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Sleuth 21/05/2010

Stalag Carrington, questions not to ask the Lord Mayor, bike polo, tram response, advice for the Mail on Sunday

Published on May 21st 2010.

Sleuth 21/05/2010

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. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editorial team, but they are those of Sleuth.

Football in (not) splendid isolationSleuth was at Stalag Carrington the other night for his son's Trafford Schools cup final. Sleuth can't stand the Manchester United training camp, it's a living, working, utterly perfect example of the alienation of football from its working class roots – put the millionaires miles away from the people who turn up in their tens of thousands to support them. Located in one of the grimest, flatest, washed up places of Greater Manchester it's approached down a road that looks like the entrance way to every WWII prisoner of war camp you've ever seen in the movies. It's nauseating.

Newcastle United infiltrates the prison camp
Sleuth while at Stalag Carrington was amused by the little bungalow near the entrance. There was some washing hanging from a line, full of items branded with Newcastle United. Sleuth wonders if the person who lives there is a spy whispering in the ears of United players who Sir Alex doesn't require any more: remember Nicky Butt and Alan Smith, remember how they ended up at Newcastle?

United but not United

The tracks of my tears
The Conservative-LibDem coalition throws up the potential for a great deal of political embarrassment, not least with the announcement this week that the extension to the city's Metrolink system is one of a number of major transport projects totalling £986m given the green light by the outgoing Labour government which the coalition is reviewing. Take, for example, Manchester Withington LibDem MP John Leech, who boasted in his election literature that he played a leading role in bringing Metrolink to his constituency, despite the same election leaflets claiming that Gordon Brown had ignored south Manchester. It will therefore be piquant indeed if Leech’s party bosses scrap the extension, not least because huge swathes of land in Leech's constituency have already been cleared in preparation for the laying down of tracks. Watch this space, as they say…

Bless Metrolink
Last week Sleuth had a whinge about the replacement of two ticket machines at Trafford Bar with one. He got this unsolicited response from Metrolink after they'd read the piece. 'When planning the roll out of new TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines) across Metrolink, GMPTE evaluated data at each stop on the network to determine the number of machines required. Information on the Trafford Bar Metrolink stop indicated that one ticket machine per platform would be sufficient to meet demand; however, GMPTE will monitor the situation and assess if there are enough TVMs at that location. An additional TVM may be added if it is agreed that the current number of machines are unable to cope with passenger demand. Overall, as a result of the Metrolink improvement programme, there are now more TVMs on the Metrolink network than previously.' Bless them.

Blessed are Bulb too
On Thursday Editor Schofield reviewed Bulb on Church Street and loved it. Apart from the scene of cremation on the Ganges being shown on the TV in the dining area (click here). Confidential has been assurred that there'll be no TV action any more. A small triumph for common sense we smugly feel.

Bike polo
Sleuth was walking in the sunshine in Chorlton Park last weekend. In the five-a-side/basketball court there were some lads on bikes, they were playing bike polo. It looked fun. Sleuth said, “this is interesting boys, how come you hit upon this idea?” “We couldn't afford horses,” came the reply.

Lord Mayor requests
So Sleuth was asked in to meet the new Lord Mayor, Mark Hackett, who was sworn in this week. Sleuth asked his helpful colleagues if they had any questions they'd like Sleuth to ask the Lord Mayor. This is what he got in response: 'Where do you see your career in a year's time? (The Lord Mayor's tenure is a year); 'If you were say with the Chinese Consulate and he wanted some fish fingers would you cook them yourself?'; 'If you find yourself alone in the Town Hall one night would you like to roller skate naked round the corridors?' As usual the Confidential staff had raised their game to meet the challenge. Thanks folks.

More Lord Mayor
Sleuth asked none of these questions. Instead he had a thoroughly pleasant meeting with the Lord Mayor, a man who loves the city and knows encyclopaedias of fact about the place. Sleuth looks forward to chatting about the city with him again. This is the man without his chains of office.

