Next Memory

A 'Plumber' Calls


by Richard Mann


In about 1960, when I was working at Kingstanding branch, the Manager (Mr W A Camwell) had arranged for a plumber to visit the branch to attend to a problem with the central heating boiler. Prior to the branch opening for the day, there was a knock on the window - which was the normal way that visitors indicated that they had arrived, as there was no bell installed. As I was nearest to the door, I went to let the visitor into the branch. In those more innocent days there was no chain on the door, nor did we routinely ask for proof of identity. So I fully opened the door to see a short man with broken teeth, dressed in an old raincoat, and with a cigarette in his mouth. This character, who also had a very bad cough, asked for Mr Camwell.


Acting upon Mr Camwell's instructions, I conducted our visitor straight to the boiler room. Being shown into the boiler room caused the visitor to look amazed, and he spluttered "What's this!?"
In fact, an Inspector had called: Mr W K Robottom!


I had been wondering why a plumber was wearing a bow-tie!