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Sleuth 20/11/2009

Saville’s new Christmas card design, flying Rolls Royces, Elbow head into Manchester Art Gallery, crazy Home Office and lusty pensioner

Published on November 20th 2009.


Sleuth 20/11/2009

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.

Christmas joy
So Sleuth and Gordo walked through the city centre. The markets were alive, the lights were shinning and fat Santa was all aglow on the Town Hall. “The city’s never looked better has it?” said Gordo. “Did you bring a camera?” asked Sleuth. “No,” said Gordo. “So how do we let people know?” pondered Sleuth. “They’ll have to come and see it for themselves,” said Gordo.

Saville’s new Christmas card designSleuth hears that Peter Saville and the city have been so stung by criticism of his gift wrap design (click here) that they’ve got Pete to come up with a more traditional Christmas card. The card is re-produced below. Meanwhile in response to the claim Manchester obsesses about Factory Records, Bez has allegely written this seasonal verse for the card.

‘Merry Christmas dear friends from festive Manchestoh.
Where with gluhwein and bratwursts we promise you this
We’ll try not to mention the Haciendoh for ages.
At least until next year when we’ll have a new calend-oh.’

Sleuth’s favourite misleading pr of the week
This came under the titile: ‘Slug and Lettuce Cycles to Afghanistan for Help for Heroes’. It read (copy edited for brevity): ‘The team at Slug and Lettuce are preparing themselves for the start of their two-day leg cycling from Leeds to Kabul in Afghanistan, to raise funds for Help for Heroes, the charity (for) members of the armed forces wounded in the service of their country. Whilst cycling to Afghanistan sounds gruelling, the Slug and Lettuce team are completing the 3583.6 miles on an exercise bike. Ria Brooks from Slug and Lettuce said, “Even though the team aren’t actually cycling to Afghanistan, we don’t expect it to be plain sailing, or in this case plain cycling! It will certainly be demanding.”’ Not as demanding as being shot at probably. Shameful stuff.

Crisis Communication is a gas
Speaking of PR, Sleuth’s occasional correspondent went to the PR Awards on Wednesday night and thought it was splendid, showing a better side of the business than the Slug and Lettuce agency above.. “I couldn’t quite believe there were 26 separate categories though,” he said. “Did you have a favourite?” asked Sleuth, thinking he’d rather have sawn his arm off with a rusty tool than sat through that. “Oh yes,” said the charming gent, “the Crisis Communications Award. The winner went to the firm who’d handled ‘National Grid’s Christmas Gas Crisis’. Tickled me somehow.” By the way Sleuth hears that Brazen and Cameron Wells won the best big and small consultancies respectively.

Often seen band
After last week’s excellent profile on the South Bank Show more recognition for Manchester houseband, Elbow. Or rather their cover star. Oli East’s artwork for Elbow’s award-winning album The Seldom Seen Kid is being donated to the Manchester Art Gallery’s permanent Manchester collection. Oli even likes the frame the band had for his artwork, made from salvaged wood from old bannisters in the pub where he used to work. Oli’s latest graphic book, Proper Go Well High (see below or click here) is available now. Speaking of Elbow, Sleuth bumped into frontman Guy Garvey a couple of weeks ago and they had a lovely chat. Best line from Garvey, concerned the unprecedented 18 months of success the band had: “It’s not healthy to wake up every morning to find everything’s going well. Not normal.”

Flying luxury
Gordo was out telling Barclays Bank off at an Old Trafford event for 300 people on Wednesday evening. There was wine and - in the football club with just about the highest turnover in the world - some arid sandwiches curling at the edges as though made for a school trip three weeks ago.

“I couldn’t believe it”, said the fat one. “The first sandwich was of a type of salmon, I wasn’t sure whether it was gravadlax or smoked, but it tasted so bad I spat it out into my napkin. The second was either crab sticks or chicken, I couldn’t eat those either. The third was a dry piece of chicken/turkey, clearly out of a catering pack, with some jam on it. The final affront was a piece of grey roast topside of beef, wafer thin, on a dry piece of catering standard white bread. I then looked on the table and saw the sign. ‘LUXURY SANDWICHES’. I have called the trading standards officers. I am shocked they have treated Barclays so shabbily”.

What is it with United’s terrible catering?

On the way back he was passing the luxury Great John Street Hotel and thought he was hallucinating. He saw a flying Rolls Royce. It didn’t seem fair that after two glasses of wine he should be so pissed. Then he realised this was a promotion for the new Roller and it was being airlifted onto the roof. Sleuth hopes they didn't dunk it in the jacuzzi on the terrace up there by mistake. Although speaking of Elbow’s album cover on this page, that would be a bit ‘Be Here Now’ from Oasis.

