ALL ABOARD… Wondering where to take your next holiday? A historic cruise around the Baltic, or a lovely weekend of boating on the Norfolk Broads? Wonder no more: tickets are now on sale for Signature Living’s £5m party cruise to Ibiza. The boat was bought by Lawrence Kenwright for a reported £3.1m and is currently undergoing a £4m fit-out: probably necessary given reports in the Swedish press which revealed it ended up being detained in Gothenburg a few years back due to safety issues. Nevertheless, if you’re after the full Ibiza experience, seven-night packages start at £665 per person, going up to £1,200 per person for the largest space, a 16-guest deluxe party room, whatever that might entail. Kenwright is promising guests they can enjoy the “amazing floating beach club” with “some of the world’s most influential celebrities and personalities”. Water way to have a good time.
BITING THE DUST… Farewell, then, to Sellafield’s Windscale chimney, where demolition work has now got under way. The 125m tower was the scene of one of the UK’s worst nuclear disasters when a fire broke out in 1957, but its unusually-placed filtration system at the summit ultimately managed to capture 95% of the radioactive dust created by the fire. Decommissioning of the chimney has started with a 152m crane, just six metres shy of the Blackpool Tower in height, now lifting six-tonne chunks of concrete away from the tower, which are cut away by workers using diamond wire saws. The project is expected to complete in 2022, marking the end for the building which has dominated the local skyline for 70 years.
CLEAN EATING… A mixed bag of good and bad news for Liverpool’s dining scene this week. First, the good, particularly for any budding restaurateurs, is that a site on Harrington Street has now become available for restaurant and bar use, with the potential for a snazzy-looking outdoor seating area, pictured above. A number of other restaurants have popped up in recent months including Rudy’s, Liverpool Gin Distillery, and Rocket and Ruby, so another chance to add to the city’s booming dining scene. Not so great news, however, from Yates’ on Queen Street, although “dining” should perhaps be used a bit more loosely here. The bar and restaurant’s owner was fined £50,000 by Liverpool City Council this week for failing to keep its kitchen clean, while mouse droppings were also found amongst food debris when the site was inspected in September 2017, earning it a zero-star food hygiene rating at the time. A bit of better news though: since then, while hitting it with the fine, the council has found plenty of improvements and has given it a five-star rating at its most recent inspection.
BRANCHING OUT… Previous THINGs have focussed on the plethora of items that attract the ire of Network Rail, be they trespassers, cable thieves, or even seagulls. This time, it was a near-miss at Roby station, where some contractors were less than careful when felling trees alongside the railway line. Pictures shared by Network Rail showed the abandoned bough on the station platform, left by the contractors where it fell just inches short of Roby’s 25,000-volt overhead power lines. According to the operator, if the tree had struck the lines, a serious fire could have broken out, so if you’re thinking about engaging in some amateur arboriculture whilst wondering whether your train will turn up, don’t bother.
HACKING NORTHGATE… Chester’s long-running Northgate saga has showed few signs of slowing down, with Cheshire West & Chester Council launching a consultation into the latest iteration of its plans for the mixed-use site in the last few weeks. While some attendees who contacted THING seemed underwhelmed, what has been welcomed is a survey put together by community group Chester Good For Nothing, who have been invited to “hack” the plans for the site by the council. As well as an event 5 March, the group is looking to get creative ideas to help influence the first phase of the project, all of which can be put forward anonymously. If you want to tell CWAC what you really think of Northgate, have your say here.