Guppy's Enterprise Club - (invited speaker): lecture/seminar. Sample containing about 20634 words speech recorded in leisure context

3 speakers recorded by respondent number C804

PS6LY Ag4 m (Neal, age 50, removal man) unspecified
KNCPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
KNCPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 084301 recorded on 1993-03-30. LocationUnknown () Activity: Lecture/Seminar

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1] Ah that's it we're we're lit up.
[2] ... So I'll now go all shy.
[3] [laugh] ... Erm ... most of the i ... involvement I've ever had in any kind of job has been by accident.
[4] Er I've had plans.
[5] When I was younger at school I had plans to go into various different things and er th I failed miserably, which is [sigh] something I started doing and ... seemed to continue to do to some extent.
[6] And ... so it was quite accidental that I started the club.
[7] It was something I wanted to do, but i I didn't know that until it started to happen, and then with the removal business too it's more or less the same kind of thing.
[8] And essentially [sigh] in nineteen sixty eight sixty nine legislation changed in this country and up to that time what you had to do if you had a removals firm you had actually a licence.
[9] Er it was called an A licence which allowed you to take furniture ... all over the country to wherever you needed to go to remove people.
[10] But if you didn't have an A licence, most firms that had got their own vehicles could get a C licence which allowed them to keep th take their own goods in er er that they used for their own practices to wherever they were going to but didn't y allow you to take anybody else's.
[11] There was a thing called a B licence which allowed you to go within about twenty five miles with somebody else's goods.
[12] So unless you'd got an A licence you couldn't be a removal man.
[13] So if you wanted to be a removal man ... you had to find the work ... to justify you having an A licence, but of course you couldn't because you hadn't got an A licence to do it with.
[14] So that's how things stood in those year in the the days before nineteen sixty nine and I in fact did learn ... about removals in the late sixties.
[15] I'll be telling most some of the tales about that time, and then the other tales will be about what happened to me in sixty nine when I started up, because the changing legislation s more or less said that if you had a vehicle of thirty hundredweight or less you could move an er wh whoever's furniture you liked anywhere you wanted to.
[16] So it was a breakthrough and I noticed this change in sixty eight and realized that it would be possible to do small-scale [music in background] removals.
[17] Oh that's nice isn't it.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [18] [laugh] . ...
Neal (PS6LY) [19] [laugh] ... [music ends] there you are, a little bit of atmosphere to er [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [20] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [21] Oh we now know there's a concert starting next door.
[22] Er and [laugh] .
[23] Er and I noticed that there was this change.
[24] But what I had also noticed was that certain firms for example that w were er th then extant, er they in fact would s er say have a three-piece moved, and you'd have a huge van would go to pick up a three-piece suite.
[25] Er it would be a van that would take a a four-bedroomed house with ease.
[26] Three men would go along, pick up this poor little three-piece suite, put it on the van, deliver it perhaps two hundred yards up the road.
[27] And I mean in nineteen sixty five such a job would cost te about eleven to fifteen pounds which was an anas astronomical amount of money in those days, ... simply because ... the man who had the firm had an A licence, or four or five of them, and he was in a mon a monopolistic position you see.
[28] Well it was ludicrous.
[29] It was all right for big removals but not certainly for three-piece suites and the like.
[30] So that's why I started up in business.
[31] I had the club already going, was dealing with mainly young people, and as you will know young people's taste tends to vary quite considerably and very quickly, so I might well be very successful for so long and then if suddenly taste changed and I hadn't got the ability to change with the times I realized that it would be rather precarious, so I needed a second string to my bow.
[32] So that's in fact how the removals basically started.
[33] I learnt with someone else, did two years and then er ... that was an accident if you like that I got involved cos somebody wanted me to be involved and and it seemed the right thing at the time.
[34] And then I went on and started on my own with light removals.
[35] And in the in fact in the early days o o f o one of the things that had happened f early on was that I would do jobs on my own, and you it's amazing how many number of one-man jobs there are.
