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Sleuth 27/03/2009

Bigger than Beetham, new tower rises in Manchester, plus the perma-puddle and Rabbit seen on Fountain Street roof.

Published on March 26th 2009.

Sleuth 27/03/2009

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.

Bigger than Beetham
This is great. For just under a tenner at Manchester Visitor Information Centre you can purchase Manchester in a bag. You get a little wooden Town Hall, Beetham Tower, Central Library, Manchester Central (G-Mex) and cutsy trams. But what’s this? In amongst the timber toytown delights is Inacity Tower, which was set to eclipse Beetham as the city’s tallest building (188m compared to 161m). This was due to be built behind Piccadilly Station, the ground has been cleared but no building is rising out of it. Probably never will. How bizarre it's included, maybe the set will become a collector's item: the Manchester that never was. Or maybe, the original developer, Wayne Mellor, slipped the toy manufacturers a twenty or two.

Sleeping on the job - centre
So Sleuth’s buddy, Kat the Beautiful, found herself in the Jobcentre. It was interview time with a gentleman from one of Britain’s busier institutions. Usual stuff, background, skills, experience and so on. Kat was enumerating these things when she looked up . The Jobcentre fella had nodded off. He was fast asleep. Kat coughed, the man shook himself awake. Kat continued and he fell asleep again. Sleuth thinks that either Kat’s previous jobs are really dull or that man has a far too comfortable an attitude to the job.

Mature love instead of Festival firsts
Sleuth was trying to order some tickets for Manchester International Festival the other day. He fancied some Kraftwerk, Zaha Hadid and Rufus Wainwright but he ended up with a milf, adult videos and some casual sex. You see if you put in www.mif.com rather than www.mif.co.uk you get offers of all sorts of strange entertainment. Not that you’ll get any new work or a premiere. More like the oldest trade going. And maybe a friction rash.

Sleuth's Puddle of the Year Award
Sleuth’s bemused by a puddle. He's amazed by it. This is a real tryer, a real battler. Rain or shine it’s there and has been for over a year. Unfortunately it’s right at the pedestrian crossing in front of John Ryland’s Library on Deansgate. Unfortunately it blocks the whole of the crossing. Some readers want us to start a campaign about it. Maybe we should as we did over Trafford Wharf litter (click here) and the dismal Victoria Station buffet (click here). In fact we're thinking of starting a column called The Patrol, which looks at all this backyard issues.

Onion chocolate
Sleuth loves the idea of the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival on Sunday week. We wrote about it in the food round-up on Thursday. Chris Johnson the proprietor of Ramsons, one of the best restaurants in the north, read this and rang to say he was joining in with a nine course chocolate menu taster feast. This will cost £90 for a couple and there' are two sittings at 1pm and 7pm. Chris is very taken with the red onion and chocolate soup that his chefs' Naz and Mary-Ellen have rustled up. Sleuth might just book in. Also yesterday we described how the festival was to have a world record attempt: the amount of Ferrero Rocher eaten in a minute. For two years the most was six but last year some big mouth broke it with seven. Sleuth's entering, it should be a doddle, he's in the Ambassador's team and everyone's coming up from the Embassy in full evening dress to help out. It'll be a ball. No it really will.

Easter Bunny found
Sleuth loves the readers and loves their help. That’s why he liked this picture taken from a window in the Fountain Street area of the city by a helpful Confidentialist. Sleuth wants to know what’s going on and is it legal? Three women and a bunny on a balcony. With eggs. And why is that bunny the most frightening representation of a rabbit since Donnie Darko?

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

GordoMarch 26th 2009.

Cu@k off the lot of you ? ZXD

mark mMarch 26th 2009.

Ahha!!There was me thinking JS was having a senile moment...

crazyjohnMarch 26th 2009.

I went to the job centre and there was an notice in the window saying 'would you like a job, innit'. Being an elderly guy I was fuming that they'd use jargon aimed at the younger generation so I went in to complain that over 55's can still serve a purpose, too. The manager said 'no, it says would you like a job in I.T'

EditorialMarch 26th 2009.

Stephanie, we'll give them a ring. By the way we think the Civil Justice Centre is an absolute beauty. Eye of the beholder and all that.

DavidosMarch 26th 2009.

