals' testes is sweet breads.

GlandfanFebruary 12th 2010.

Sweetbreads are strictly the pancreas and thymus glans of beasts not the nether regions.

SLY LUNCHTIME O'BAILEYFebruary 12th 2010.

I work for Trinity Mirror Glandfan. We don't let the truth get in the way of a good story, especially when it involves nice fluffy people stories, aka bollocks, aka sweetbreads.

FalaughalFebruary 12th 2010.

Meausirng wheel? Don't you mean a trundel wheel my good man?

Ahh the days of measuring the school playground.....

NortherngeezerFebruary 12th 2010.

People Stories??.............. i bet we end oop with tits on page 3.

Dave SpannerFebruary 12th 2010.

There are already tits on page 3

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