...The damned BBC. You couldn't go anywhere in Salford without falling over them these days. They seemed to have their fingers in every crevice…
`Yeah, but theft?'…
Welcome to Salford, and the arrival of the BBC at MediaCityUK. Loads of public money…£millions of it…is being pumped into old Salford memories and `community outreach' projects… ``Heritage, my friend" he said softly "Heritage is now the big earner…"
Someone…maybe the descendants of the Native Americans who camped on the banks of the River Irwell…maybe the pseuds at The Lowry…maybe the BBC itself and its head honcho `David Fish'…is after nicking Salford's community heritage.
That's just the start for a mystery that sees private detective Mickey try to unravel strange happenings at Media City and beyond. The Mayor gets shot outside Salford Lads Club, there's real daggers on stage in Macbeth, there's blackmail being talked in The Crescent pub, and intrigue in the old chapel on Chapel Street.
As the plot thickens around the Salford locations, real (Langworthy Cornerstone, Chimney Pot Park, Weaste Cemetry etc) and slightly changed (Salford People's Theatre, Universal Digital Centre etc), it's the characters who make the book unique. They come in three categories – outsiders (BBC et al), culture pseuds (Salford Quays et al) and proper Salfordordians.
The Salford protagonists are thinly disguised real people from the city's community media scene transported into the mad world of fiction*. There's Albert, the singing ex docker, Lammie, who exhibits street signs and photos, Scotch and Janice the husband and wife team who run Salford People's Theatre on Liverpool Street, Councillor Darwen who is obsessed with totem poles, and loads more, some of whom have deeds and personalities way too embarrassing to mention. Joyce Noyce come on down…
Out of the many Salfordodians' mouths comes the attitude to Media City…
"…Those of us who spoke out, why, we're just seen as trouble makers"
`But you're not against the BBC?' Are you?
She laughed. "I'm not against the BBC moving to Salford! But look at us – we are `against' the BBC. We're right up against them! Look down Langworthy Road, you can see the docks and the office blocks, less than half a mile away. We're as close as we can be, and still they ignore us. Hey can't see who we are or what we're doing, and we're right under their noses."
They don't see what Salfordians do, but what lengths would they and others go to nick the community's culture for financial gain? And who is behind it all?
"How about the City Council; the Museum; the University - for starters?...And The Lowry" he added "And the BBC". The damned BBC…
Lurking in the background of the plot is the BBC's Head of MediaCityUK, one David Fish (`Salmon' get it?). And along the way, as he slips in and out of the glass and steel safety zone of the Quays, are paths full of red herrings.
Author Mike Scantlebury lives in Ordsall across the road from the BBC and knows his subject matter more than most. He's taken the every day lives of community media people and woven them into a fictional tale of murder, mystery and suspense.
For the locations and disguised real people alone it's well worth the read. The mystery, murder and mayhem just add the spice to this unique Salford book.
Multi-Media by Mike Scantlebury is available now in print from Lulu.com (click here) or Amazon (click here)
Mike Scantlebury also has a huge range of crime and suspense books available on Kindle – click here for full details…
* Mike Scantlebury states in the intro that "it should not be inferred that the characters mentioned actually exist" and considers it "mischief making" to assume otherwise.