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Sleuth 15/01/2010

Sleuth's honest Restaurateur of the Year Award 2010 (already) and amazing gizmo on the trams

Published on January 20th 2010.


Sleuth 15/01/2010

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.

New trams full of gizmos
Sleuth likes the look of the new trams. He particularly likes the attention to detail. For those who maybe feel like settling into a long journey with a book or maybe even a picnic, Sleuth spotted this addition on a recent journey. Nice touch, a lovely hat stand – Sleuth is partial to cutting edge headgear. There's even room for an umbrella. These trams really are state of the art.

Crains in the doorway
Sleuth loves Crain's Manchester Business magazine. He loves stealing their stories. He also likes their go-get-'em attitude. The recent headline of “Poor image' of city deters top business talent' was typical of their rigour with city matters. Part of the problem seems to be scruffiness in key city centre gateways and areas. Sleuth was therefore disturbed to find a copy of that edition of the magazine, headline up, littering the steps at the Midland Hotel. It was doing no good for the city's image. Sleuth put the offending item in a bin.

The other side of tourism
Sleuth watched the editor on TV last week talking to Michael Portillo - ex-politician turned broadcaster - in the Great Railway Journeys programme on BBC2. Portillo was following in the track-steps of Manchester's George Bradshaw, the guy who did the first railway timetables in the 1830s. The Talkback Thames producers of the programme seemed to have a problem with Portillo though. In Manchester lovely Michael got to stay at the crumbling Britannia Hotel, have an excursion on a cruddy Sprinter train to a crumbling hat workshop in Denton and also have lunch in a chippy in Castleton, Rochdale, via another cruddy Sprinter train. Fortunately the editor didn't think to ask him what he thought of the city's image after that roll-call. Here's a picture of Portillo wishing he were staying in the five star Radisson SAS at the Free Trade Hall.

Ryan's key success
Sleuth was touched last week when Ryan Giggs gained the freedom of Salford, but felt there was a touch of the nearly man about him. The freedom of Salford not Manchester, an international career with Wales not England. Then Sleuth was reminded by a United supporter, using only one or two expletives, that Giggs has won more trophies than any other player in British football history. Sleuth can get things wrong occasionally.

Sleuth's honest Restaurateur of the Year Award – already
Following Confidential slapping itself on the back with restaurateur Chris Johnson's comments from Ramsons (click here), about the nature of his Manchester Confidential customers, the good gent sent us a written explanation of the comments.

Here's the main part of the missive.

'As you know, it is totally against my lifelong principles of aggressive stinginess to spend money advertising Ramsons – preferring always to rely on independent editorial comment and alternative types of product led promotion...

'In comparison with any other ‘marketing’ medium I have engaged (and that includes most of the top broadsheet nationals as well as regional glossies) I must say I got excited with the quantity and quality of the response from MANCON readers attracted by my November tie up with you; it was unsurpassed in my 25 years here.

What was particularly gratifying was the generous, intellectual nature of your readers. A problem I always have with ‘price led’ promotions and dining clubs is the parsimony and ignorance of the guests such promotions usually attract (as you well know, my other lifelong principle is that most customers are usually wrong). The MANCON promotion was quite different, with your readers determined to enjoy themselves, and spend their saving on food exploring my large wine cellar.'

Chris we love you. You're a one off.

Still we thought it judicious to rest the column we started last week on Customer Service for seven days in honour of this commendable post.


Jargon busters
Sleuth loves this from MENCAP, the quango set up to help those with learning difficulties. They asked 1,207 adults what they thought certain expressions used by politicians meant. These are some of the results. A 'waste production stream' was thought to mean 'a river that flows full of rubbish'. 'Affirmative action mechanism' was deemed to mean 'nodding'. Sleuth's favourite is 'economic dynamism' which some thought meant 'a flash git who fiddles the accounts'. Sleuth understands the true definition of the latter should really be 'City Broker'. Sleuth also understands that MENCAP is proactively calling for affirmative action to enable a synergy effecting immediate jargon moderation in the executive.

Burying Times
Sleuth hears in these troubled media times that Bury Council is pulling all its statutory advertising from the Bury Times and putting it into the dull, door-dropped newsletter 'Our Voice'. Sleuth hears this is as a consequence of Newsquest closing the Bury Times office and running the thing from Bolton. You can see the Council's point but it does highlight a worrying trend concerning the traditional separation of powers. Formerly the fourth estate reported on and criticised the governing powers: now increasingly on the local scene the media and the administration or one and the same. Not healthy thinks Sleuth.

Sleuth's lies to tell tourists part three
Skiing was invented in Manchester in a building dating from 1632 which coincidentially stood on the site of the present Chill Factore close to the Trafford Centre. Because of a lack of snow, the original surface was lard.

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

HydraJanuary 20th 2010.

Oi ! Sleuth ! Composite or not, get off my patch.

ChrisJanuary 20th 2010.

Luke - is there really any reason to hyphenate 'outdo'?

YorkieJanuary 20th 2010.

Poor old Portillo (Oh, how I remember the night of his fall; great joy) not only ended up in Castleton but thought he'd reached Bury. And he provided another laugh the other night in Kendal when he went to a cake stall on the market to try to buy Kendal Mintcake... Am I right in thinking he used to (help?) run the country?

SleuthJanuary 20th 2010.

And folks you all missed the conditional I got wrong. Apologies. Sleuth's off to find some good red wine for lunch. Isn't that good for brain cells?

