GREEN SALFORD…Being so close to the bustling metropolis of Manchester, Salford’s green credentials often get overlooked. But now the borough’s green and pleasant lands have been documented in a series of short videos for all to see. Worsley Delph, Clifton Country Park and the under-construction RHS Bridgewater all feature in the series produced by promotional body Marketing Manchester on behalf of Salford City Council and the University of Salford. Travel out of Greater Manchester is not possible at the minute, but neither is it necessary if what you’re looking for is a refreshing encounter with nature.
GREEN MACHINES…Cynics were quick to question the wisdom of an e-scooter trial in Salford following the catastrophic MoBike initiative in Manchester that ended in 2018. It was estimated that, during the summer of 2018, 10% of MoBikes in the city were damaged, stolen or thrown in a body of water every month. But, having been out to test out the 30kg machines – to be operated by US micro-mobility firm Lime – THING would recommend a stringent fitness routine be undertaken by anyone planning to pick up and throw the hefty scooters into the River Irwell.
WAR PAINT…We have had the war on terror, war on drugs and now Network Rail is launching a war on graffiti. Teams of highly trained troops are working to clean up a stretch of the railway network in Southport armed with pressure washers and tins of paint. Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “We’ve been clear that the blight of graffiti on our railways must be tackled. As we build back better, removing graffiti across the North West will improve our railway and make stations and services more pleasant for passengers.”
GREEN HQ…The Issa brothers, owners of forecourt operators EG Group, are an impressive pair. With the ink barely dry on the contract that saw them take ownership of supermarket chain Asda in a £6.8bn deal, they have embarked on making EG Group’s headquarters one of the greenest buildings in the North West. The firm’s £35m Blackburn office has been fitted out with more than 1,000 solar panels that will power the 130,000 sq ft facility and save up to 60 tonnes of carbon each year.
RETRO FIT...Modern football is a pale imitation of what it used to be. Ask any footy fan and they will tell you that the game is “gone” (although they won’t be able to tell you where) – destroyed by inflated wages, TV rights and VAR. It is no surprise, then, that Manchester-based Classic Football Shirts is doing such a roaring trade. The company deals in nostalgia, taking advantage of fans’ yearning for a return to the glory days when football was simpler, better. The company, which sells retro football shirts, has recently been forced to move its operations to a new headquarters, such is the demand for old jerseys. CFS’s new base in Hyde spans 70,000 sq ft, twice as big as its previous HQ.
BORDER ISSUES…Spare a thought for Chester. This week, representatives from the city’s business improvement district sent a letter to MP Chris Matheson urging him to fight for extra support for the city. Chester finds itself “trapped in a unique geographical position” between Wales and Merseyside, both under strict lockdown measures, which is affecting the city’s businesses. The letter said: “We need the city’s profile raising within Government, and for Government to understand the contributing factors that have led Chester to become the ‘perfect storm’ for Covid fallout.”
The location of the Deva Stadium, Chester FC’s ground, demonstrates the challenges the city is facing. A drive-through cinema event at the stadium looks set to be canned due to the fact that the ground’s toilet block is located across the border in Wales. Famously, the halfway line at the Deva acts as a physical border between the two countries. Under the restrictions to be imposed on Friday, people cannot travel across the border into Wales, even if nature calls.
As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough, Chester FC is due to face Crosby-based club Marine this Saturday in the FA Cup, but if Marine can’t make the trip from Merseyside, as rules stipulate, and Chester isn’t allowed to venture into the Welsh half of its pitch, it could make for an interesting game.