A True Diary of Woe - Part Forty-Four - The Inspector Calls!

Written by Inchcock

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


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All blank when I got there!

A diary of one man's (Using the term lossely) utter failure, depression, frustration, cock-ups, and impecuniousness, starting in August 1947

Chapter 87 - The Inspector Calls Well.. he was expected to!

The manager of the Tesco I was working at in Nottingham on what was then called Granby Street, but later became Maid Marion Way, informed me that the new Area Inspector (of Tesco stores) Mr Porter, was arriving the next day, and I was to pick him up at the train station.

That night it snowed... and snowed... then snowed some more!

In the morning the boss said for me to start out early, and make sure I got there on time, 1300hrs, and safely get the Inspector back to the store by 1400hrs.

I was allowed to use the boss's car, a Ford Corsair for the journey.

As I set out, the snow started to fall again, with golf-ball sized flakes!

The traffic came to a halt at the first island on Derby Road, none moving chaos, honking horns, drivers out of their vehicles giving other drivers cars a push, in an effort to free the road, drivers falling into the drifts etc.

It was at this point I realised I didn't know if I was to pick up Mr Porter from the Midland, or the Victoria train station!

Mild panic grew in my stomach.

Eventually I struggled past the abandoned vehicles that were causing the blockage, and pulled off the road into pub car park, I knew the Wheatsheaf had a public phone inside, and intended to use it to confirm the station I was to go to with my boss!

As I exited the car, my legs went two foot into the fresh snow - I extricated myself and made my way into the bar.

Sodden wet through, I dare not have a drink to warm up, as I was about to see the new Inspector, and thought it wise not to have my breath smelling of alcohol.

I got through to the boss, who panicked himself when he realised he did not know, he'd find out and ring back. (No mobiles in those days)

He rang back, and told me it was the Midland Station I needed, and for God sakes make sure I arrived on time. It was getting late now, about an hour left to get there.

I went out to the car, and saw just a giant mould of snow - I recruited the unwilling help from the Wheatsheaf customers, and they shoved me and the car back onto the road, into the line of slow moving and often stopping traffic.

Worryingly slowly I edged my way towards the Midland Station, still confident I could get there on time... well fairly confident.

On Canal Street, the car stopped on me! Now this was a lucky place to run out of petrol, as I was just outside the National Benzole filling station! It cost me a few bob to buy the petrol and a can. Returning to the car, I was pouring the fuel into the tank, as a snow plough passed close to me... I was soaked with muddy snow up to my chest!

At the corner of Redmayne & Todds sports shop, a trolleybus had skidded into a Lyons cake van... or the other way around, either way I was in the shit for getting to the station on time now!

Then a brainwave! Knowing the layout of British Railways Goods Yard Dispatch depot on my right, from going with my Dad who worked there on his lorry, I nipped through the gate hoping no one would stop or challenge me. No one seemed interested in my travelling through and out of the other end, ahead of static traffic, and the roads through had been treated with tons of soot that cleared it - I came out just down the road from the station, and nipped in the car park, and ran into the booking hall...

Where I read the chalk written notice on the blackboard:

"All trains cancelled due to the snow!"

More to follow

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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