They moved the crossing from opposite Brazzennose Street when they were building on the old MEN site. Now that the building works are finished it's in the wrong location and if they had any sense they would move it back to where it was and where it would be more appropriately sited. The City Council are hopeless!

EditorialMarch 26th 2009.

Mark...we got ahead of ourselves, that's for next week. Apologies. Changed the title now

esquiloMarch 26th 2009.

There's a huge puddle near the Salford end of Trafford Rd Bridge which means pedestrians have to time it right and then leg it to avoid a drenching by the cars that come flying off White City Circle at 90 mile an hour. Its there all year round and I'm sure it saw out the drought of 76.

AnonymousMarch 26th 2009.

The Job Centre lot are abysmal. I asked for advice filling in a lengthy form, had a special appointment made, got there and the woman said 'well, you just fill it in' - yeah but, what specifically do you need to know says I 'just write in the boxes' she added helpfully. And after driving across the country for another meeting to find it had been cancelled without anyone informing me and expressing my annoyance, was called a very rude word by one of the staff under her breath. I asked to take her name and her colleague then said she agreed with her. I then heard another then rang up her bosses to put in a complaint about me - thus when I spoke to their boss they had me down as a troublemaker. This happened every week. The staff were mostly thick, lazy and unhelpful and it was a very, very depressing experience. I don't know whether it's by incompetence or design. Another thing I saw was Job Centre employees saying "are you raising your voice at me" to people who were doing nothing of the sort, merely pointing out a mistake/ expressing dissatisfaction - which caused security to come over and stand behind them for the rest of the interview. JC employee could then get on with appointment as quickly as possible meaning they could go upstairs and have a tea break between appointments.

mark mMarch 26th 2009.

Google copied Mancon? How? Where? What? etc

RoddersMarch 26th 2009.

The Council (I presume) just filled in a longstanding puddle by the bus stop on Oxford Road near Temple of Convenience - it was a swine always got my trousers soaked when the buses pulled in. Who cares about this puddle catering for RBS bankers and yobs at the Mags Court?

AnonymousMarch 26th 2009.

Bob a Job - agree with what your saying in principle - however having worked in the recruitment industry, some of the practices that did go on, were not of the kind I would like to write on here or make matters any worse for the recruitment industry. Just as the job centre needs to shape up ... the recruitment industry also requires a major professional check up! They do not have the best image ... so I wouldnt compare yourself to a bloke behind the desk at the job centre !

StephanieMarch 26th 2009.

I agree with you about the John Rylands Puddle - and it's not only the RBS and magistrates lot that use it, thank you very much.While you are on a crusade perhaps you could do something about the new Civil Justice Centre lights that have been on 24/7 since the building was constructed. I did hear that there was a fault in the automatic system but surely it could have been mended by now.It is not exactly a pretty building (and I have to see it every day as it is right in my line of vision from my flat) so it would be good to have it in the dark occasionally.

fiMarch 26th 2009.

crazyjohn - lol

Not-as-crazy JohnMarch 26th 2009.

Boom and, moreover, boom.

DigMarch 26th 2009.

I have stood by that puddle every day since it was mentioned on here. I have laid my coat down on it for every lady that wanted to cross. Not a single thank you by any ManCon lady readers. Ungrateful lot.

Bob a JobMarch 26th 2009.

Unfortunatley due to the downturn i found myself signing on at the end of last year. I had been director of a recruitment company. I was sat waiting for my appointment when i overheard one of the advisors conducting a new claimant interview. The young man signing was explaining how he had signed on with every employment agency he could find in Manchester. Instead of congratulating him, the oaf behind the desk exclaimed, "oh dont do that, i did that once. If you sign up with more than one agency they blacklist you and dont offer you any work!". Im inclined to think that his experience was down to him being thick! How on earth is that sort of information going to help people. Perhaps the downturn will lead to some out of work recruiters working for the jobcentre? That way people out of work would actually be interviewed by professional people who know something about the employment market.

GaryMarch 26th 2009.

Yes what a shame the Victorian railways arches were all demolished along there for a building that has never happened. Another part of Manchester's history that has disappeared for the sake of greed and now destined to become another car park full of pot holes for the next 25 years I'll bet.

SaraMarch 26th 2009.

My children always laugh when we get by the said puddle as I got soaked one Sunday when we were walking along and a car sped past!!!!

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