Permanent residency
Sleuth was taking BBC staff on a tour, showing them round the city, after all loads of them are relocating to Manchester and they need to know the options when it comes to settling in the region. As they passed Southern Cemetery, Sleuth quipped, "And if you really like the city you might end up here in permanent residency." Some scattered laughter and then a voice came from the back of the coach, "So how much does a burial plot cost?" It was a serious question. Wow, that's dedication to a move up North thought Sleuth as he frankly admitted that he hadn't got the slightest clue as to burial plot charges.

Something for the boys
To tide footy fans over until the World Cup here's a video of Sleuth's son scoring a free kick at a Timperley and District League's u13s Final. It's a premonition in minor of the moment when Steven Gerard does the same in the World Cup Final against Brazil.

How the World Cup might be

Something for the ladies
Sleuth counted all the traffic about the second Sex and the City movie and found out there are upwards of 30 cocktail parties, exclusive showings and so on taking place in and around Manchester to celebrate the film. More than thirty, wow. Sleuth wondered out loud what the male equivalent was. The Beauty Editor sighed and said, “Football, about 100 bloody times a year.”

Speaking of love
Sleuth's spies were out this week when they spotted this pair of ladies in Caffe Nero at the corner of Mosley and Princess Street. The picture doesn't pick out all the details but on the card in the window there's a phone number and the message, 'Recently single. Give me a call.' Maybe it was another Sex and the City event.

No yolk turns out all white
So Sleuth was having dinner on Wednesday when his dining partner recounted how she'd had an egg thrown at her from the City South apartments as she drove round the Chester Road/Mancunian Way roundabout. “It made a right crack when it hit the windscreen, it terrified me,” she said. “I hope it was free range?” asked Sleuth who, as readers will know, is the environmental conscience of the world. “Not sure," said Sleuth's lovely friend, "but it was definitely far range."

Sleuth's lies to tell the Mail on Sunday

1. The Spanish are breeding storks and working with the Russians to fly high-grade caviar into referees' changing rooms at the World Cup in an effort to bride them.

2.Melissa Jacobs who secretly taped Lord Triesman is a really nice person, who would never sell her soul for money.

Sleuth's lies about cows
If cows lie down it's going to rain. If the cows are all dead, it's meat day.

Sleuth's lies to tell tourists
Hough End Hall, the Elizabethan hall in Chorlton, has wonderful grounds in which to picnic (click here).

Follow Sleuth on twitter Sleuth

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

AgricolaMay 21st 2010.

Wondered what a Stalag was. This is Wiki on it: 'In Germany, Stalag was a term used for prisoner-of-war camps. Stalag is an abbreviation for "Stammlager", itself a short form of the full name "Mannschaftsstamm- und Straflager". Now I understand.

Leigh ScottMay 21st 2010.

Where would you place Carrington football ground sleuth? Piccadilly? perhaps invite Rangers fans to sit and watch quietly maybe?

SleuthMay 21st 2010.

There's this place in Salford called the Cliff. That might work. Seriously in Germany they don't have stalags for training grounds they have access where fans can regularly watch their stars train: like they did at the Cliff. This should be the case in the Premiership. City's as bad with their Carrington complex as well, that's why the rumour they'd be moving back to the central areas of the city and putting a training ground in the spare land next to Eastlands was so exciting. Shame it was just a rumour.

Andrew RevansMay 21st 2010.

Wasn't Carrington Moss where Manchester's "night soil" was dumped?

GlandfanMay 21st 2010.

Surely that was Dumplington where the Trafford Centre now stands?

Mark ButlerMay 21st 2010.

Sleuth. Get your son at a training camp for one of our city's clubs.
That free kick was MINT!!!
We've just shown it on the big screen in our office. It got a round of applause (even from some of the girls!!)

J E SibberingMay 21st 2010.

Cracking goal JS!

theboymaloneyMay 21st 2010.

is junior sleuth a blue or a red? cracking strike.

mahonioMay 21st 2010.

josco, does the lad have a northern irish granny, we could do with a decent right foot at windsor park!

BoultonMay 21st 2010.

Better than the premier league.

TreMay 21st 2010.

I hear he's a Blue despite he's dad's yearnings.

Scott NeilMay 22nd 2010.

bravo Sleuth junior! as for affiliation, well, we know his dad's a United fan, but what about Rochdale? that's the paternal seat, isn't it?! ;-)

Dale are going up in the world, he might want to step on board :)

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