[36] Somebody wants a single bed moving, somebody might want a chest of drawers moving, somebody wants some packages so there were there's quite a lot of of work of that nature wanted.
[37] But I had a problem in that very often people wanted a double wardrobe moving and of course it then needed two men.
[38] And in fact in the early stages I got one man working for me and er I went back into teaching again for a short time to help out at a school where the the the teacher was ill, and I was teaching in the morning and then doing two-man jobs in the afternoon, and he was doing one man jobs in the morning.
[39] It's quite funny really because er I used to go off I had an agreement with the headmaster at that particular time and he'd h I'd been a full time teacher with him, and he needed somebody desperately, that was the only reason obviously he wanted me back, and er I said Well look I can come back but I can't get back in order to go to the assembly at first.
[40] He says, Well you never managed it when you were full time anyway. [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [41] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [42] So we had this agreement I would al arrive in a removal van just as assembly finished to start the lessons in the morning and then my removal man would come back and pick me up again at twelve o'clock so that I could then do the two-man jobs.
[43] So I had a er I got him set up for the morning jobs and then I did the afternoon jobs with him.
[44] So it started in that kind of fashion really.
[45] ... But ... because you don't know I mean I er y you can't imagine really somebody saying, Oh I'm going to be a removal man I think, it sounds like a fascinating idea, and you wouldn't think it was.
[46] And you'd think, Well what could be worse than lifting and carrying, and what could be more boring than doing that all day?
[47] But it it it hasn't been.
[48] It's been amazing for the very fact that everything is so different, every job is different.
[49] You aren't stuck with the same job.
[50] You may think you are, but from one house to the next that you deal with it's always different.
[51] But of course some of the jobs we do ... are quite strange really, and er ... er just as an example there were er th there was the job er when we were er moving stuff from the old school system.
[52] You remember they did the changeover five or six years ago now, and the schools were mi er were getting mix er er they were mixed sexes and they were Archbishop Holgate's was going to be two sexes and so was Queen Anne's.
[53] And at the swap over they had to swap equipment around for the reorganization.
[54] So we, on the small scale, for just bits and pieces, got m several jobs and one of them was moving stuff from the biology labs and the physics labs from Archbishop's to take it all the way across town to go to Queen Anne's school.
[55] And ... I just have to go to or I just have to sort of explain that when you pack a van, you don't pack it like the advert for KitKat.
[56] You've seen the advert for KitKat haven't you where they have a little break sitting in the back of the van and the settee's on the floor and the carpet's on the floor and there's a a lamp in there and there's a piece of furni to one side.
[57] Obviously if you pack your furniture in like that if you pack your furniture in in that way what you'd end up with when the van stopped all the f all the furniture would move down to one end and be squashed.
[58] So what you do is you pack it like a ... three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.
[59] You start at the front with the luton over the top, and you put your boxes.
[60] You often put things like ar er like er dining chairs which have got awkward-shaped backs up there, cover them with wrappers and place them there.
[61] And then when you get to the er van proper you take things like a wardrobe and you put it edgewise on int th in against the side of the van, ... you'd then put a wrapper over, and then you'd put something soft like a mattress facing it, because obviously that's a shiny side and if you can put something soft into it it's not going to get scratched.
[62] You then face it with another wardrobe, or if not a wardrobe you'll face it with something ... like a chest of drawers and the and put a c er er a wrapper over that and then upside down on top of that th there would be a dressing table, and they would face in.
[63] And you build it across the van like that.
[64] So it's rather like a sandwich.
[65] ... That's one of the reasons why a removal man when he comes into the place doesn't start with one room, upstairs shall we say, and f empty that room then empty another, because he's looking for sizes and shapes that will fit.
[66] Th er er s drop-leaf tables are marvellous cos you get to the end of the side of your packing you see and you might have a gap just about the right size so in you put the wrapper you put the table in and you might have a little gap like left so you get the this the you get the er ironing board and put that in there.
