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Sleuth 22/01/10

Amazing new traffic warden uniform, pussy whipped, the Netherlands, Britannia Hotel spreads

Published on October 25th 2010.

Sleuth 22/01/10

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.

Shock new uniform for Traffic Wardens
Sleuth was in on Tonman Street off Deansgate when he saw this chap - see picture below.

“Is that the new Traffic Warden uniform?” he asked. “It is,” said the gentleman. “Maximum fine “2000 bronze sesterce, for parking your chariot on double yellows.”

Sleuth asked Cllr Centurion Patius Karnivorous, about this, “Yes,” the latter said, “it is true, given the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review we’ve decided to bolster Council finances by demanding only pure Roman coin of real gold, silver and bronze. The uniform was the logical next step.”

Very prudent thought Sleuth as he made his way to lunch with Senator Gordo Corpulencius armed with his handy vomitorium.

The uniform was designed by Tribune Peterus Savillecoiningitinus, for a mere 17,000 denarius, which the council have declared value for money. Somebody else’s money.

Meanwhile fashion editor, Lyndaria Moyomania, said, “The sassy knee length A-line skirt shape is really on trend. But the masterstroke is the short scarlet cape, which will be a massive hit this season.”

New traffic wardens

George Osborne fact of the week
Sleuth was digging around about our local Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, for an article about the latter's Tatton Constituency. He found this on Wikipedia, ‘Originally named Gideon, he changed his name to George when he was 13. In an interview in July 2005, Osborne said: "It was my small act of rebellion. I never liked it. When I finally told my mother, she said, 'Nor do I'. So I decided to be George. Life was easier as a George; it was a straightforward name." Wise man. The name Gideon might have smelled wrong in Cameron’s Big Society, not many Gideon’s on those council estates reckons Sleuth.

Childish Sleuth
Sleuth has a new favourite band. Musician Ste McCabe sent him info about the night he’s organising: ‘a queer-feminist club night called Pussy Whipped’. This takes place next Friday (29 Oct) in Taurus. Sleuth loves one of the names of the acts: Tingle in the Netherlands. pictured below. Genius. To quote, this duo apparently combine 'tongue in cheek politics with early Human League'. The tongue in cheek may provide the tingle in the netherlands thinks Sleuth. Anyway Sleuth loves the story because it brings out the snotty adolescent giggling schoolboy in him.

Sleuth feeling childish
Sleuth was curious as to how a male promoter of a ‘queer, feminist club’ got away with it. He was gently rebuked by Ste: “The underground music scene of feminist and queer focussed music has been mutually supportive and showing solidarity with each other for many years. Most of the women involved appreciate male feminists, as I appreciate the straight women and men running queer friendly nights.” Fair enough thought Sleuth. Mr McCabe by the way, self describes as a ‘Manchester based electro-punk-queer-pop machine that has released two albums on indiepop label Cherryade Records' www.ste-mccabe.co.uk

Cook off
On Thursday Garry Cook, chief executive of Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) was officially handed the keys to the Club’s new ‘City in the Community’ hub at the East Manchester Academy in Beswick. Nice occasion. But the gentlemen of the press were frustrated. “No questions about Rooney”, was the request, and all entreaties to the contrary fell on deaf ears. “We almost couldn’t fit in the room,” said one hack. “How so?” asked Sleuth. “There was this massive elephant,” came the reply.

Preview of Death
Sleuth got a shock this week. Karen Moore from the People’s History Museum called him up and said, “Hey Sleuth, would you like a preview of Death?” “Please, no, what have I done?” quailed Sleuth down the phone, worried about whether he could still deliver this column from beyond the grave. Fortunately Karen was referring to Death and the Working Class which is a seriously good and very moving exhibition opening this weekend. Review to follow.

We all own restaurants now
“So,” said a source, whispering, hand over mouth, “Guy Garvey of Elbow has put money into Aumbry you know.” The latter is the Prestwich-based winner of the Restaurant of the Year Award at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival. Sleuth investigated. There was no truth in the rumour at all. The whispering original source said, “But he has eaten there.” Nice one. In which case Sleuth has so much money tied up in restaurants he should be able to retire. He’s eaten in hundreds of the buggers.

