Week 23 in which Sleuth borrows a Brompton to meet the girls
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
Sleuth and Manchester’s D-Day
There's been much coverage about D-Day this week. It’s 75 years since the invasion of northern France in the largest seaborne operation in history. Bob Hope, from Manchester, was a glider pilot during the invasion. He landed with his aircraft full of troops in Normandy at 3.35am on 6 June. He was ordered back to the UK immediately, in case he had to bring more troops over. As it happened he wasn’t required and was given two days leave.
He returned to Manchester reported to the police and went to the Red Lion in Withington for a pint, just before closing time at 2pm. By then news of the D-Day landings had been broadcast. The locals asked why Bob wasn’t taking part. He jokingly said, “I was there the night before and decided to come back.” Eventually, he convinced the locals that he was telling the truth. The Red Lion stayed open all afternoon in celebration. As Paul Hope, his son, says, “The Red Lion had the distinction of welcoming back the first soldier from the D-Day landings.”
Big trouser, big shoes
Sleuth went to his gentleman’s outfitters yesterday and bought some elegant formal trousers and a pair of smart shoes. He couldn't get over how small the staff were.
Long legs (the truth)
The long legs are part of Manchester School of Art’s fabulous degree show, called ‘Everything starts from something’. It runs from 7-19 June. The legs are by Imogen Ellerby Sansom, but there are other delights too. It's the opposite of pants.
No tips in the brave new world
Sleuth went for a drink at Knott Bar. It’s gone cashless. Sleuth bought a drink, and said, “And your own”, to the staff member. But the transaction had already gone through. “With cashless we hardly get tips anymore,” said the bar person. Cashless makes accounting easier for the bar or restaurant owner but makes low paid bar staff receive less money because people aren’t giving tips. Surely the answer is the owners of cashless bars and restaurants must pay more to their staff to make up for the shortfall; after all they are saving on banking and accounting fees. Sleuth is sure owners will be rushing to raise wages. Yea, rushing. Er...as bloody if.
Sleuth contemplates adornment
Sleuth was on the Ghosts of Afflecks and the Northern Quarter Tour which takes in the closed fourth floor of Afflecks and the spooky, haunted staircase. Part of the area is used as a storeroom. Sleuth was in no doubt about what sort of jewellery was contained in one of the boxes.
Street furniture that isn't more clutter
Sleuth loves Brompton bikes. Once you get used to unfolding the things, and more to the point, learning to fold them again, they are a pure joy. So Sleuth is delighted Brompton bikes, in association with the new office block Windmill Green, have installed this number on Mount Street, close to the Midland Hotel. You have to register, follow a few details and you’re away. Sleuth did just that and went to meet several beautiful Italian women (see the next story) on his folding piece of engineering genius.
High-brow and low-brow and marriage
An Italian lady rang up Sleuth, last week, to see if he could take her and her friends on a ‘special tour focused on the Manchester art scene, particularly contemporary arts’. It turned out this was a sophisticated ‘hen’ party for bride-to-be Francesca and her mates. This wasn't a typical hen party as seen on Manchester's Saturday streets, these were sophisticated women, full of fun, super intelligent and with perfect English. “So,” said Sleuth, “why did you choose our city?” “For the Spice Girls concerts,” came the reply and Sleuth noticed the ladies' t-shirts which read ‘zig a zig ah’. Variety of interest, thought Sleuth, truly is the spice of life. Or even the spice girls of life.
Sleuth and the not really relevant but hilarious subtitle story
Sleuth watched the Champions League Final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. He can only find one thing relevant to Greater Manchester, and that is Spurs' defender Kieran Tripper comes from Summerseat in Bury. That’s it. But Sleuth wants to share something from the final because he's still laughing so hard. He's laughing at the subtitle bot for those with hearing difficulties which was trying to keep up with the BT Sport commentator. It reminded him of his old dad who had problems with ‘foreign names’, except in this instance the bot had problems with British names as well. Thus one caption read: ‘stereo mono and shittier got back there to make the challenge’, which presumably meant ‘Sadio Mane and Trippier got back there to make the challenge’. Sleuth’s favourite, because he simply cannot work out what the commentator was trying to say is: ‘It’s okay coat for video in the heart of the little tool’. For people with hearing difficulties it must have been perplexing.