DRAWING ATTENTION… At a recent meeting THING was slightly distracted, and somewhat tempted, by developer Cert Property’s office decor, dominated by a huge piece of doodle art across one wall. Hopping on the doodle trend is unsurprising for an Ancoats-based company, however managing director Howard Lord hoped to go further afield than some of the popular local artists available, and instead commissioned Filipino artist Lei Melendres to deliver the piece. Struggles to obtain a Visa thwarted plans for Melendres to do the drawing in situ, but the result doesn’t seem to suffer from the fact he never managed to make it over to Manchester. Could do with brightening up though; perhaps some mindful colouring is called for the next time a project meeting gets a bit tense.

Cert Doodle 1

Salford Wetland

DENNETT’S DUCKS… If your interests cross over between what the mayor of Salford is up to, and the difference between a coot and a moorhen, we’ve got just the thing for you. Put together by filmmaker Luke Blazejewski, Salford Wetland showcases one of the city’s newest wildlife hotspots, a site on the Irwell that was originally brought forward as a flood defence scheme. The area has turned out to be an unlikely magnet for wildlife with all manner of birds and beasts now calling the site home. The film features interviews with Mayor Paul Dennett, members of the council, and local residents to show off the impact of bringing nature into and around our city centres. More of the same in other cities, please. You can watch the film here.

Dino Falls Mini Golf

LIFE FINDS A WAY… A different type of animal is also on the move not too far away, with plans now submitted to expand the Dino Falls mini golf attraction just by the Trafford Centre. Even if you haven’t been yet, you’ll no doubt have driven past the course just by the Barton Bridge, featuring all manner of animatronic sauropods, including a T-Rex, and there’s even the authentic smell from 60 million years ago wafting over from the nearby sewage works. The site’s owner, Peel L&P, has now put forward plans to expand the course to cover 36 holes, along with new footpaths and more car parking spaces, although what species of dinosaur will be included remains a mystery. Pteranodon? Spinosaurus? Or even a Micropachycephalosaurus? Watch this space. At any rate, the ever-pedantic THING team would like to point out that branding the golf course as Jurassic is actually inaccurate, given Tyrannosaurus Rex is from the Cretaceous period. And we’d also like to remind ourselves to get out more, perhaps for a spot of golf.

20 Chapel Street

The company is moving to Chapel Street next month

EVERYTHING MUST GO… Moving offices is always hard: what do you keep, what do you chuck, what can you flog, or what can you take home without anyone noticing? Well, spare a thought for the good folk at Mason Owen, who are relocating from their current base at Gladstone House in Liverpool to shiny new premises at 20 Chapel Street. Only one problem: the Gladstone House office, home to the company for several decades, has built up a bit of a backlog of decorations. Watercolours, historical maps, framed pictures of Liverpool’s past, and plenty of models of ships have been accumulated over the years, and THING hears there won’t be room for everything. Give the guys a ring if you fancy a cut-price portrait for your living room. One thing not for sale, though, is a large-scale model of the Titanic, which is being taken along for the ride and will sit in the new office’s lobby, once everything’s moved in March.

Allied London THING Feb 19

HATERS GONNA HATE… Looks like Allied London has finally shaken off (see what we did there) its Taylor Swift-inspired signage in Spinningfields this week, with the “players gonna play, play, play” sign appearing to come down. In THING’s opinion it was a little naff, but an occasional sparkly flourish shouldn’t be discouraged. Or perhaps instead of coming down, is it going in for maintenance given the legal hoo-hah over the song’s lyrics, with a copyright and plagiarism battle settled last year?

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