Well, our first wedding has come and gone and it was a great experience! The Bride and Groom, Carla and Ryan, looked fabulous and Betty played her part in the proceedings.
Photo courtesy of David Hector Photos
Being involved in someone else’s wedding was as good as I thought it would be, and our role was to get the Groom and his party to the wedding venue on time. The journey from the pick up point to the venue was about 20 minutes, so as wedding suppliers’ tasks go, it was pretty straightforward.
However, I was suddenly aware of how important our various services are, and the responsibility we all have, to play our part in making this the best day of the Bride and Groom’s lives! And it’s no little responsibility in truth, because screwing up is not an option!
The realisation of this, took me back several decades to another time when I was driving another vehicle with a very important cargo, and I have to say I nearly screwed up! To be exact, I did screw up, but managed to resolve the situation.
I was 18 or 19 years old and had just returned to live in the Cotswold village where I’d grown up, and was working in the office of the local builder. One of their projects at the time, was converting a building in a nearby village into a Bank, to replace the old and no longer suitable building.
When the conversion was finished, the Builder asked me if I’d like to do a little driving job on the coming Saturday morning, which considering I’d get paid for it, I readily agreed to. It turned out that the little driving job was to move all of the Bank’s cash deposits from the old Bank to the new one! I’ve no idea how much it was but at a time before debit cards and electronic transfers, it must have been a lot!
I’ve learned in recent years, from the son of the Policeman in charge of the operation, that the whole process was to be kept as quiet and as low key as possible, which was why a humble builder’s van and not a secure armoured vehicle was being used. I’ve also since heard from someone who was working at the Bank at the time, that most of the staff were unaware of the process beforehand.
I duly turned up at the old Bank at the appointed time, and there were very few people around, just enough to load the cash boxes into my van. There was a police car sitting in a nearby street keeping watch, but nothing really to indicate what we were up to.
Now readers, it came time for my starring role! A plain clothed Policeman got in the van beside me and indicated it was time to move off and that the police car would follow. The ‘journey’ was all of 200 yards from the old Bank to the new one, so not a lot of time for things to go wrong, you’d think! I knew where the Bank was and exactly where I had to pull up, but for some reason, my brain must have disengaged because I just drove straight past the Bank and was heading who knows where! I really, really wasn’t doing a runner with the spoils, I was just a half soaked teenager, probably with thoughts on the evening’s trip to Cheltenham and the usual night at the Pictures! I could sense a slight unease in the seat next to me, and then a sharp retort of ‘it was back there!’ Somewhat embarrassed, I stopped, turned the van around and slunk back to where I should have been! I think it was a good job it happened in a different era, as I’m sure reactions would be slightly different nowadays!
In light of this, I think I did quite well to get the Groom and co to the wedding without mishap, don’t you?
UPDATE – April 2017
I’ve recently heard that this rural Branch is set to close. Should I offer my services again?
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