SPORTING HERO… Property entrepreneurs have different ways of using social media, and whereas Twitter seems to have become the platform preferred by many – your Bloxhams, your Ingalls, your Heatleys – Signature Living’s Lawrence Kenwright uses Facebook to provide business updates, but with a personal touch, too. Last week, the Liverpool-based developer shared a video his Dad had found from the young man’s table tennis days. THING is by no means a racquet sports expert, but going off the aggression going into the shots, no one would be surprised that Kenwright’s made a success of Signature.

Beatles Cruise Thing

YELLOW SUBMARINE… As a certain member of the Place North West team often reminds us, there’s more to Liverpool than the Beatles. Mersey Ferries, however, are taking a different view, launching a new Beatles-themed cruise, a two-and-a-half hour boat trip – sadly not a submarine ride – along the Mersey with music from local tribute act Paperback Writers. Harking back to when the Fab Four themselves performed on Mersey Ferries in the 60s, the cruises will take place next Saturday 14 April; Saturday 14 July, and Saturday 25 August. And don’t worry – even if you don’t like The Beatles that much, there’s a licensed bar on board. The cruise departs from Seacombe at 7:20pm and Liverpool at 7:30pm, and tickets are priced at £20 per person.

Stretford Mall As Is

THE NEW CHORLTON… Asked to name a home improvement hotspot in the North West, you’d probably think of swanky Cheshire villages like Prestbury and Alderley Edge, or affluence areas in The Wirral like Heswall. But recent research from online architecture service Resi points to places you might not expect: the likes of Stretford, Eccles, and Prestwich. A slightly less surprising entry, and the area with the highest number of home extension per square mile, is the affluent Liverpool suburb of Childwall, but Manchester’s are slightly more leftfield. According to the data, Stretford residents are ten times as likely to consider a home extension than the average Londoner. Whether this is evidence of “Chorltonisation” of the area, or whether Trafford Council’s efforts to revive the much-maligned Stretford Mall, pictured above, have had an impact, only time will tell…

Nicolas Sarkozy

SACRE BLEU… Politicians and leaders who lie influence others to be less honest, research by the University of Salford has revealed. Researchers got three teams of volunteers to play dice games where they were allowed to lie about the number they rolled – one group was asked to think about more seemingly honest politicians such Francois Hollande, another apparently “less honest” politician such as David Cameron and Nicholas Sarkozy, and the third group, clergymen. Would you know it, those influenced by thinking about politicians lied a lot more than the clergy group, with the Sarkozy lot lying most of all – not surprising given he’s been in the news a fair bit lately. It does beg the question though: isn’t there a more UK-based example they could have used, someone large, sort of blonde and rather more preposterous?

Dan Jarvis

MORE MAYORS… Across the Pennines, the Sheffield City Region is starting the process of electing its first metro mayor, following in the footsteps of Bristol & Bath, Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, and the Tees Valley. The election takes place next month, and the Sheffield City Region’s chamber of commerce has announced the first set of hustings, featuring Labour MP Dan Jarvis, pictured above; Conservative Ian Walker – not the former Spurs goalkeeper but a councillor for Sheffield Hallam – the Greens’ Rob Murphy; and Hannah Kitching of the Lib Dems. Hot topics for the debate must seem quite familiar to us in the North West – one of the key issues is to “develop a spatial plan to boost the city region’s commercial centres”, but there’s also a focus on introducing a clear air charge, and action to tackle a skills shortage. The hustings take place on 20 April.


CHEMICAL COCKTAILS… For those wondering who is camping out in the RV which has pulled up to MediaCityUK, and are perhaps concerned by the shady-looking characters running around in hazmat suits, fear not, you won’t also be about to see a middle aged man wandering around in his y-fronts. This is ABQ, an immersive Breaking Bad-themed cocktail bar, which has launched today and will be taking bookings for the next few weeks. People entering the makeshift RV-lab-bar can put together their own drinks, all with a pseudo-scientific and tongue-in-cheek twist. The bar installation is part of the creation of Cargo, a piece of public realm near to the Cycle Hub at MediaCityUK which is set to be used for more pop-up experiences. Book here:

ABQ Inside

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