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(Not) Strictly Confidential

Bits and bobs floating about on the tide of Mersey life. This time, batons at dawn and Mancy faces

Published on June 26th 2009.

(Not) Strictly Confidential

“Did somebody say bollocks....?”

A DIRECTOR of the Philharmonic Hall has accused the head of the Manchester Halle of “utter and complete twaddle” in a batons-at-dawn row over which is the oldest orchestra.

Simon Glinn, head of events at the Hope Street venue, hit out after claims in a book were dismissed as “bollocks” by John Summers, chief executive of the Manchester orchestra.

Earlier this year, The Original Liverpool Sound (by Darren Henley and the RLPO's archivist, Vincent McKernan) – claimed to have uncovered evidence that the Liverpool orchestra was performing as a full time professional ensemble in 1853, FIVE years before the Halle which, until now, has been generally regarded as Britain's oldest working orchestra.

"We are the oldest orchestra that has continuously given concerts,” Mr Summers told the Guardian recently. “We've been doing it every year since 1858. [What] Liverpool [is saying] is bollocks," he added.

Choosing a rather less Anglo-Saxon vernacular in response, Mr Glinn coolly told Confidential: “What Mr Summers is saying is ill-informed twaddle.”

Now the RLPO has backed Mr Glinn's comments, with a statement that would seem to confirm Mr Summers is talking through his piccolo.

It said: “We are delighted to defend our position.

“The first major hardback book about the Phil, The Original Liverpool Sound was meticulously researched using the Phil's archive, held at Liverpool Record Office.

“From 1853, the Orchestra was composed entirely of professional musicians. It is clear that the RLPO predates the Halle, which did not give its first concert until 1858."

Meanwhile, those in the lower ranks of the string section are calling for a “pitch” battle in the grand circle of the Bridgewater Hall to decide.

As one dicky bird watcher in the Hope Street camp added: “Don't forget to mention the five European Cups either.”

Mancs a lot
A UNIVERSITY professor’s study of Victorian teen gangs in Liverpool and Manchester has inspired a new stage show.

Andrew Davies, a lecturer in history, uncovered 30 years of youth violence across North West cities with Manchester’s “scuttles” gangs and Liverpool’s “High Rippers” proving perfect fodder for drama.

“The gangs were particularly violent, fighting with knives and the buckle ends of their belts. The injuries were so severe that many people were killed and suffered skull fractures.

The play's title? Angels with, er, Manky Faces.

Not that Mr Davies, who works at Liverpool University, is biased or anything, but even if he was, we're sure folks up the East Lancs wouldn't take it personally. Mind you...

People get paid for this....
In an occasional item, we pick out the most desperate press release of the week


"Mitsubishi Pencil Co, owner of the uni-ball brand, is celebrating Armed

Forces Day by offering a free Power Tank pen to the brave men and women currently serving in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

"Members of the armed forces and local families with loved ones currently serving in the Armed Forces can apply for one of a thousand free pens by emailing letters@connect-group.com with the name and address of their military base.

"Stuart Barker, Marketing Manager at Mitsubishi Pencil Co. said: 'Our Power Tank can write clearly upside down, in freezing temperatures and on wet paper without blurring.'

"Featuring a pressurised refill, which allows it to write in extreme conditions, it will be perfect for soldiers to take with them.”

Follettly challenged
And back to culture - and bollocks - and what of tourism minister Barbara Follett who dropped an overlooked one when she spoke at a Theatres Trust event earlier in the month?

Follett, who was outed for claiming more than £25,000 for security patrols to thwart stalkers around her London homes in the expenses scandal, opined that Merseyside was something of a culture-free zone before it became European City of Culture last year.

Oh yeah? But one suspects that she's been misquoted. What she really said was that Liverpool was a culture-minister free zone before 2008. After all, Andy Burnham was never away from the place last year, was he?

Such an error would never have happened in Alastair Campbell's day.

Rant exchange of the week
Dig says..“ I went shopping in Town yesterday. I took my bike and left it in Mathew Street, unlocked as I knew I'd only be about an hour. When I returned it had gone. You said it'd be safe for 3h 52m! Liverpool Confidential you owe me a bike. It was a Honda RN01G by the way. ”

Professor Chucklebutty says..“ Dig, don't call the police, I think it was Mr Clack who nicked your bike, he had left his bus pass at home and didn't want to pay the £1.60, or risk having to pay for Mrs Hewitt who was shopping for a new girdle, his chance to mooch around the ladies underwear in Marks.Anyway, I heard them doing a wheelie back down the Avenue and she confessed to me what had happened.

As is custom with a lifted vehicle I told her the best option was to burn it. She reluctantly agreed. So Clack and I under cover of darkness burned said bike to detroy the forensics. Didn't realise the tank was full and it went up like a bomb.

In hindsight, we should have taken it to the cast iron shore or Sevvy park as her garage went up with the flames and quickly spread to the house.

I can see her now from the back window still greasy black streaks down her face, sifting through the debris looking for the box with her husbands ashes. Bit of a needle in a haystack if you ask me. I'd been dropping fag ash in it for five years. She thinks he's putting on weight.

So sorry about that. You are right, it's Confidential's fault, Clack will just get probation, so do them for the compo.

Main problem now is that Mrs Hewitt is moving in with us until the insurance is sorted and the house re-built. Lock the bloody thing next time. I can tell you now this is the last time I try and help anyone.”

Or, as we say: You couldn't make it up.

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Media insiderJune 26th 2009.

Tourman, will you please get your facts right. AA Gill did not review the Panoramic! Matthew Norman did. And stop falling into that self-pity Liverpool trap. Agree that The Guardian do hate Liverpool though.

TourmanJune 26th 2009.

You will see that Mr Sumners of The Halle Orcastra chose to give an interview to The Guardian, that well known Liverpool hating Labour paper, any review in The Grunon be it a play or a restaurant is always negative. That idiot AA Gill said that "Liverpool, it is not London" when he reviewed The Panoramic" what rubbish. So the Phil has been a professional Band longer than the Halle, Live with it. The Phil is the longest established, it was strted in 1840.

Its not fairJune 26th 2009.

Even the orchestras are picking on Liverpool, it just isnt fair. Everyone has a go at Liverpool. Thatcher started it and we have just become an easy target for anyone looking for a stereotype of substandard services.

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