Week 22: flawed memorials, nuclear options and coffee shop remainers

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

Deller’s Peterloo Memorial in trouble

Sleuth hears there’s a protest brewing around the Jeremy Deller Peterloo commemoration now being built outside Manchester Central. 16 August 2019 marks the bicentennary of Peterloo, when tens of thousands gathered to protest a lack of representation in Parliament and the lack of a vote. Workers and others wanted a voice, they wanted their freedom enhanced. Fifteen people died, hundreds were injured, as magistrates sent in the troops. 

Jeremy Deller’s piece takes the form of a stepped mound bearing several Peterloo references, a sort of rostrum for speaking and debate. Sounds just the thing, aside from the fact the steps means there is no disabled access to the top. 

As campaigner Mark Todd writes: '(We) will continue to point out the hypocrisy of a memorial dedicated to those who marched demanding liberty and equality for all being designed and built with inequality at its heart.’ There will be a protest at the memorial site on Thursday 6 June. Let’s hope the city council don’t call in the yeomanry.

2019 05 31 Peterloo Memorial Under Construction
Peterloo Memorial taken shape outside Manchester Central

The amenity arms race is bugged

Sleuth was much taken with Oscar Brooks of Moda Living, the property company starting to complete their 35 storey, 466 apartment complex on Miller Street. The package Brooks is offering for renters is quite astonishing; with no deposit, no fees, five-a-side football on the roof, gyms everywhere, full furnishings, a car club for tenants, mental health trained professionals to help the lonely and letting periods from three months to six years. “In Boston, they’re calling it an amenity arms race,” said Brooks at a breakfast in The Ivy, “basically we want to make living with us the easiest job possible and we start with no deposit, no fleas.” He paused, and laughed. “Definitely no fleas, but I think I meant no fees.” Sleuth looked around the room, people were already itching to sign up. 

2019 05 31 Moda
Moda, no strings or insects attached

Sleuth and the bike

Sleuth is a keen cyclist. He likes a drink too. So sometimes he leaves his bike locked up overnight in the city centre. Sometimes for two or three nights. Sleuth is going to be a bit more careful in future. This is the new council policy. Bikes will be removed if they remain locked up for a long period. Sleuth agrees with the idea, abandoned bikes are just more street clutter. He just hopes once removed they are recycled. Although Sleuth wouldn't want to peddle any rumours. 

2019 05 31 Sleuth Bike
On your bike, cyclists

Sleuth and the healthy NHS lifestyle

Sleuth never understands why NHS staff often look the least healthiest people. Sometimes it seems these fabulously caring folk are the largest in the country. Maybe this vending machine in an Oldham hospital explains why. Healthy options indeed. 

2019 05 31 Sleuth Hospital
Wotsit your way to fitness

Going out with a bang at the Principal Hotel

Sleuth attended the Nuclear Institute Gala Dinner in the ballroom at the Principal Hotel a couple of weeks ago. It went very well. There was plenty of discussion but nobody wanted to fall out. The event was broadcast live and thus, as one person put it, was radio active. The main speaker underlined for the Institute a new, clear policy. Sleuth’s neighbour admired his dessert, the Atom Pie, but wouldn’t split it with anybody. Thank God.

161123 Refuge Principal 50
The Nuclear Institute Gala Dinner was held at the Principal

Sleuth and that bloody Brexit madness

Sleuth’s favourite coffee shop is Mancoco, a gorgeous little number in a railway arch on Hewitt Street, not far from HOME arts centre. The coffee roasted there is, Sleuth reckons, the best in the city. Last week he eavesdropped on one of those bloody conversations that drive him mad. A clearly well-heeled woman was saying about the recent European elections: “My grandmother was Irish so I’m going to apply for an Irish passport because I’m sick of this country and its politics.” Good luck with Irish politics, Sleuth thought. Sleuth voted remain, and would welcome a second referendum in a shot now we know what’s at stake. But is amazed and dismayed at remainers who don’t want to remain in the UK, that very old customs union, just because they didn’t get their way. Spoilt brats the lot. Cowards run away. 

2019 05 31 Sleuth Mancoco
Mancoco, the finest coffee in the city?