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Sleuth 19/06/2009

Old Trafford football ground in change of use shock, Trafford Council promotes traditional (nineteenth century) values and the Church supports MPs over expenses scandal

Published on June 19th 2009.

Sleuth 19/06/2009

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.

Worrying pretty little heads
In recent times the Conservative council of Trafford has been led by a woman, the redoubtable Cllr Susan Williams. Sleuth met her several times and while they didn’t always see eye-to-eye he appreciated her robust leadership and personality. Williams has now left her post to prepare for the general election as a parliamentary candidate. With her goes most of the feminine voice in Trafford Council decision-making. Of the 12 posts on the Executive under leader Cllr Matt Colledge, only one goes to a woman, Cllr Christine Turner. And guess what she looks after? The office of Supporting Children and Families. Just the job for a woman eh? What century is this?

A typical family scene in Trafford

Church goes mad
Sleuth was in church last week – don’t ask. The service in St Chad’s in Romiley was an odd one. The prayers were distinctive to say the least. Sleuth might have expected: 'Let’s pray for all those suffering in the recession and losing their jobs.' Sleuth didn’t expect, “And let’s say a special prayer to our members of Parliament who have been shamelessly hounded by the press over their expenses when they are working so hard for us.” Poor little things. But then, maybe there has been a degree of overkill about the matter, thought Sleuth, eyeing his spare change and the collection box and thinking of Labour MP Frank Cook.

Sodom all
Sleuth has been getting very religious. On his church tour he passed St Clement's in Chorlton which hosts the Chorlton Film Institute. Amongst the films coming up was one called Gomorrah. Nice name, thought Sleuth, for a film taking place on church ground.

Love needs no words
Sleuth was intrigued by the new art project from Ian Skedd. This is called Sign-Singing, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division 1979, Deaf Choir 2009, and is taking place in London. It involves a deaf choir signing Manchester band Joy Division’s classic song (click here: http://front.bc.ca/exhibitions/events/3264). Apparently ‘sound is expressed through an inaudible form of communication. Visually, the choir’s hands, bodies and facial movements become the only readable aspects of the song. In the work, silence—rather than sound—is emphasized, yet when engaged with the motions of the choir, the familiarity of the song takes hold.’ Er...right. The person who told Sleuth this extracted a promise that there wouldn’t be any cheap gags. “Are they touring?” said Sleuth. “Not sure,” came the reply. “Well I’ve got the perfect place in Manchester for them,” said Sleuth, “the Deaf Institute.” “That’s the sort of cheap gag I’m going to have to turn a blind eye to, aren’t I?” said the friend, aghast.

United to move?
Read the sign below. It was in Crain’s Manchester Business magazine in the planning permission section. ‘Old Trafford Football Ground...change of use (building)’. Eh? Perhaps it might be converted by the all-American Glazer family into something they really understand: a stadium for American football. Here’s a picture of one they own already, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact we’ll give a charming prize worth £25 in food and drink to the best photoshopped suggestion sent to sleuth@planetconfidential.co.uk for what a proposed change of use for Old Trafford might entail.

Bailey the Blue - official
Sharp-eyed readers of the sports pages in the Manchester Evening News could hardly have failed to notice a number of highly positive stories earlier this month by the paper's Manchester City reporter, Chris Bailey, notably praising the club's owners, and one in particular which implored the club to reject young striker Daniel Sturridge's wage demands, even if it meant the club losing him to Chelsea. Now Bailey has taken redundancy from the MEN and is about to move into a new role at the City of Manchester Stadium overseeing the club's website, digital and mobile platforms. Are the two events in any way related? Meanwhile, taking over the City beat at the MEN is Stuart Brennan, well-known at Scott Place as a massive Manchester United fan. But why not? His opposite number covering United at the paper, Stuart Mathieson, is actually, er, a City fan. Sleuth has a solution for this, why don’t they swap jobs? Doh.

Viaducts: a metaphor for life
Sleuth was at a meeting of landowners in Castlefield the other day trying to sort out how we can best improve the area. One was a representative for the company that looks after redundant British Rail properties. Everybody was quizzing the man about how we might bring the spectacular Grade II viaduct back into use. To achieve this we needed to know exactly how the company was dealing with the thing now. “It’s..er...in a controlled state of decay,” said the man. What a great euphemism for ‘we’re letting it fall down slowly’ we all thought. Then a small but profound silence fell across the room as everyone realised that they were all in a controlled state of decay. Then Sleuth thought about all the booze he’d chucked down his neck recently and all the rich food: shit, he thought, there was nothing controlled about it. He needed a drink, a strong one.

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

Jason TJune 19th 2009.

Trafford Council are an odd body. They should merge with Manchester and have done with it. Make the sum grander than their parts.

scoteeeJune 19th 2009.


SleuthJune 19th 2009.

Would the representative of British Rail consider at least painting the two railway bridges in the Castlefield area? They're a disgrace and a crying shame.However, fantastic seeing the lights on the Merchants Bridge being fixed :) Shame they couldn't give it time for a clean.

PhilJune 19th 2009.

Why are British Rail allowed to sit on their hands with regard to the viaduct? If this was a house it could be seized by the council under an Empty Dwelling Management Order, why shouldn't the same apply to other structures?

Casey JohnJune 19th 2009.

I say: do awat with British rail. It's disgusting. They ought to break up this monopolistic...er...monopoly and replace them with some independent, private companies who will promise to be customer-focussed....oh, hang on....

AnonymousJune 19th 2009.

Manchester United's ground would provide a great space for a superstore and lots of restaurants.....oh hang on

Editorial - hey naughty personJune 19th 2009.

That was not Sleuth....don't steal my identity. The real Sleuth.

Editorial - hey naughty personJune 19th 2009.

That was not Sleuth....don't steal my identity. The real Sleuth.

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