JKJanuary 20th 2010.

re: Ryan Giggs"an international career with Wales not England"Theres nothing nearly about representing the country of your birth.Maybe he could have played for England in the same time and won bugger all as well!

AnonymousJanuary 20th 2010.

My favourite part of Crain's is their correction column, an ever-growing part of the paper!

JCSJanuary 20th 2010.

I think people are more inclined to rant about the (frequent) poor grammar, spelling and typo's on ManCon because it's a news website, written and edited by people who should avoid such errors in the first place.

AnonymousJanuary 20th 2010.

Restaurateur - This is also spelled restauranteur (with an ‘n’), but this is considered erroneous by some, and the form restaurateur (without the ‘n’) is preferred in formal writing, and especially in Britain.

AnonymousJanuary 20th 2010.

"Fortunately the editor didn't think to ask him what he thought of the city's image after that role-call." Standards are slipping I thought Sleuth aka JS was the penant's pedant. FYI it should have roll not role.EDITORIAL: Thanks for that, we've corrected. But one thing Sleuth is a many headed composite character not a single individual.

william the conquerorJanuary 20th 2010.

JCS, you seem to be a bit of a ccok to me mate. Asitapens, particularly with Gordos weird ways i think this lot write well, as we speak. Read any Shakespeare recently? Language and the way we write is an organic journey through the centuries. it is constantly changing. A teenage son and daughter would quickly make you realise this.

DrakeJanuary 20th 2010.

Michelins released. None for Manc again, of course. Nor, more worryingly, any bibs either. No 3- or 4-rosette restaurants that I can see from the AA either.

Crains ReaderJanuary 20th 2010.

How come if we all read Crains ManCon has avoided the Ithaca story? I thought it was going Bye Bye?

Crains reader? Wow. You're clever.January 20th 2010.

Sleuth loves Crain's Manchester Business magazine... and doens't he let us all know about it. Since he discovered Crains, some 6 or 7 weeks ago, he'll drop it into conversation wherever possible.

AndyJanuary 20th 2010.

Oh, it's pick on Jonathan day is it? Excellent. That'll be "formerly the Fourth Estate..." ;-)

enthusiastic amateurJanuary 20th 2010.

Anon, that and a lifelong devotion to alcohol

AnonymousJanuary 20th 2010.

JCS, How, exactly, does it acknowledge it? The plural of typo is typos.

Rob (the ergonomist).January 20th 2010.

While we're in the pedantry mode, the poor old sod had to endure Pacers, not Sprinters. The Sprinters are not so bad: certainly infinitely better than the train-bus Pacer monstrosity that thousands of us have to endure every day.

James OmnibusJanuary 20th 2010.

Luke, there's nothing wrong with trying to be correct about words, nor for that matter about holding your knife and fork correctly. Or being able to tie a bow-tie. Or recite freely from WB Yeats or from Proust, in French of course. Make life, dear boy, a gallop of good taste.

Wannabe InterleckchewalJanuary 20th 2010.

Luke, shouldn't it be a capital "I"...?

EmmyJanuary 20th 2010.

Ah, you learn something new every day. Still looks wrong to me, but apologies.

AnonymousJanuary 20th 2010.

Is it just me for whom the phrase 'ethusiastic amateur' conjurs up some rather dirty scenarios?

EmmyJanuary 20th 2010.

Another bit of spellchecking for you - 'Restaurateur', top right of the article. Unless you are making sly puns about hygiene?

Karving NifeJanuary 20th 2010.

Lord. You lot. Loved the Chris Johnson reply by the way. He's very good. I like his style.

JCSJanuary 20th 2010.

'Typo' is an abbreviation of 'typographic'. The apostrophe in 'typo's' acknowledges this.

RichardJanuary 20th 2010.

Trams - so overcrowded at rush hour, you're lucky to draw a breath. New trams won't solve this problem. And what happened to those new ticket machines in Altrincham? Do us a favour and try to burn the station down properly next time.

SleuthJanuary 20th 2010.

No excuse for the 'formerly' error, except the snow blindness of writing too many words. But Emmy, 'restaurateur', is correct - French origin you know. Still thanks for bringing it up. 'Restauranteur' is plain wrong.

CubbyJanuary 20th 2010.

Well last week I got an email from Manchester Confidential about a 'new Chinese eaterie'.

ChrisJanuary 20th 2010.

Oh - and while we're on pedantry - JS - if 'Honest Restaurateur of the Year' is the official title of this award, can you cap up 'honest' in the headline please. If not, can you make the rest lower case? Ta.

Enthusiastic AmateurJanuary 20th 2010.

Chris at Ramsons is a great guy, he knows his stuff. It's really worth going to is my advice to anyone who hasn't been

ConfifriendJanuary 20th 2010.

Or maybe JCS because it's a small team who are prolific at producing stories. I know for a fact that there are only three writers on the books and the rest are freelancers. If they're doing thirty plus stories a week that's high productivity. And JCS what about your typos or as you seem to think it goes, 'typo's'?

Suz AJanuary 20th 2010.

I thought that with such keen spell checkers amongst us, how strange that no one picked up on Micheal (second usage).Also nothing wrong with knowing how to tie a bow tie properly. James Bond never wears a clip on. Besides it's my only housewifey skill!

LukeJanuary 20th 2010.

This site is full of wannabe intellectuals all trying to out-do one another with thier witty "i'm more educated than you" rants.....Go on, someone correct my spelling, punctuation or grammar. You know you can't help yourselves.

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