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Sleuth 28/ 01/ 2011

Sleuth’s Stone Roses’ tribute, Crown and Cushion demolition, horrible Barclays Bank

Published on January 29th 2011.

Sleuth 28/ 01/ 2011

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.

More Madchester – Spike Island to be filmed
Tom Green, the writer of Channel 4 show 'Misfits,' is to direct a movie about the 1990 Stone Roses Spike Island gig. After ‘Control’, the biopic of Ian Curtis, and ‘24 Hour Party People’, about Factory Records, we get the tale of a young band starting out and being influenced by the classic outdoor festival which featured Ian Brown being wonderful and out-of-tune. The script has been written by actor Chris Coghill, who played Happy Mondays' Bez in '24 Hour Party People’. Sleuth meanwhile is filming his own Madchester movie - it seems all the rage. It’s called: ‘Bugger, I missed it’. Set in 1989, our hero wanders around Greater Manchester in skin-tight jeans with a short haircut going to libraries and failing to take ecstasy.

Sleuth’s dilemma of the week
For the Haunted Underworld tours of Manchester, Sleuth wanted a mannequin of a child. One of the stories involves the spirit of a dead child. Steve Clarke, General Manager, of House of Fraser/Kendals kindly offered to donate one. Sleuth was faced with a dilemma: what is the proper method for a grown man to carry a clothes-less child's mannequin from down Deansgate to its destination without looking weird?

Is it: a) in a bag, b) disassembled, c) assembled but with clothes on, d) assembled without clothes on? The answer is that all the options are wrong. There is no method of carrying a child's mannequin through the city without looking weird.

Crown and Cushion is un-Cooperative
At the City Conversation talk for people in suits this Thursday, Sleuth listened to the important and exciting £800m redevelopment by the Cooperative Group of the area around Miller Street and Angel Street. Sleuth asked if the plans couldn’t include the Crown and Cushion pub, which is, after all, a fine building with one of the oldest licences (1741) in Manchester. Sleuth said wouldn’t the workers at the new Co-op – you should see those people drink in the Northern Quarter - want a good old fashioned pub on site, one which could even be ‘good with food’.

David Pringle, Investment Director at Cooperative Group said: “In a development of this scale there have to be some unfortunate casualties. We have asked Joseph Holt (the brewery that owned the Crown and Cushion) if they want to be accommodated elsewhere on the site.” Better than nothing, thinks Sleuth, shame that the Crown and Cushion is to be condemned though, especially when the Co-op are trying so hard with ‘heritage’ elsewhere.

Frank McKenna, the shy publicist
A businessman and publisher well-known on the North West scene is Frank McKenna. He publishes magazines such as DQ which operates in Liverpool and Manchester and he’s a big player in the former city’s on-going establishment of an ‘embassy’ in London to help boost its image down there. Frank loves nothing more than to be in the picture both figuratively, in regards to knowing what’s happening, but also literally.

In one of his recent DQ’s Frank gets his picture in his own slim forty-something page magazine nine times. Nine times. On one double page spread there are three images of him. Sleuth wonders how many mirrors are in his office. Mind you Sleuth can hardly talk: he gets his picture on the top of Manchester Confidential everyday.

All Frank McKenna photos have been used up for the week

Water in face surprise
While at the City Conversation there was an argument about public art, Confidential loathes the cheap-looking, gimmicky sculptures at Ask Development’s First Street project. The row means the editor’s going to write an article about the poor quality public art that appeared last year – oh Lord. After the talk a member of the debate told Sleuth how the installation of the lovely Albert Square fountain almost never happened in 1998. Advice from the city engineers was that the “water would blow in the faces of people”. “Isn’t that like...er...what rain does,” asked Sleuth. “Exactly,” came the reply, “after pointing that out we got the fountain.”

Sleuth’s property developer-speak defined
‘Precedent scheme’, ‘precedent image’: a picture of an existing and very impressive building or project already completed somewhere else, or of a very fancy artist’s impression of the future scheme. This is used to get investors, planners and the public excited. It will look nothing like the completed scheme.

