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Sleuth 12/10/2007

A new city centre health centre and Fosters to brew Manchester real ale

Published on October 12th 2007.

Sleuth 12/10/2007

An invigorating stroll
This is a good way of sorting out the health of the nation. Sleuth learns that a handy way of passing the buck has been developed by the Piccadilly NHS drop-in centre. They huff and puff and shake their heads and then send the infirm up to the brand new state-of-the-art medical centre at New Islington in Ancoats. This they tell people “is very modern and opens until 9pm, allowing patients plenty of time to be seen”. Unfortunately, after struggling gamely across town for twenty minutes, the walking wounded find the medical centre is still under construction. And won’t be open until 2008.

Daarrrling champers sil vous plait
At Fashion Weekend Manchester there was one quintessential English gent – past chairman of St James’s Club on Spring Gardens, Alastair E Niven. Nobody was quite sure why he’d ended up there and neither it seems did he. However, at the sight of the fine young fillies trotting down the catwalk he rediscovered his vigour. The dear fellow, age somewhat north of 65, then spent the remainder of the evening charming the Manchester Confidential young ladies with something pink and fizzy before announcing his departure. “Are you off?” asked ManCon’s delicious Vanessa. Niven licked his lips wolfishly. “My dear, I’m never orrff,” he grinned. “I am merely leaving.” And with a double mwah mwah, he vanished into the night.

Maximo problemo
Sleuth hears that there were entry problems at the Maximo Park gig at the Apollo recently. A well-known Manchester music writer, who’s managed the odd band himself, arrived with his two buddies, a top young Mancunian novelist and a highly regarded marketing officer for a famous department store, with two press passes. Gallantly he gave both to his female friends hoping he’d have no problems getting in. Security didn’t see it quite like that and the last thing the women saw of the reviewer was him being frog-marched away, struggling with security, shouting to his warders: “I’ll be seeing you on Crimewatch. I’m not Al Qaeda”. A later attempt to get in through the back also failed. Honestly, bouncers have no respect for the media.

Blue sky thinking
Sleuth likes that Manchester Confidential does it first. Everybody’s praising the Civil Justice Centre (CJC) but we started it with our Showstopper Architecture article www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/ back in April. Tom Dyckhoff writing in the Times this week agreed with us calling the building ‘a beaut’. He also wrote: ‘The CJC, with its jaunty angles and thoroughly un-Manchester colour, already adds an optimistically southern hemisphere note.’ Un- Manchester colour? The colour of the CJC is grey. Our city’s reputation must be changing.

Beer mishap
The Society of American Travel Writers has been in town this week having a convention – all 500 of them. Sleuth offered to take a goodly number out on a pub walk exploring the traditional boozers of the city. Sat in the Briton’s Protection he gave a mini-talk on the beauties and virtues of proper English real ale. The US guests nodded away, they looked impressed, they stared at their half pints. There was pause in the dialogue. Then one of the ladies said, “I just luuurve your Fosters.” Doh.

Streets ahead
Sleuth has followed the debate about naming this, that and the other after the estimable and much missed Tony Wilson. One suggestion has included a street called Tony Wilson Way. Sleuth would like to live on that street, even adopt the name as a way of living: everybody would be utterly confident, incredibly intelligent and never suffer fools. The residents’ meetings might be a slog though. “Right then, item four: Situationalism and street cleaning.”

Getting a round out
The idea of holding the VIP launch party for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival at Manchester 235 seemed a wise idea. But despite the liberalisation of the country's gambling laws, membership is still required, which is why festival director Phil Jones was mildly surprised to see the cavernous pleasure palace not quite as packed as expected. Sleuth spotted a number of guests unable to gain access as they didn't have any proof of ID on them, while some who were armed with proof of ID didn't fancy queuing. Unfortunately, one party of VIP guests denied entry was from Holt's brewery - that's the same Holt's brewery which the festival has spent the last few months cultivating as sponsors for next year's event.

A bloggy no-show
It was the Manchester Blog Awards on Wednesday at Night and Day with £50 prizes up for grabs for the winners plus an immense sense of well-being. Rather negating the reason for holding the awards was that some bloggers on the hardly private World Wide Web didn’t turn up because they didn’t want to reveal their identities. One no-show was the winner of the personal category Single Mother on the Verge, a blog which reveals the traumas, troubles and disasters of a single mother on a south Manchester council estate. This wasn’t down to false-modesty though, the winner couldn’t make it because of a pressing personal problem which included not getting a baby-sitter. Life reflecting blog you might say.

Where is James Purnell?
Following James Purnell’s faked photograph at Tameside Hospital, we ask the Culture Secretary and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, where he’s not been this week.

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

Chris PaulOctober 12th 2007.

Was the blog thing moved to Night and Day then? They advertised it at somewhere that isn't ready yet - bit like the new clinic - and then said it was to be at Matt and Phreds ... I'd hate to think Sleuth couldn't get that thing that Wilson practiced and a blog awards venue wrong in the same breath.

The ghost of Tony WilsonOctober 12th 2007.

Not wishing to appear pedantic, but surely you mean situationism and street cleaning?

ktfairyOctober 12th 2007.

Whilst I commend you on being amongst the first to big up the CJC. I must say - where have you been - if it took you until April to spot it's beauty?

SleuthOctober 12th 2007.

It must have been a long night but I awake to dreams of errors. You're right about the Blog Awards they were held at Matt and Phred's which just goes to show I don't read our own articles properly. But come on folks Situationalism is an ism as evidenced by the utter correctness and total infallibility of our crazed friends at Wikipedia (amongst others)...to quote 'Situationalism may refer to either Situational ethics or to the ideology of the Situationist International'. Sleuth just went down the road less travelled with this name.

JosephOctober 12th 2007.

Surely sleuth wouldn't be allowed to live on a street full of intelligent people: he thinks there's something called 'situationalism' sic.

BouncerOctober 12th 2007.

1. Highly regarded marketing officer? An oxymoron surely 2. So the journo who had two free press passes should be able to give them away to two well paid mates then blag his way in. what world do you inhabit sloth? the world of wankerdom clearly. No wonder bouncers think so little of the media.

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