SLOW LANE… We all know we probably spend too much time on our phones, but thankfully most of us are self-aware and sensible enough to know the perils of walking and texting. Sadly, that doesn’t apply to everyone, so much so that AO Mobile has decided to install a “mobile phone lane” in Manchester’s Spinningfields. Running down a stretch of the business district down to Carluccio’s, the lane is designed for those of us who just can’t keep away from twitter, emails, texting, Tinder – or Grindr for that matter – while wandering from meeting to meeting. Frustrated by slow walkers? Best avoid it.
STOP-MOTION… In a Manchester planning committee already full of controversy, particularly around The Christie’s replacement for its fire-damaged Paterson Building, and Alumno’s plans for a 12-storey student block on Cambridge Street, we didn’t really need to add more fuel to the fire. For the latter application, however, some of its objectors did just that by mixing up their metaphors, first calling it “a giraffe amongst hamsters” before claiming it “looks like the cyclops from Jason and the Argonauts”. Now, THING doesn’t always like to be pedantic, but feels it necessary to point out that the cyclops is actually a key part of another Ray Harryhausen classic, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, not Jason and the Argonauts: that was actually a rather large bronze bloke called Talos. So long as nobody gets the Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth mixed up with the octopus from It Came From Beneath the Sea at the next planning committee, then THING will be placated.
FISHES BE CRAY… Delicious as they may be, some crayfish are endangered, as Network Rail found out this week at the Docker Garths viaduct in Lambrigg. Works to reinforce the grade two-listed, 173-year-old structure are under way, but this needed the Flodder Beck river to be diverted. What should be lurking within but 200-odd endangered white-clawed crayfish, along with around 400 fish which all needed to be caught and moved downstream as part of the works. Our native crayfish are under threat from their more belligerent and larger American cousins – funny that – which escaped into the wild in the 1970s, so good to see populations are still doing well in parts of our region.
RAINBOWS… Manchester is once again flying its Pride flag high ready for its annual Pride weekend, and with rainbows in every shop front, it would have been hard to miss! For the third year running, the Building Equality alliance of construction companies, which works towards a better LGBTQ+ inclusion in the sector, is bringing out the big guns… or rather, the big JCB. The alliance is showcasing their achievements and the rainbow digger at an outreach day at Exchange Square today between 8am and 7pm, and at the annual pride parade on Saturday. Spinningfields also brought back the iconic rainbow paintbrush installation to paint the streets with even more pride.
TO BURY OR NOT TO BURY… Poor Bury FC in North Manchester is facing severe financial difficulty, but has found a potential hero in Mayor Andy Burnham who has written to the English Football League in a plea to save the club. The 134-year-old League One side has had all of its games postponed this season because of its financial instability, and unless the club is granted a last-minute extension it faces expulsion from the Football League. Good luck to Bury, and THING hopes the club keeps Shaking on for more years to come.