Week 47: in which the council leader digs in

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth

Pubtalk 1 – name games

Sleuth was watching the derby on Sunday in the Tollgate pub, Old Trafford. He was more fascinated by the table of people next to him and their elevating conversation. The main protagonist was a woman called Stella. She kept apologising for swearing. When Kyle Walker fouled a United player she shouted: “You fucking wanker!” Her partner said to here, “His name’s Walker, not wanker, Stella.” She said: “Well get me another fucking pint of one then.” Stella was drinking Stella.

Pubtalk 2 – job of work

Two fellas around the Tollgate table started an argument. The first fella said: “Come on United, work fucking harder.” Second fella said: “You don’t know what fucking work is.” And then it went: 

“Yes I fucking do.” 

“When did you last fucking work.” 

“I do loads of odd fucking jobs.” 

“Yea, moonlighters. You know more about universal fucking credit than the fucking Chancellor of the Exchequer.” 

“Fuck off.” 

“Fuck off.” 

Tollgate Trafford
“Sprouts are wankers”

Pubtalk 3 – little cabbage insults

When it became clear that United were losing Stella and a man struck up this conversation.
“They do Sunday fucking dinner here.”

“We should come next week.”

“As long as they don’t do fucking spouts.”

“Yea, no fucking sprouts.”

“Sprouts are wankers.” 


Sleuth was called into the Arndale this week to meet one of Confidential’s new clients, Wolf, an Italian street food spot opening in the shopping centre’s new £11m Halle Place food court. Sleuth was having a look around when there was a commotion. Sleuth’s colleague, the editor David Blake, had got into a row with one of the Arndale’s security guards. The security guard had pulled Blake up for filming (his own face) without a permit in the shopping centre, and by the sounds of things Blake was not going quietly. The security guard had called in ‘reinforcements’ to march him to a back office in order to, in Blake's words, “check that my photographs of pasta weren’t in fact a plot to pour Novichok down the throats of old biddy shoppers.”

“I got the last laugh though,” said Blake, triumphantly, “as he marched me out for filming without permission I filmed him doing it without permission… and then someone put Stayin' Alive over the clip... so you know, small wins."

Es are good

Sleuth went down to Hatch on Oxford Road this week to see his pal Luke Cowdrey (aka Luke Unabomber) – superstar DJ and co-operator of Volta, Electrik and Refuge. Luke was very exciting about a new acquisition and wanted Sleuth to see it. “We’ve got our hands on one of the original Arndale letters – blown off by the 1996 IRA bomb.” “Which letter?” asked Sleuth. “Well, our new bar at Hatch is called Electrik Box… so it’s the E in Arndale.” Sleuth thought for a moment. “As a DJ, is this the most excited you’ve ever been about a big E?” Luke looked at Sleuth. “What do you think?”

E Box Hatch Luke Cowdrey Img 2812
...ebeneezer goode

Mr Wilson wears a hat

There’s an excellent piece of street art on the substation the NQ. It depicts impresario and Manc cultural legend Tony Wilson. That fact that it’s two dimensional hasn’t stopped somebody putting a traffic cone on his head. Natural comedians we are in this city.

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Cone head?

Cultural appropriation

Congratulations to the Market Street sausage man for keeping his stall in touch with the TV zeitgeist.

Sleuth Week 47 B429A083 5D98 4Bae 983F 24C82F73A773
Corking porking

CGI comes true (for once)

Sleuth was on the 65th floor of the Deansgate Square and noticed something peculiar. He noticed that for once a CGI had been telling the truth. This is the Chord from 200m in the sky and this is the CGI

Ordsall Chord Cgi
2018 11 14 Deansgate Square 2018 11 14 Deansgate Square Dsc 0032

Purge vents 

The darker elements on the Deansgate Square tower are called purge vents. Purge has dark connotations as anybody with any knowledge of Joseph Stalin’s Russia would know. The purge vents let air into the tower but they also look a little like good places to purge the opposition. Maybe the Conservative Party headquarters should install them.

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Deansgate Square and its purge vents

Flush of death 

Sleuth was a little puzzled by this sign on the 65th floor of Deansgate Square. Talk about a long drop...

Deansgate Square Sleuth
Deansgate Square Sleuth Closer
You go first...

Council Leader digs in  

The Council Leader, Sir Richard Leese, was given the honour of the shoveling in last portion of concrete at the topping out ceremony for Deansgate Square. It was deep hole he had to fill. “There’s four more shovels over there,” he said. “Can anybody give me a hand?” 

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Jeez Leese, get a move on


During his tour up and down Deansgate Square Sleuth was taken into the ‘show flat’ to see how people might live in the towers. By the looks of the headboard and the bedspread, this inhabitant was living in a BHS store in 1993.

Deansgate Square Show Flat
BHS, 1993

Gordo's lightbulb moment

“I’ve been having a think,” said Gordo, after the success of his Manchester Christmas Markets rant video. “I should do more of these, walking around the city, saying the things that people are thinking but too afraid to say.”

*Alarm bells*

“Take the fucking traffic,” said Gordo, “The council are having our pants down... and then there’s all these fucking Spice heads and beggars…” he continued.

“Now wait a minute…” said Sleuth.

“…let’s start a series," Gordo continued, "I'll do a walk around Piccadilly Gardens, we’ll call it ‘Look At The State Of These Fuckers’.”


"Let's put that one on the back burner for now," said Sleuth, throwing all of Confidential’s video equipment out the window.

Gordo Christmas Markets Screen Shot 2018 11 15 At 17 07 48
"Who you calling a mug?"