A diary of one man's (Using the term lossely) utter failure, depression, frustration, cock-ups, and impecuniousness, starting in August 1947
The site was well out into the sticks, and consisted of the main factory, 12 electricity substations, and 3 separate warehouses, a fish pond (really no joke!) a secondary site with 15 lorries, offices, a fuelling point, and millions of pounds worth of brand new farm machinery in 2 fields awaiting delivery.
So, this night, I left the main factory, locked and alarmed it (futile really as half of the 9 fire escape doors were insecure through overuse) and checked the front gates, taking care to avoid seeing the massive gaps in the rusted wire fencing where anyone could walk through.
Then along the side to the roller doors, then the material warehouse, unlock, unalarm, check fire doors roof etc, all OK - out again into the dank night, and round the back to check the 12 substations and fire escapes (taking care not to actually touch them in case they fell in). All OK.
Out and down to the transport Site - check the office, garage, workshop, fuel pumps, vehicle wash, the second materials shed, and then the 15 lorries and trailers, All OK.
Then carry on down to the dark, cold, fields to check the yards full of farm machinery, All OK.
Then further down to the end to check the 2 other warehouses, open the gate, taking care to avoid injury as I knew the left gate fell off the hinges when opened, into the warehouse 1, checked it out, re-secured it, and down to warehouse 2, all OK.
Then back to the ritual fight to avoid injury trying to resecure that infamous 2nd gate. All OK
Back passing the machinery fields, the transport site, the lorries, and right back up to the main factory door.
Once in, togs off, kettle on, and a trip to the loo - this is where the problems started!
As I opened the factory door to go through to the loo, I was greeted by water flooding out through the door!
'Hello' I thought, 'trouble here', as you would.
On further investigation I found the water was pouring in at no gentle rate, out of the criss-cross piped that hung from the ceiling - and falling on the machinery and electric boxes and panels, and me!
Time to call for help, amazingly I got a signal on my mobile, and called the client manager - who was out on the pis.. er, out socialising, but whoever answered the phone said they would get someone down as soon as possible.
I opened all of the main factory fire doors (one falling flat as I did so), catching me left shin a good wallop, causing me to shout out 'Flipping 'eck'!
And then I tried to sweep the water out through the doorways, but it was a losing battle, during which my mobile burst into life - it was the manager, who advised my to find a large rusted green lever on the back wall, between the two main power junction boxes (nice), and turn it in whichever direction it would go, and this might alleviate the flood somewhat, until his arrival in an hour or so.
I went outside to get a good signal on the mobile, and informed control of my dilemma, after he stopped laughing, the controller said he'd send some back-up.
Being the dedicated idiot that I am, I waded knee deep into the water, to get to the 'rusted green lever' between the two water covered junction boxes, I recall thinking 'this ain't a good idea' at the time.
I struggled and fought with the lever for a while, eventually getting it to move, thinking I was now winning the battle - then the &*>#~ thing flew of the wall with me hanging foolishly onto it, as the newly escaping flood of water knocked me 12 feet away I landed once more into the oil ridden, filthy gunged up water, to be followed by the powerful jet of water belting out of the piping where the lever used to be!
I retreated to the shower/changing room, and rid myself of me wet togs, and put on some overalls that had been put into the laundry basket, and was about to return to the losing battle, when I heard a car horn sounding - thank heavens it was the maintenance manager for the site!
After recovering from his bout of laughter, he set about climbing up a ladder into the ceiling, and within about 15 minutes the water stopped pouring in.
He went off to his bed, I secured the gate, and returned to put my own togs on the hot radiators and have a shower, which I'd just started when another car horn sounded out.
I got out of the shower, dried myself off a bit, put on the overalls, and went out to the gate - it was Obergruppenfurher Kev Collins, my night manager - who immediately wanted to know why I wasn't wearing my uniform, and why was I limping!
I told him.
Then I escorted him into the factory, as he asked if I could supply him with a cup of coffee 'cause he'd had a hell of a night!'
Upon entering the factory, the water was down to about 2 inches in depth, and KC said: "This ain't too bad, what was your problem?"
If looks could have killed, my beloved Night Manager, Obergruppenfurher K Collins would have withered on the spot!