GONE FISH INN…The Fish Inn on the banks of Buttermere in the Lake District has been sold for a cool £1.3m at auction, allowing its former owners John and Jean Richardson to begin their retirement after 52 years at the helm. New owners Mike and Abi Martin are delighted to take over the running of the 10-bedroom guesthouse that features heavily in the local legend of the Maid of Buttermere. The story goes that Mary Robinson, the famously beautiful daughter of the Fish Inn’s landlord, married a local man illegally posing as the nobleman Colonel Hope. The marriage was widely reported, resulting in his fraud being exposed. The false Colonel was tried and hanged, leaving Mary heartbroken until she met Richard Harrison, a local farmer, and lived happily ever after. 

Ed Howe Metrolink Map

NETWORKING…There are a number of ways to fill these long, lockdown days. The amount of banana bread being baked across the nation has reached record highs while the number of DIY haircuts continues to amuse and horrify in equal measure. But the region’s self-proclaimed transport and architecture nerd, Ed Howe, found a more novel way of filling the void of human interaction by formulating his fantasy Manchester Metrolink network. Howe’s map, which brings to life Mayor Andy Burnham’s dreams of a transport deathstar, features 11 lines and stretches as far as the confectionery capital of the High Peak, New Mills in the south up to Rawtenstall in the north. Step away from those brown bananas and check it out.

SNAKE SIGHTING…Lockdown has provided nature with a chance to thrive without the choking oppression of car fumes and other such pollutants. We’re all for it, but could it be possible that the environment is healing a little bit too well? After Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council, posted video footage of a snake while on a stroll in North Manchester, Thing feared that it may be time to hop back in the car and ramp up the pollution once more to restore our parks to their former, snakeless, glory. 

New Mayors: Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram

DJ BATTLE…Brace yourselves, people, as DJ Burno and MC Rothers prepare to spin the decks and make a mess in this, a battle of the city regions. The mayors of the Manchester and Liverpool city regions will go head to head on digital party platform United We Stream to decide once and for all which city has the greatest musical pedigree. Only time will tell who will come out on top. Will Burnham have Rotheram shouting Help! Or could the Greater Manchester mayor be the one Looking Back In Anger after a painful defeat? 

Castle Hey 3d Renders 2 Photo Logo

GREEN WALL…Castle Hey, a mixed-use building on Harrington Street in Liverpool is set for a makeover featuring a 1,600 sq ft green wall. Designed by Want Plants, with help from structural engineer Sutcliffe and architect Condy Lofthouse, the project will see the western side of the building enveloped in a living wall that Derwent Lodge Estates, the building’s owner, hopes will attract tourists and improve the gateway between Castle Street and the Cavern Quarter. Ed Irving, assistant building surveyor for Derwent Lodge Estates, said: “Scientific research has shown that green space and planting has a huge beneficial impact on wellbeing, along with reducing carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity.” The plants are being grown in a nursery ready to install in the summer. 

Trice Barn Farm

STRONG FARM TACTICS…A Bacup farm comprising 80 acres, a farmhouse and a cattle shed is set to go under the hammer with a guide price of, wait for it…£50,000. “Why so cheap?” I hear you ask. Could it be the result of an economic downturn? Has the cattle shed been colonised by a herd of rabid Friesians? The answer to the mystery lies in the farm’s current tenant who, despite being asked to vacate the farm last year, refuses to budge and has been putting up quite a fight. Trice Barn Farm’s weary landlord has decided to put the farm up for sale at a slashed price rather than challenging the errant tenant and who could blame him. Andy Thompson, head of auctions North West at SDL Auctions, told Thing: The farm and its occupant have been causing problems for the owner for many years, which is why they are willing to accept a price way below its market value. This makes it an excellent investment opportunity because, from my experience, auction buyers are rarely put off by a property’s disreputable past or current problems.” 

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