PHONE BOXES…Manchester City Council plans to spruce up its four traditional red K6 phone boxes, and convert them from public toilets to landmarks of which Mancs can be proud. The project will see the kiosks, which the council will acquire from BT for £1, cleaned up and restored before being locked up to prevent future damage. BT has offered the phone boxes to the owners of the land they occupy in a bid to slash its annual repair bill as part of its ‘adopt a kiosk’ initiative. “Most of the boxes have become a burden for BT, which has to repair smashed panes of glass and clean up the mess when members of the public use the payphones as a public convenience,” said a proposal document lodged with the council.
GOLDEN MILES…Salford-based contractor MC Construction is embarking on a leg-leadening journey to raise £10,000 for North West Cancer Research, to mark its 50th anniversary. The golden anniversary challenge will see the firm’s employees come together to walk, run, cycle or swim a combined total of 10,700 miles, the distance from its headquarters in Salford to Australia’s Gold Coast. Money raised will go towards buying laboratory supplies needed for an innovative prostate cancer project, the most common male cancer in the North West. Good luck!
GOOD BOY…Get a dog, they said. It will be fun, they said. Try telling that to Worthington Owen’s Mark Worthington, who, at a recent lunch in Liverpool, spent more time trying to control his four-month-old shorthaired German pointer, Algie, than he did eating his fish and chips. It was a stressful lunch break for Mark, but less so for the staff at Restaurant Bar & Grill who loved having Algie around despite his best efforts to destroy the place.
DONER DO…The Doner Kebab has been marginalised for too long. Viewed as the preserve of peckish drunkards yearning for something to soak up that evening’s drinks, the doner has long suffered from something of an image problem as an alcohol sponge. When you think ‘kebab’, you are transported back to nights spent swaying in a brightly lit takeaway, waiting to claim your greasy treat. But a new arrival to Manchester Arndale hopes to transform the reputation of the humble kebab from end-of-night snack to viable lunch option, having signed to take 2,000 sq ft at the shopping centre’s Halle Place. “We want our lean, high-quality kebabs to be a part of everyday life, whether that’s a snack on the go during a busy lunch break or a fun evening with a group of friends,” a statement from Doner Shack said.
MURALS…A collection of buildings in Old Trafford are to become the latest canvasses for the region’s street artists. Robert Lomas, Jamie Rennie, Sam Owen Hull, Russ Meehan and Martene Rouke have been commissioned by OT Creative Space to contribute to a community art trail that will create seven masterpieces around Seymour Park and Ayres Road. Old Trafford resident Michelle Griffith has volunteered the gable end of her home on Ayres Road as one of the blank canvasses. “This is just what Old Trafford needs,” she said. “It will bring some colour to an otherwise muted part of Old Trafford.” Similar initiatives have been run in Rochdale and New Brighton in recent years, in an attempt to attract tourists and add a dash of intrigue to otherwise uninspiring buildings.
VERTIGO…If heights make you queasy, look away now. Adrenaline junkies got much more than they bargained for when they boarded the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach earlier this week. The rollercoaster, which opened in 1994 as the Pepsi Max and is Europe’s tallest, broke down just as riders were preparing to fling their arms in the air for the descent. Passengers were left stranded 200ft above the ground before being escorted down the staircase that runs parallel to the ride’s tracks, taking the term jelly legs to a whole new level. Despite the mishap, credit must be given to Pleasure Beach staff, who identified the fault and had the ride up and running again within a couple of hours – although those who witnessed the malfunction may have thought twice about getting on board.