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Sleuth 15/10/2010

1.3m San Carlo diners, Bloxham’s home truths, Fanny’s of Bolton and House of Fraser’s musical manager

Published on October 15th 2010.

Sleuth 15/10/2010

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 24 hour 999 tweet experiment
There’s a cat up a tree, and a man in a loft, I’ve left my iron on, I’ve been mugged or maybe I’ve fallen over, someone’s poisoning the cheese, there’s a fire in the toast, I want to waste taxpayer’s money, I’m a policeman on a sickie because no-one cares what a rough job I do. And they want to make cuts. Oh no I’ve gone over my 140 characters on Twitter. I’ll have to arrest myself for a waste of police and social networking time.

Devil of a time
Sleuth doesn’t know what’s going on here between Harvey Nichols and Selfridges so if any readers could inform him, he’ll be grateful. Sleuth hears they were heading in the direction of Zara. Maybe it’s true, maybe the devil wears Zara.

Sleuth’s quick fact of the week
San Carlo in Manchester has served 1.3m customers in the last six years, which is way over half the 2.3m population of Greater Manchester. Just wow.

It’s only a bit of money
Tom Bloxham, professional hat-wearer and also top dog at Urban Splash, was addressing a gathering of 100 or so property folk in Castlefield this week. Bloxham is always refreshingly honest about the state of the property market, as well as the Splash balance sheet. He admitted that he’d ‘probably lost more money than everyone in the room put together’ over the last two years. But he also allowed his mind to drift back to the first time he saw Castlefield. “I’d just bought my first house on Salford Quays. It was probably 25 years ago, so there were only five houses. I had a little inflatable boat and used to drift up and down the canal.” Mr Bloxham, you truly are the Tom Sawyer of Castlefield.

DJ Steve Clarke of House of Fraser Records
Super restaurant manager, Ettore of Piccolino, hosted a meal for regulars in the city centre this week. It was superb. Steve Clarke the amiable new General Manager of House of Fraser (Kendals, as everyone at the table called it) was there. Turns out the man is a DJ in his spare time and is a-quiver with excitement at the forthcoming arrival of Ricardo Villalobos, the electronica guru, at the Warehouse Project. Sleuth asked for a musical recommendation for the readers from Steve. “People get Real with Widerpro,” he advised “Eh, yer what, dance music,” said Gordo ear-wigging, “bloody hell the manager of Kendals is a pill ‘ed.” “I wouldn’t really describe myself like that,” said Steve with a grin.

What’s in a name?
So Sleuth was sat with lovely Lesley and her friend, also called Lesley, both from Bolton at the meal in Piccolino. “I love coming into Manchester at my age because Bolton town centre is so rough,” said one Lesley. “Well, we’ll still go to Fanny’s,” said the other Lesley. Sleuth looked confused. “It used to be Fanny Moss’ place, but it’s really the Victoria pub, only the name Fanny stuck.” Interesting, sort of, thought Sleuth. “Thing is,” continued the second Lesley, “it took me ages to realise what I was saying when before the smoking ban my husband would come home smelling of tobacco and I’d say, ‘you stink of Fanny’s’.” She roared with laughter. Sleuth nearly fell of his seat.

Sleuth’s best Commonwealth Games momentApparently in the weight-lifting competition in India the advice to competitors was to lift, jerk and snatch. Or some combination of that. Sleuth thinks it unwise for one of the commentators to say of a lady wrestler, “A good clean jerk nearly got her through but it was a shame about her disappointing snatch."

Food and Drink Gala Dinner hi-jacked
Gordo decided to up the passion levels at the Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner at the Hilton on Monday. The event was notable for the excellent food from David Gale (winner of Chef of the Year) rather than the school dinners procured at the former Gala Dinner venue of the Palace. Gordo gave out the Confidential Food Hero award with a stirring Winston Churchill ‘fight-em-on-the-beaches’ type speech about neighbourhood restaurants. Damson from Heaton Moor was the object of his praise. Becky Want, the BBC Radio Manchester host of the proceedings, quipped after the Fat One’s performance: "The Gordo Show is over". Sleuth could see what she meant, the man has a future as Hamlet delivering some of the longer soliloquies.

BronzerpoolSo Lady Sleuth was at the launch of Hed Kandi in the neighbour city. Not Salford. The big neighbour city of ‘Pool. There was a special bronzer in the store by a company called NYX, which makes for the biggest bronzer compact in the world. “Only in Liverpool would you get a bronzer this big,” said a Liverpool representative entirely seriously. Sleuth thought that was a little unfair, clearly the lady’s not been to Bamford in Rochdale or taken a walk down Hale high street.How to spend £250kSleuth learns that Jenny Thompson of Wayne Rooney squeeze fame was in Panacea recently. She was looking very bronzed – maybe she’d been to Hed Kandi in Liverpool. Still after having pocketed allegedly £250K from her revelations of a private matter, Sleuth has to wonder if you can’t spend the money more imaginatively than in all the usual bars you used to hang out in - maybe on a bit of world travel to get you out of the limelight.

Luxury vessel
Or maybe Thompson was just popping into the city centre on her new luxury yacht - which may explain the unlikely Monte Carlo-esque style cruiser in Castlefield Basin in the city centre. Standing out like a sore thumb amidst all the painted narrowboats is this baby, pictured below. Sleuth loves the sign on the boat offering it for sale. ‘New price £165,000, now only £35,000.’ Even better is the line that says: ‘Will do 35 knots on the Ship Canal.’ Really. Mind you it sleeps six which would allow a girl to entertain quite a few footy players.

Castlefield Monte Carlo marina

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

Eddy RheadOctober 15th 2010.

Is that Mrs Sleuth in the picture? Just askin like.

SleuthOctober 15th 2010.

They are all my women, they are all my children.

duncanOctober 15th 2010.

i wouldn't reveal any of her detals to eddy

Pan HeadOctober 15th 2010.

How nice to hear that the clientel at Panacea hasn't taken a turn for the worse with the usaul slapper, thugs and wannabe's still think its the place to be !

Eddy RheadOctober 15th 2010.

Hi Duncan

AnonymousOctober 16th 2010.

Re Gordo
'what a rogue and peasant slave am I'

GordoOctober 16th 2010.

Ok anon, gimme a clue, I only have one o-level

John HarrisOctober 17th 2010.

That boat wouldn't be allowed mooring room in Monte Carlo

Peter HarrisNovember 23rd 2010.

Fanny's (The Victoria Inn on Markland Hill, off Chorley New Road, Bolton) has been completely gutted, re-furbished and extended by 60% in size. It was re-opened in August and now has 40 covers in the new restaurant. Great food and real ale available. Well worth a visit. I was there recently and was very impressed.

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