Next Memory


two recollections by Norman Worwood



Working as a quite new, but administratively senior, cashier at Kings Heath branch with an experienced manager (Len Wright) was great fun for me, but Len had one serious character flaw, which he could not hide, namely that his ruddy, slightly glowering countenance and abrupt style of speech made him seem particularly fearsome, especially to customers who did not appreciate that in reality he was quite a 'softie'.

I had just served an elderly lady. She closely studied her passbook, walked to one of the public desks, picked up a deposit slip and began to write. She returned to my cash position and in complete silence handed me her passbook and the slip. On its reverse she had written:
 "I think you have made a mistake in my book. If you agree, PLEASE NOD",
the latter words being in capitals. Admitting my mistake, I gently asked why she had written down the comment. With a most disapproving grimace, she said (quietly, of course) that she did not want to get me into trouble with "that manager".


A respected customer, a complete stranger to me, but an obviously intelligent and sincere man, called in at Head Office to ask whether he could receive some categorical assurance that now that we had joined the TSB movement, we would nevertheless retain for all time the agreed title, ie that which included the words Birmingham Municipal Bank as the Bank had a proud history which should not be allowed to die. To ensure that I would be replying truthfully, I told him that I would immediately ask the General Manager whether this would be so. Having myself then been reassured on this point, I told the gentleman that he need have no worries and that he had my word on that. Even as I said it, I had a faint sense of unease. Had I been misinformed, I wondered? And - it turns out - I had, hadn't I? I suppose that, as Norman Ling used to say: "It's all part of life's rich pattern", yet I wish I could believe that, too!