Victoria resurgent
Sleuth can’t wait for the changes to take place to Victoria Station which were announced this week. He can’t help thinking the whole area around there is about to blossom beautifully. There’s a brand new Chetham’s School of Music going in, the National Football Museum arriving and plans for a new visitor attraction based around the tunnels under Victoria Street, plus massive improvements on the Salford side of the river from the Cathedral. Now it’s up to the Co-operative to sort out the tatty buildings at the junction of Corporation Street and Todd Street. Good with food as the Co-op ads say: good with decrepit buildings too Sleuth hopes.

Home Office don’t watch the news
So Sleuth was reading through Crain’s Manchester Business the other day when he came upon a full page ad. It was from the Home Office telling companies to prepare for the introduction of ID Cards. Given that Labour are now indicating such a card would be voluntary and that the Tories (who look set to win the 2010 General Election) aren’t keen on them at all, Sleuth wondered which bunker the Home Office are currently hiding in. Big waste of money. Still he’s glad Crain’s got the revenue in these tough times. And if the government should see fit to put an ad Confidential’s way he wouldn’t mind re-assessing the situation.

Model pensioner
Sleuth was in the Lowry for a meeting on Tuesday. That’s the Lowry Centre, not the Lowry Hotel: folk in the former get very sensitive about confusion with the latter. Nipping through to the restaurant he saw a photoshoot outside the building with a model or an actress which he thought he’d snap up himself: a still from the life of cultural institution and all that ( see below). He took the picture and then turned. Standing right behind Sleuth, too close, he found a man in his seventies winking, “you would, won’t you?” he said nodding out of the window. Sleuth ran to the restaurant and threw down some wine.

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

The Great GratsbyNovember 20th 2009.

Blimey Cas, the point is they are hanging on to untold millions without letting us know. Thats plain wrong and ugly. Like you I run businesses and whilst I am not in the habit of telling people about my financial tools, i know that they make a bloody fortune out of the services around them, without resorting to the buggers stealing my cash as well. And, we are all funding the cheeky bastdrs now. Really shocked at your response, are you married to a banker; or are you one secretly!

A RealistNovember 20th 2009.

Like the elbow album covers, artwork from Jamie Reid the man behind the Sex Pistols album covers can be seen at the Generation Pop gallery in including his God Save the Queen piece.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2009.

wow does Gordo still use cheques? I only use them to cause trouble or to delay my payment ... 'the cheques in the bank' you see.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2009.

Over a fine glass of red wine MB quizzed me last night on my knowledge of Elbow, every 40yo's fave. My mot juste: Coldplay warmed up. But then I recalled watching with MB the SBS of Smiths in their dying agony. I trust Elbow will escape the long distance Jonah effect I seem to have when I talk to MB about SBS bands.I will watch them in bits on Your Tube over some Holts Dark Mild and black pudding at lunchtime next week

CasNovember 20th 2009.

For my business I have several business account that I pay very low rates on. This enables me to take and make payments easily and quickly. Personally I have a Lloyds Platinum account that gives me AA membership (have used this), travel insurance for me, my husband and child, plus all kinds of other things. Banks enable us to withdraw money at numerous free cash machines, there are many other benefits of course. My point is they need to make a profit, they provide a decent service and are not a charity. Recent events have made everyone expect more and rightly so, however we don't get a bad service for our money.

JohnimatorNovember 20th 2009.

I didn't know one spelt "cu7t" with a "7", Scoteee.

scoteeeNovember 20th 2009.

Oh come on cas we all know that they make billions out of us through loans, mortgages, savings and investments.It's wrong to suggest they shadily (or let's face it) deny it happens.It did'nt say in my terms and conditions "We will use your money in between bank transfers for three days to make more ourselves in an offshore account".Who signed up for that?

HNovember 20th 2009.

Hey, ithastobeme, the dig wasn't at the effort it was surely at the riduclous headline. They weren't cycling to AFGHANISTAN!

CasNovember 20th 2009.

My point is, if they didn't make the money by hanging on to interest then they'd have to make it some other way. We all know their terms and choose to use them regardless. The problem being there isn't an alternative bank that would have much higher charges but immediate clearing.

scoteeeNovember 20th 2009.

Yes cas, I understand that.

Hole-y Mole-yNovember 20th 2009.

Further to the rants from Sprout & Tomegranate did you read this about a current Underground Manchester Guided Walk? http://tiny.cc/eQmzv Just take a look.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2009.

BACS time seen to depend on the bank and the account. My transactions arrive at two minutes past midnight so my builder avoided bankrupcy

santanderNovember 20th 2009.

Look out for the "free" current account and no charges on the front page of today's metro.Now thats what i call revoloutionary banking :)

anonymous for this oneNovember 20th 2009.