Britannia Hotel and on and on
Sleuth has enjoyed Marketing Manchester’s MCR6 magazine, the promotional but highly polished tourist publication. Curiously the latest addition carries a massive double page spread promo for the Britannia Hotels Group.

Marketing Manchester is funded by the ten councils of Greater Manchester, Manchester Airport and through membership etc...Its role is to promote the city region to tourists and convention organisers and so on.

Talk about competing priorities. Membership v public service funders.

The Britannia Hotels Group is, remember, in bitter conflict with Manchester City Council over London Road Fire Station. The Council has placed a compulsory purchase order on the decaying and key city site: a byword for abandonment next to the main rail introduction to the city, Piccadilly Station. Sleuth thinks Marketing Manchester shouldn't be promoting the Britannia Hotel Group in their heavily produced magazine but should instead be rescinding its membership and telling it to sort out it's existing hotel stock. There's a mixed message going on here.

How to win friends and influence people
So Sleuth got an article submission. He replied: ‘Dear writer, this sounds interesting. If you put in basic punctuation and grammar I may read it. Please make sure you do that before you submit articles. I'll read the story if you make the changes needed to publish it.’

Sleuth thought this was sound advice. In fact it was way beyond the call of duty. If a person can't be bothered with the most basic rules of English while submitting articles or, indeed, applying for jobs, then perhaps they should be ignored.

So after giving his polite reply Sleuth was a little surprised when he received this response from the would-be writer.

‘I'm not doing your job for you, or are you not capable of making it into an article, what ever they are paying you there, its to much as you sound quite simple and very very lazy .That's for you to do, your right though, it does sound interesting, but you wont be using it, if i see it in your "Local Rag" it will be followed by action.I really hope my grammar was clear enough for you’

Sleuth thought the stream of consciousness invective was brilliant. Shame about the grammar again, he thought, but at least here was something publishable.

Follow Sleuth on twitter Sleuth

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

Connie BoothOctober 22nd 2010.

'The tongue in cheek may provide the tingle in the netherlands thinks Sleuth.' Excellent work

ManndymnOctober 22nd 2010.

Britannia Hotels Group. I had friends staying in the Britannia on Portland Street recently. The room was half-cleaned, with dust in the window corners, the mattress under the sheets was rancid.

And?October 22nd 2010.


Did you expect anything else? there are cheaper options in Manchester City Centre and the frindges, just requires a quick Google

AnonymousOctober 22nd 2010.

I live opposite the London Road Fire Station and I, for one, don't want the Britannia Group to go anywhere near it. In your last article you mentioned they were meeting with the council in September to decide the fate of the building - an update would be nice!

Simon Binns - News EditorOctober 22nd 2010.

Anon, Britannia owns the fire station and has done for 25 years. At a planning meeting in September, it was given planning permission to turn the building into a hotel.

The council is still intent on CPOing the building, as we understand it.

Leigh ScottOctober 22nd 2010.

Mandymans mate stayed there in a trial :@)

SpotterOctober 22nd 2010.

Tickled to see a coach load of Japanese tourists arriving complete with face masks at the Britannia Hotel in Stockport last Friday night. Would love to know what they thought of this fine hotel! A sneaky fag outside with one of the staff revealed that the bus tour company pay a grand £16 a night for bed and breakfast!

John14798October 22nd 2010.

You have to admire the Britannia Hotel group for their cunning ploy to ease claustrophobia in their windowless rooms in Sacha's - they have a faux window with a cityscape painted on to the wall

One is PhilipOctober 24th 2010.

@Spotter. Those are not masks that Japanese they wear. These tribes from the East just look different to us

Tingle In The NetherlandsOctober 26th 2010.

Many thanks for the name check Sleuth - much appreciated. We hope you can come along to Pussywhipped. Failing that, you can listen to all our current tracks at http://www.myspace.com/tingleinthenetherlands or visit our record label's website http://www.nerveecho.com

Many thanks again,
Best wishes
Tingle In The Netherlands

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