Whichever side of the Brexit debate you’re on, the one thing I think we can all be united in is the fact that the whole process has been a complete unremitting disaster, which has not only divided the country, but also made us an international laughing stock. Merry Christmas!
With much of the debate just seeming to centre around people on both sides trying to shout or condescend their opinion into the brains of people with a differing view, a bit of a light-hearted escape from the whole thing sounded fun to me. An escape room, to be more precise.
Alternate Escapes, one of the residents at the new Pollard Yard, located on Pollard Street next to Wellington Mill – a hub for creative independent businesses housed in repurposed shipping containers, run by a company called Meanwhile Creative – offers themed escape room challenges. The current theme is The Battle of Brexit and there are new themes in the pipeline for 2020.
Ben Fowler, the man behind Alternate Escapes, explains: “The escape room is about giving people the chance to take a fairly exhausting, serious topic, and enjoy it in a far more light-hearted and satirical way”.
Before you start you have to pick a side: Remain or Leave. We picked Remain, and you have a quick introduction in a separate cabin to go over the rules.
The set up being that our host is our campaign manager, and he has surreptitiously gained access to our rivals HQ for a short time and in the true spirit of real life Brexit, our objective is to try and gather sensitive, confidential information to besmirch our rivals by seeding their grubby secrets out to the press.
It’s not really a case of escaping per se, but if you get all the secret documents, you succeed in destroying your rivals credibility, and ultimately win your chosen Brexit outcome. Or you fail, and they win.
It was at this moment I made a decision. When I was younger, if there was a big football game approaching, I’d often play the game virtually on Fifa beforehand, deciding that whatever the outcome on Fifa would be the outcome in real life in some sort of inexplicable cosmic quirk, with myself at the centre of the universe.
That’s what I decided would happen with Brexit, 100%, without question. Whatever happened in our Battle of Brexit escape room would manifest in real life.
Naturally, being an escape room, they haven’t made it easy. In order to get our hands on confidential documents we have to work out access to various cupboards, drawers, cabinets, lockers and rooms by following a series of cryptic clues dotted around, with our campaign manager watching over from our HQ and able to provide clues on a screen occasionally, for which you’re notified by a little gong sound.
One such gong during our session was to dissuade one of our team Danny from trying to hack into a tablet, which we weren’t quite ready to use at that stage as we hadn’t discovered the clue to do so yet.
While Danny didn’t quite manage to hack into the rival’s profile, he did somehow manage to log out of it completely and, impressively, hack in to the Alternate Escapes chap’s girlfriend’s personal profile, which we quickly were notified wasn’t part of our game, leaving us having to un-hack and re-hack back in when we were ready. It was some serious espionage.
I’ve done a couple of escape rooms before, with mixed success and experiences, and this one was well put together, good fun, and actually quite tough. It’s a simple-looking layout at first, but the complexity of it builds out as the game progresses.
We had waves of being pretty prolific, then hitting a roadblock, with each new discovery greeted with a collective cheer. With actual seconds to spare, we managed to get the last clue and succeed in getting all documents, meaning that we won.
Therefore, the cosmos has spoken, the outcome of Brexit will be Remain.
Then again, if the universe was as aligned around me as I like to think, England would have won every major football tournament since about 1998 based purely on my Fifa endeavours, so I won’t hold my breath.
To find out more info visit the website here.
A magical new woodland adventure park with treehouses, mazes and slides is opening next month
Tickets are available now
BeWILDerwood Cheshire is set to open on April 12th after being set back for almost a year due to coronavirus.
Based on the BeWILDerwood book series by Tom Blofeld, the adventure sites feature aerial ropewalks, climbing wales and even mazes high up in the treetops.
The first adventure site opened in Norfolk over 13 years ago and the Cheshire site was originally supposed to open in May 2020 but has been pushed back until now.
The 70-acre forest will feature over ten giant structures to run ‘WILD’ on.
Author and BeWILDerwood founder Tom said of the original 2020 launch: “Following the success of our Norfolk site which has been bringing joy to families for over 13 years now, we are thrilled to announce that tickets are now on sale for BeWILDerwood Cheshire.