BBC stereotyping shock
Sleuth, got this from a Chorlton resident which they’d been sent by the BBC

‘Calling all Chorlton residents. It's a bit of a strange ask but we will be sending a reporter into Chorlton early tomorrow morning...for the Great British Class Survey. We are coming to Chorlton because it is an area considered to be middle class. If you would like to come and have five minutes on the radio then please contact.....’

Sleuth suggested that his spy should agree to go on the show carrying some hummus with a Guardian under the arm and an anti-Tesco placard. The producers would swoon.

Mummies night out
Sleuth attended the splendid Tutankhamun open evening for kids at the ridiculously titled Museum of Museums at the Trafford Centre on Thursday. It was a lovely occasion with well-over a thousand people attending, and unusual, in that money raised went to Manchester Museum on Oxford Road. More than £6000 was raised on the night, raised to £10,000 by the German company that organised the exhibition, Semmel Concerts. Sleuth loved it: a temporary blockbuster exhibition helping out a permanent Manchester fixture. Sleuth can’t recall that ever happening before.

Barclays: bankers never learn shock
The amiable Christoph Scholz, a boss at Semmel, donated the giant £10,000 cheque to Nick Merriman, Director of Manchester Museum – see story above. “It would have been a Barclays Bank big cheque,” said Scholz, “only they wanted to charge us £250 for the piece of cardboard. So I got a German bank to make me one for free and brought it over with me on the plane.” £250 for a donation cheque made out of cardboard. Swine. The Barclays bank official who made that decision is another example of how mean-minded, grabbing and essentially ugly British bankers can be. Pah. Let’s go back to keeping our money in a box under the bed.

Exhibition exchange
Nick Merriman, Director of Manchester Museum, said to Sleuth, “I read your article about this Tutankhamun exhibition, it was very complimentary: unlike your reviews of our exhibitions.” “One day, Nick, one day,” said Sleuth.

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

Eddy SaatchiJanuary 28th 2011.

If Manchester Museum want some complimentary reviews then they should take out some advertising on here. That should do the trick.

SALFORDARTISTJanuary 28th 2011.

Because its so working class being chummy with the head chefs at posh restraunts isnt it.

Michael WestJanuary 28th 2011.

mmmm "Bugger - I Missed It" can I be an extra? I think I was so engrossed in student politics I never got beyond the Town Hall, though I think some of us queued up outside the Hacienda once and were told that the Press Club might be more appropriate.

TomegranateJanuary 28th 2011.

That Holt aren't interested is a cop out, they could just get someone else to run it. Take it down carefully and re-assemble elsewhere on site, same as the Oyster Bar. Easy.

Eddy Bones From Brooklyn New YorkJanuary 28th 2011.

I can report that i was at Spike Island and it was rubbish. You didnt miss much Sleuth.

TickleJanuary 28th 2011.

SalfordArtist - what are you on about, what has that comment go to do with any of the above?

Pauline HowarthJanuary 28th 2011.

Isn't it the Crown & Cushion which has very ornate ceilings, one of which has been restored after a fire several years ago? If so, as a supporter of the Co-op & it's ethics, I'm very disappointed that they plan to demolish this historic building!

GordoJanuary 28th 2011.

Sleuth, I see you have forgotten we bank at Barclays...

user87187January 28th 2011.

The best way to carry a child sized mannequin through town without looking weird, is to get one of those human statues guys to carry it. If you follow him with a collection bucket you might also make a bit of profit.

SleuthJanuary 29th 2011.

Oops. Sorry Gordo, I thought we banked at the Bank of Love, Purity and Strength.

Kreditanstalt fuer WiederaufbauJanuary 29th 2011.

Sleuth, why don't you go live in Germany if you don't like it here?

J E SibberingJanuary 29th 2011.

@TATTYOLDBIT the pub with the ornate fire-damaged ceiling does involve a crown and a household item, but it's a kettle not a cushion.

thornbirdJanuary 29th 2011.

That mannequin doesn't look very child like.

SleuthJanuary 30th 2011.

Dear Kreditthingy, I'm in love with my country but love's a two way street, and occasionally we fall out, but it's nothing really, and we make up and it's better than before. I wouldn't contemplate living anywhere else even for a second.

MapJanuary 30th 2011.

Madchester? Where is that exactly? Between Royton and Middleton

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