Next Memory

A Gassy Story


by E M & H Peers


This recollection in rhyme appeared in the Spring 1961 edition of the Bank’s staff magazine and tells the story of a manager's confrontation with his branch's heating system


A Manager we know quite well who, at a local Bank,

One Monday morning opened up and all the place it stank

Of GAS - but he was unaware of the awful aftermath,

He strode inside quite bravely followed by his loyal staff.


They held their noses and their breath and flung the windows wide

And stood at all their posts to let the goodly air inside.

He thanked all the heroic Staff in quite a manner terse,

And sniffed the nasty, smelly stuff and hoped it would disperse.


Into the Boiler Room he strode and soon he found the leak

(The Pilot Light was wrong, it seemed) and stopped the gassy reek,

"It's alright now", the Manager said and gave a little smile,

"But think it best to wait for tea for just a little while".


'Twas bitter cold there in the bank for they were minus heat,

They stood around disconsolate with frozen hands and feet.

The Manager, of course by then, had overcome his fright,

"We'll soon be warm, I'll take a chance and light the Pilot Light".


He struck a match and horror struck - there came a sudden WOOF!!

The gas was mixed with air, you see, and exploded in the roof.

A horrid hot and bluish flame and then a cloud of dust

And bits of wood and plaster showered down upon his crust.


He stood transfixed, his feelings mixed, his heart went pit-a-pat,

With face begrimed, and plaster white upon his trilby hat.

"Great Scott", said John (perhaps he thought a little joke to make),

"I thought for just a moment, Sir, that you were Charlie Drake".


He phoned the Central Office and they heard with bated breath

As he told with graphic detail how he'd nearly met his death.

The Inspectors came in dozens and the gas men by the score

With checking this - and checking that - then came a hundred more.


They all queued up outside the bank and stretched for half a mile,

The strangest run upon a Bank made the local Bobby smile,

With test and check and counter check, with fuss and much aplomb

You really would have thought they were on to an Atom bomb.


By mid-day they had all dispersed - except the Staff - they grinned,

The whole affair was like this tale - Well, just a lot of WIND