SINKING FEELING… When is a sinkhole not a sinkhole? When it’s a “mysterious void”, as Network Rail discovered this week on the Whitehaven to Workington line in Cumbria. The two foot-wide and four foot-deep hole appeared on Thursday in the wake of Storm Eleanor, near the village of Harrington. Engineers said the ground around it “appears to be shifting” and are on site to rectify the problem. According to Network Rail, sinkholes on the railway are very rare, with only 50 reported in the past 12 years. Trains are now running on one track instead of two, with services hopefully back to normal by Sunday. Phil James, head of operations for Network Rail’s London North Western Route said: “We are trying to work out whether this one been caused by a collapsed culvert or sea erosion or both. Either way, we’ve got a big hole right by the tracks that we need to fill in. In theory running the railway is simple. But in practice, when you throw storms, wind, waves and sink holes into the mix, it gets more complicated.”

Tib Street Horn

SAX APPEAL… The Tib Street Horn, one of Manchester’s most distinctive pieces of public art, has been gathering dust in storage ever since Forrest started on Citu NQ, Fred Done’s residential scheme on Church Street, where the horn once sat. It was always the intention to return the sculpture to public viewing, and now plans have been submitted to do just that. A planning update from Paul Butler Associates outlines proposals to fix the sculpture to the South East corner of Affleck’s Palace, just above the entrance to the building alongside Crazy Pedro’s. Extending to nearly 13 metres at its highest point, the Horn will cover the first and second floors of the building’s corner.

Winters Bar Stockport

TIME’S UP… It looks like it could be closing time for Winter’s on Stockport’s Underbank, which has reportedly been bought by the council for redevelopment. The pub, with a distinctive frontage featuring an automaton clock, is owned by brewer Holt’s, but the council is eyeing the site as part of its plans to regenerate the town’s Underbank area. This forms part of its wider overhaul of the town centre, which has already included the Redrock development, while the council also has further plans for the Merseyway Shopping Centre, having bought it out of administration in April 2016. Your intrepid author has never ventured inside Winter’s, preferring to stick to The Crown for any drinking in Stockport, and based on social media reaction, the pub may not be missed.

Preston Guidhall Street Thing

ARTISTIC TRANSFORMATION… A former boys’ school in the centre of Preston is to be transformed into an artistic hub by arts collective They Eat Culture. The group plans to turn the four-storey former Eden Boys’ School between Guildhall Street and Cannon Street into a performance space, and will run street markets, creative workshops, and skills development classes. At the weekends, the collective will run food and drink stalls at the building’s courtyard. The building has been donated by contractor Conlon Construction to the arts collective for a year, and the first events are set to begin in January, and from April, the building will open up further, with more details of events to come in the months ahead. You can sign up for updates via

Duke Street Liverpool Thing

BOWLED OVER… A planning application has been submitted by developer D2 Investments to convert a derelict building into a bowling alley on Liverpool’s Duke Street, part of the Ropewalks district. The façade of the existing building at 45 to 61 Duke Street, which backs on to Wolstenholme Square, will be retained and restored, while new glazed exteriors will be added and the interiors extensively overhauled. The 1,600 sq ft development, designed by Snook Architects with How as planner, will include a bar, restaurant, and bowling alley with access via both Wolstenholme Square and Duke Street.

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