Trafford Park for a glorious country walk and then a Manchester pie?

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. It can be serious, it can be absurd...@mcrsleuth

Prince Michael is mad: 'Manchester has it all!'

Amazon throws up some odd Manchester related products. This one is batshit mad. It’s the ‘Manchester UK travel guide’ by Prince Michael (not the UK royal) with the strapline ‘Professional football league city, Rolls Royce founding place’. Prince Michael seems to know a lot about Manchester that locals don’t. He’s found cover pictures of huge city buildings the locals have never seen. Meanwhile his tips are superb. 

‘Don’t miss the opportunity to take a leisurely walk through the spectacular Trafford Park. Formerly the world’s first industrial estate, this expanse of greenery offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.’


‘Be sure to stop at one of the many eateries throughout the city, where you can experience the unique flavors of Manchester’s world-famous food. From traditional English classics such as Manchester Pie to modern delicacies like Salt & Pepper Squid, Manchester has it all!’ 

Such knowledge, such accuracy.

He's a trier this Prince Michael. 

He's also got guides out to New Zealand, Belize and other places. The Belize cover clearly shows New York. The New Zealand one shows somewhere in Vegas perhaps and has the enticing strapline of: 'The second largest producer of wool in the world'. Makes Sleuth want to go; shame it's not the first though, that's where he really wants to visit. 

Our crazy hero has also self-published loads and loads of self-help books but not one entitled: 'How to look up images on the internet to match the books you're writing.' 

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The definitive guide to not getting to know Manchester Image: Amazon

Greenall ‘boring bastard’ shock

Sleuth was talking with a solicitor for the licensing trade. 

The solicitor told a story.

I loved that Confidentials piece on how Greenall’s brewery sneakily got rid of Tommy Ducks. It reminded me of one of our lot, a real character. He used to occasionally organise a big gala dinner for the licensed trade in the North West. The first time he did this he found himself on the top table and had a few drinks.

“A few years later he organised another one and was again on the top table. The gentleman on the next seat introduced himself as “Lord Daresbury”. “Thank God for that. I'm sure you'll be better company than last time,” said our man. “Last time I was sat next to Peter Greenall and he was a right boring bastard.” There was a shocked silence.”

The solicitor talking to Sleuth paused for dramatic effect.

“Thing was in the years between the gala dinners Peter Greenall had been elevated to the peerage as Lord Daresbury.”

Tommy Ducks Demolition 1
Tommy Ducks demolished and a man Image: Confidentials

The ship, the Times, Beyonce editor, Jonathan Schofield, wrote a robust riposte to a Guardian article which had got it all wrong about the ship on the Manchester coat of arms and also on the United and City badges. Schofield had appeared in the Guardian article. There was a media frenzy. 

Schofield was contacted by seven or eight different organisations such as the Daily Mail and invited to comment or appear. There was even an invitation from Piers Morgan’s broadcast rant-a-thon.

He refused all the invitations save the one from The Times. 

So, there was Schofield in the boardroom on Zoom talking to journalist Charlotte Minter. Just before the interview he’d hurriedly made himself a coffee snatching a mug from the cupboard. As he was talking he sipped from the cup in full view of Minter who was staring hard at the mug. Schofield looked at his mug. Ah. It bore the legend: ‘What would Beyonce do?’ 

Schofield thinks it helped to reinforce the very serious points he was making. 

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What should she do about those 'ship ' articles? Image: Confidentials

What’s in a name? Border issues.

Radical Haslam was interviewed in the media during the Coronation preliminaries. He was, as his name suggests, not there to support the King but to protest against the monarchy. Haslam is at Manchester Metropolitan University and describes himself on Linkedin as ‘poet, writer, musician, painter, illustrator, composer, art installationist, performance artist, screamo vocalist and general creative. A mad man who screams because the world won't listen.’ 

Haslam has had scrapes with the law particular when he and two others were accused of threatening behaviour against ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith. It was claimed one of the defendants had put a traffic cone on Smith’s head during a Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. All charges were subsequently dopped.

Radical Haslam was talking to Sleuth last year and said: “I changed my name to Radical by deed poll. It better suits who I am. It has caused some problems, at protests and at borders with other countries. You see, I definitely wanted to keep my surname, I’m proud of that, the problem is so many people hear what I say and think I’ve said, ‘my name is Radical Islam’. It can be awkward."

Radical Haslam
Radical Haslam, a name without religious connotations Image: Inverness Courier

Squirrel loses democratic rights

Sleuth hears there was an intervention at the Didsbury West polling station during the May 4 local elections. There were about eight people voting when in ran a grey squirrel. Instant panic. People fled, officials fled, but fortunately not all of them so there was no tampering with ballot boxes by hairy little claws. The result stood and the Liberal Democrats took the seat with Richard Kilpatrick. 

Sleuth tracked down the squirrel which said: “I just popped in to exercise my democratic right and everybody ran out. I'd bought my favourite hazel nut as proof of identity but apparently that wasn’t acceptable nor was my climbing licence and so, no, I’m afraid I didn’t get to vote.”

Grey Squirrel
A squirrel in an image taken from the internet of a squirrel similar to the squirrel which went to the polling station Images: Pixabay

Crazy dish of week: Beef fat candle

Simon Wood’s fine eponymous restaurant at First Street is a favourite. The chef has come up with the wackiest dish of the week, probably the Manchester year. 

Simon says: “So, something I’ve wanted to do for a while here at Wood is a beef fat candle. Candles used to be made out of animal fat, tallow. So as this (candle) lights and then melts it will drip into the bowl and you’ve got yourself bread and dripping. You can sit by the ambient candle-light and you can actually eat your own candle.”

“Eat your own candle”. Excellent phrasing. Odd but excellent. Maybe not a first date option though. Wouldn’t want the anxious would-be lover whispering in the shell-like of his object of desire, saying: “Let me woo you. I’m sure you’ll love grabbing a beef fat candle.”

Mana restaurant gets the wind up

Oh the internet and its madness. Is this a spoof? If so somebody's gone to a lot of trouble. Or rather Durty Beanz has. Apparently he had an exhibition taking place in Basel at the Orielles Internaxionales. It features two of our North Western Michelin restaurants, Mana and L'Enclume. 

So how are they featured? Well...biliously. 

Presumably as some sort of satire on the fuss and expense of dining at Michelin star restaurants the 'artist' has been bottling 'Michelin Star Farts'. He writes: 'Each bottle contains a fart produced after eating at a Michelin Star restaurant. The farts have been captured within the optimal 6-8 hour flatus period post-meal, using a process of water displacement. The lab-grade Reagent Glass Bottles (500ml) are wax sealed, ensuring the gas within remains securely contained.'

Yuck. Is it a funny satire this one? Or just hot air? 

Oh and the bottles cost £12,000 according to the catalogue. 

Mana Bottle
The fresh flavours of Manchester's Michelin star restaurant Image: Orielles Internaxionales

Sleuth's Lies to tell tourists

Take a leisurely walk through the spectacular Trafford Park. Formerly the world’s first industrial estate, this expanse of greenery offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take the advice of Prince Michael. 

Six Trees Kitchen Bar Trafford Park 1
An expanse of greenery within which to relax Image: Confidentials

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