I think I will stay anonymous for this one. Well done to Mark Garner for interrogating Steve Cooper, MD of Barclays, at that presentation at Old Trafford. Cooper was busy telling three or four hundred business people that there was plenty of money being lent and that Barclays were wonderful. You wouldn’t believe how shabbily these people have treated my business. Gordo/Garner stood and asked Mr Cooper what happens, when a company banks a cheque on and Monday and doesn’t get the funds till the Friday, to that money? As he had worked out that the technology is there to clear funds immediately; and that if the funds were cleared immediately, the effect to the average North West company would be that they would have an instant injection of capital to the tune of £8,000. With 16,000 firms on Mancon’s list according to Gordo/Garner, this means that the North-West would have 1.28 BILLION quid parachuted in. Gordo pointed out that this would transform many companies’ fortunes. Who, he asked, had that money. Cooper, needless to say, came out with a load of bullshit and didn’t answer the question.

tblzebraNovember 20th 2009.

ooooo E are you psychic? How amazing.

ithastobemeNovember 20th 2009.

Hang on here.... a bit harsh about Slug & Lettuce... they are trying to help a really worthwhile charity and all you do is take the p**s... it might only be on a bike but its a big bloody effort.... well done guys.... I'll try and get down to donate!

AnonymousNovember 20th 2009.

stop moaning all and start googling. I think this is the latest info on the 'Faster Payments System' www.ukpayments.org.uk/…/maybe… cas can save some money without worrying about banks not being able to pay bankers their bonusesIncidentally on a much less grad account than the Lloyds on for £120 I get travel insurance until I reach 79, to diagnostic health consultations a year, insurance about if my identity is pinches and the midnight delivery of some transfers

CasNovember 20th 2009.

They are businesses though, that's what they aim for.

JohnNovember 20th 2009.

The biggest joke of all is when you receive a Barclays cheque from someone and pay it into your own Barclays account and STILL have to wait days for it to clear. However, Gordo's rant clearly had an effect, Gordo gave me a cheque written on his Barclays account last week, I banked it in a Barclays branch to be credited to my Barclays account only for them to lose it immediately. The power of the media eh?

scoteeeNovember 20th 2009.

I made this point on mancon over a year ago now, being frustrated at the legal volume the banks make in the retail and commercial sector. NOW this is fact... so read on.I investigated it and got the run around but was eventually told that when funds are transferred between two differing banks such as my Rbs acct to your Hsbc, they leave the senders account by the end of the working day(normally 4pm) and are then placed in to the recieving banks holding account completely different number to the one you asked it to go in,this is where your money accumulates probably in Jersey/switzerland etc.. where the funds accrue interest (low or tax free) in some cases and dependant on your bank.After a few days the funds are released and placed in to your banks account and further released to yours after which the ba****ds have the cheek to hit you with a 38 quid charge if the funds are not in in time to cover a Direct debit for the water. Absoloute cu7ts the lot of them!

scoteeeNovember 20th 2009.

cas you may well be happy for your bank to hang on to your money,you may well be happy at their charges and pricelists.But some of us have have a bank account just to have our wages put in to them.Gone are the days of the brown paper envelope and the biscuit tin.and i have to tell you i bet there are a few readers that would have far rather had the biscuit tin option over the past ten years than be forced in to having to be paid in to one of these legalised leach facilities.

sproutNovember 20th 2009.

@tomegranate yeah, I'd also love more details and source details (was further intrigued earlier this week after reading 4evrmanchester.wordpress.com/…/…)

ENovember 20th 2009.

Hold on a minute there tblzebra, 'you know someone who's been on one of the walks'? You're Sibby (pipl.com is my friend) and you GAVE the walks, so hardly an unbiased opinion. I have heard mixed reviews, but don't pretend you don't have an proper link to the walks.

ChickNovember 20th 2009.

It's not so much an issue for businesses with cheques anymore, I can't remember the last time a customer paid with one. It's the effing credit card and debit card payments, they take four working days to clear, or if it's Amex, six working days. If I pay for something with my debit card tonight, when I get home and log onto internet banking, the payment has already been deducted from my account, or at the very least it is showing as 'pending'. However, the money won't actually reach the recipient until next Wednesday or Thursday. With millions of transactions conducted in small and large businesses every single day and across the country, it does not take a genius to work out the amount of interest the banks must be pulling in.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2009.

we get 40% of our payments in cheques and 60% bacs, cheques take four days, BACS three, so fair question, WTF is happening with money? It's a case of the bankers taking our trousers down. Fair play Gordo.

scoteeeNovember 20th 2009.

they make a lot of money cas a disgusting amount in fact. www.telegraph.co.uk/…/nks-within-two-hours.html…

emma graceNovember 20th 2009.

errr...do they not get paid a salary to compensate for the inconvenience of erm, having to do their jobs??

tomegranateNovember 20th 2009.

"plans for a new visitor attraction based around the tunnels under Victoria Street" Really?? Details/source please!

ENovember 20th 2009.

I'm not psychic, just not stupid either.

casNovember 20th 2009.

So you weren't aware banks did that? Come on. Look, its just my opinion and I personally think I get value from my banks are they provide me with a good service that enables me to run my finances easily.

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