ZWIFT-STREAM…Ah, to be part of a close pack of cyclists, gazing over the countryside as you take a breather from an exhilarating weekend ride, it seems like a distant memory, doesn’t it? Well, fear not, as one company is gathering troops for the next best thing – a virtual bike ride, and all to support our NHS. Altrincham-based engineering design firm Clancy Consulting is organising a charity cycle using the Zwift app, which connects your exercise bike with others to enable one coordinated, virtual session. If that’s a bit post-modern for you, you can do your own solitary ride and send through pictures of your experience. The event takes place on 13 May and you can find more information here.

CHIN UPDuring these austere times it is important to keep morale high by any means necessary. Manchester-based 5Plus Architects proved it is not shying away from the challenge of keeping chins up with a celebration of the lower jaw. During a weekly taskmaster challenge the architects were asked to “sacrifice their chins for the amusement of their workmates”. The results were harrowing to say the least. 


LIKE CLOCKWORK…Ziferblat, German for clockface, is a coffee shop with a difference. Instead of charging through the nose for what you consume like a the Neros and Starbucks of this world, you are charged by how long you spend there. and while the intriguing business remains the same, the company has decided it is time for a name change and is rebranding as ClockWork in a move, we assume, to pander to the Eurosceptic market in this post-Brexit world. 

ALTY-ROCK…When Place got in touch with Nick Johnson to ask about the 480% business rates increase inflicted upon his Altrincham Market venture we anticipated that he may be in a prickly mood. Logical, right? But no. Instead of pacing the room drawing up his most impressive plan yet – revenge – Johnson apologised and asked if he could call back once his guitar lesson was over. It turns out that rather than brooding over the injustice of the rates hike he was focusing his attention on mastering his scales and arpeggios. Although whether or not he will be performing a live lounge spot at one of his three markets post-lockdown is up for debate: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” he said. 

David Hartley MTX

MTX MD David Hartley, a man who knows his fruit

FRUIT MACHINESMTX Contracts provides pre-fabricated buildings to private healthcare clients and the NHS in the form of operating theatres, wards and MRI units but having spoken to managing director David Hartley it became clear that there was more to MTX than hospitals. In the company’s infancy it had a hand in providing cold storage to the fresh produce sector. Its units were fitted with a system, designed by David’s dad Gerald, to keep fruit at optimum ripeness. His father’s knowledge of how best to store fruit had evidently been passed on to his son who gave THING some handy tips on how to maintain fruit if you don’t happen to own an industrial-sized, specially engineered storage facility. Tune in to our podcast with David next week to find out how to keep your bananas yellower for longer… 

Beetham Birdhouse

BIRDHOUSELockdown really is bringing out the best in people. Over the last few weeks we have seen some impressive demonstrations of creativity from decorating your own chin to building a famous New York landmarks out of lego and this week has been no different. Step forward Marc Prill who, in the face of closed pubs decided to create a birdbox in the style of Beetham Tower, complete with erroneous howling fin.  

Sam's Chop House

SAM’S SUNDAY SERVICE…Sunday just isn’t Sunday unless you’ve sat on the sofa unable to move having overdone it on the roast. Many of us have been missing that warm sluggish feeling during lockdown when Sunday often flashes by in a blur Netflix and trying to remember the last time you changing your tracksuit bottoms. But no more! Sam’s Chop House off Chapel Walks in Manchester is here to reacquaint you with Sundays past by providing a takeaway roast dinner service. With the option of roast beef or mushroom wellington followed by the king of all desserts, sticky toffee pudding, Sundays are well and truly back. Order yours here.

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