We feel here at About Manchester that we should officially apologise to the Black rat.

The much maligned rodent accused of spreading plague to Europe has this week been found not guilty of the crime as Norwegian scientists discover that the disease responsible for the decimation of a third of Europe’s population was brought to the continent by the humble gerbil.

Closer to home it appears that Selfridges have, after much pressure, agreed to remove their spikes from Cross Street after being accused of victimising the homeless.

Greater Manchester will be responsible for its £6b of National Health spending.Despite the usual crowing of how once again Manchester leads the way in innovation we urge caution.Do we really want our local politicians in charge of such a large sum? One feels we may be being set up for a fall.

There also appear to be divisions in the Labour Party over the announcement with shadow Health Secretary and Greater Manchester MP Andy Burnham describing the proposals as looking like a Swiss Cheese version of the NHS whilst the local Labour Party seems to be standing firmly behind the proposals

I’m sure that they will sort out their differences.

It was reported that planning permission has been given for the continuing property expansionist dreams of Manchester United’s class of 92 with Norfolk Street’s former Stock Exchange Building to be turned into an exclusive hotel.Some may that think that it’s about time that the City’s Stock Market was ressurected.Instead its occupants will be smothered in five star elegance.

Salford’s first fire chief was honoured by the council as they renamed the square where he worked after him. 

Albert Bentley was head of the Salford Fire Brigade from 1891 until his early death in 1905 and was the driving force behind the central fire station, stables and houses for firemen and their families in Albion Place.

Fire officers came from across Britain to see his station, his inventions and learn from his innovation.

We learnt that Rusholme was to be the centre for the recruitment of a team of army puzzlers. 

The battalion, 6 Military Intelligence (6 MI), will find and analyse data, turn it into useful intelligence and help plan future operations.

Barcelona came to Manchester and left with the spoils in the last sixteen of the Champions League.Louis Suares gave a headline writers plenty to “chew on” with a double strike while Joe Hart kept City in the tie with a last minute penalty save.

Off the field a boy at an Eccles school fell foul of his teachers turning up to school with an Aguero haircut while a  Manchester University student managed to get himself involved in a furious bust-up with the Barcelona star Neymar in celebrating the penalty save.



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