“It has been in development for 3 years following enormous customer demand, and we look forward to customers from all over the North-West of England, and further afield coming to our amazing new site.
“BeWILDerwood really is a breath of fresh air compared to other attractions, and we are unique in our approach to play, with no noisy rides, no electronics, and no junk food. We can’t wait until we open our Wonky Wooden Gates on May 23rd and welcome all of our loyal and new customers to the wonderful world of BeWILDerwood.”
Plans for a huge new water park resort with swim-up bar just over an hour from Manchester
This looks very proper good
There’s plans for a huge new water park resort, complete with hotel, zip-line and pool with a swim-up bar, just over an hour’s drive from Manchester.
Plans for the new water park resort could be submitted to Derbyshire County Council as soon as April for the new development.
Public consultation on the proposals is now underway with construction estimates coming in at around five years by developers Hillcrest (Crich) Limited.
The resort called ‘Amber Rock Resort’ would take over the derelict 44-acre Crich Quarry just north of the Derbyshire village.
The resort will feature a giant indoor water park as well as a 166-bed hotel, 148 straw bale lodges – seven of which will float on the quarry lake – and 210-holiday apartments.
Some of the quarry faces will be turned into climbing walls. There will also be a zip-line running across the site from a viewing platform on the top of the quarry. Visitors can also expect a bowling alley, shops, a restaurant, swim-up bar and a sports hall.
The waterpark will be built across two levels and feature the usual waterslide, raft ride, lazy river and outdoor pool as well as the rather tropical addition of a swim-up bar.
The website hosting the consultation reads: “Combining a mix of eco-friendly accommodation and exciting leisure activities, our vision for Amber Rock will restore the old quarry set within this beautiful rural backdrop, preserve its heritage, and boost the local economy.
“We want the Amber Rock resort to become an asset for the community.
“The Amber Rock resort will actually increase the environmental value of the area through improved biodiversity and added landscape amenities.
“Celebrating the unique features and history of its location, Amber Rock will also preserve the local environment and protect the community for years to come, ensuring the site will never be used for mineral extraction or future industrial use.
“Plus, a unique mix of leisure activities suitable all year round, making it a destination with the community at its heart and somewhere to create unforgettable memories.
“Amber Rock’s diverse facilities will actively encourage longer stays to reduce the number of day trips, while specific check-in/check-out times will be applied to reduce effects of peak traffic flow. We’ll also arrange various shuttle buses to transport guests to local attractions.
“Our vision is also about restoring this beautiful setting. Carefully designed to blend into the stunning rural landscape, and to be constructed using locally sourced and sustainable materials where possible, it will deliver minimal visual impact beyond the quarry.”
The project will be built using many of the materials from the quarry itself and generate 200 jobs. The resort will also have 100 full-time and part-time staff once open.
The developers explain that extensive work has been carried out to assess the impact of traffic on the village of Crich itself, the nearby tramway village and Sherwood Foresters Monument.
Who’s looking forward to this?
The ‘biggest ever’ ’90s pop throwback concert is coming to Manchester this year
JUST A LITTLE bit excited for this
Everybody Get Up there’s a new ’90s pop ‘throwback’ concert that is coming to Manchester with a huge lineup of stars!
‘The biggest live pop show of the decade‘ is getting prepped to return, following prime minister Boris Johnson’s unveiling of the potential return of large events later this year.
By June 21st at the earliest, all limits on social contact could be lifted and what better way to celebrate than with a massive 90s themed party?!
Featuring 18 huge artists such as Peter Andre, 5ive, Atomic Kitten, Liberty X, Damage, S Club 7, Blazin’ Squad and more all under one roof you know you’re in for a cracking night.
90s Baby POP is scheduled for September 18th, 2021, with 6,000 people allowed to attend the event at B.E.C arena.
The unmissable event says: “bring back some of your favourite nostalgic memories from the 90’s era, as well as recreating those unforgettable moments one more.
“Expect breathtaking productions, spectacular SFX shows and live performances all evening.”
Tickets are on sale now – you can grab them here.