So, I’m slogging my way up the back stairs at Affleck’s Palace, Tib Street entrance, a sort of grungy fashion emporium in Manchester City centre. I was going to see the mirrors. Perhaps have a go myself. Or, possibly, hopefully, a picture or 2 to be had. I counted the 3 floors off. 1, 2, and bingo! I could see through the glass at the top of the fire doors 2 old-timers smoking tabs and having a laugh. And bloody hell if that wasn’t Scotts Jimmy and English John, Looking like an elongated Sergeant Bilko and a stumpy dwarf. No time to lose, and none for pleasantries or how-do-you-dos. No, it was clatter, clack, clack, quick click Rik, pick in the bag with this one. Then a few hellos, what you doin’s in that 1980s jumper in 1995 sort of chat. Both smoking No.10s like it was going out of fashion. It turns out that ~english John was trying to flog a gold ring to any of the stall holders who’s listen to him. And being on the third floor (they’d tried the other 2 with no luck), they’d found the mirrors. After stories of Belle Vue and Madame Tussauds I say my goodbyes and wish them good luck with the ring. This was no big surprise for me as English John is known as a man who likes his gold. And has it packed, glittering on both hands, every finger full, sometimes 2 on each. Literally layered in the stuff. Now, you could always tell, by giving him the quick up and down, how well he was doing financially, by how much gold he was wearing. John didn’t use banks. He was a walking, talking current account-cum-gold exchange. There is a glimpse of gold on John’s right or is it left hand, so he wasn’t completely skint, as a I was glad to see, and replied “I’m counting my pennies” to his “could you lend me a few bob?” This picture is a thing of subtle beauty to me and an old Mancunian memory of this little adventure.