by Albert Williams
For many years during my banking service I was a cashier at the Acocks Green Branch of what was then the Birmingham Municipal Bank. It was a busy branch and had a continuous queue of customers all day. Like all branch customers, some were quite "characters". There was, for instance, the lady who always came in with a live parrot on her shoulder. There was also the lady who appeared to be about 90 and her face was plastered with so much make-up that she looked like a clown with huge red cheeks and large false eyelashes. Trying to keep a straight face when serving such folk was indeed difficult.
As a cashier you were of course the "front man" and expected to be a mine of information. Simple questions like "Do you think it will rain tomorrow?" to "What time is the next 'bus due?" were commonplace. Sometimes the questions amazed even me. One of the prize ones I remember was when a rather nice young lady looked me straight in the eye and said: "I'm getting married on Saturday. Will you tell me what I have to do?"
When I had regained my composure, I promptly directed her into the private office so that the manager, Arthur Oldham, could "put her right", so to speak.
It appeared that his best advice was that she should bring in her marriage certificate for registration and change of name after the happy occasion!
Ah well. Such things certainly made banking life interesting.