[67] Steps, things like that.
[68] So that the whole thing doesn't move.
[69] A good removal man very often can fill a van without ever using a tie once.
[70] You have ties obviously to hold certain things in and if you've only got a van with a a third full you'll have to use the ties because there's space left over.
[71] But a good removal man can very often pack and not actually use ties because of the way he fits stuff in.
[72] And that's the secret.
[73] Where do you think the mirrors would go?
[74] I'm going to test you now, you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [75] Floor.
Neal (PS6LY) [76] No.
[77] I thought that once, when I did my first removal because the boss was away, and I went to a house wh and they had more more mirrors in that house than I s ever seen since, and because I was only learning and I hadn't been taught I put all the other furniture in and worried about the mirrors ... and worried about the mirrors and worried about the mirrors till at the end there was so much furniture in there wasn't room to put the mirrors on the floor and I had to come back a second time ... to actually do that because I didn't dare put them anywhere else.
[78] But I did learn later.
[79] And where w anybod any other ideas?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [80] In the wardrobe.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [81] [...] the mattress.
Neal (PS6LY) [82] Well done yes, ooh there she'll make a very good Er in a wardrobe you see.
[83] Ideal.
[84] Open the door of the wardrobe, put a wrapper over the big one, put it in the back, then sandwich another one, a picture in perhaps if you've run out of things like that, till you get to the front, close the door, and you've got it all packed away neat out of the way.
[85] And it's always a good tip for a removal man to get rid of those things first.
[86] Cos if he gets rid of them first then he doesn't have to worry about those things until er later which sometimes does happen.
[87] But all this is done so that it won't shift, it won't move.
[88] Or if suddenly you have to halt ... then the whole lot doesn't ... come forward and squash into the next piece in front into the ne That's why it's edge on longways down so that the the wardrobe is that way edgeways on you see so that if you suddenly stop the weight of something there won't squash ... the the wardrobe.
[89] And you build it up.
[90] Obviously if you've got a load that'll take a whole van load you build it up as high as you can.
[91] If you go to a house and you realize that it's only a very small house and it's a very big van you'll only pack it up that way because you're packing faster by doing it that way.
[92] Anyway I explain all this to give you a basic idea of the principle.
[93] But when we went to Arch [cough] the school at Archbishop's the two lads that went, they had to pack all these various different acid carboys.
[94] They were alright, big ... glass things which you could surround and pack in tea chests with bits and pieces and equipment in.
[95] And they were b doing quite happily and quite merrily with all the bits and pieces they had to pack ... until they came to something they'd never packed before.
[96] ... A skeleton.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [97] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [98] Full-length articulated skellington you see.
[99] ... So they scratched their heads and wondered, Now what on earth are we going How are we going to pack this?
[100] If you put it in a tea chest and bend its limbs then it's likely to get broken, and it wouldn't quite fit in you see d'you see it, And yes she she's jumping ahead already you see.
[101] And if you hang it up then it will swing about and could still be damaged.
[102] You can't put it anywhere cos something else would squash it.
[103] So w er we did ... what we've just been suggested from the front here you see.
[104] We sat it in the front seat.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [105] Now m now my Oh of course.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [106] My van has the driver's seat and two passenger seats.
[107] It was a summer's day, wound the window down, put the skeleton in with his elbow sticking out over the you see,
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [108] and then the second man he set he sat next to it with his arm over his shoulders just to make sure he was comfortable with the with as you say, the seat belt on as well you see, to secure him, and off the lads set, all the way across Hull Road right the way t across to Queen Anne's.
[109] And at time that time er th it was before Coney Street was closed so they went through Coney Street.
[110] Well you can imagine can't you?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [111] People on Hull Road just standing waiting for the bus, sort of idly chattering away, Yes, aye [...] you know chattering away and th ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [112] Am I seeing Did you did you just Did you see what I saw?
[113] And you can imagine the consternation down Coney Street where there were all these people and there was the the skeleton sitting there quite perkily right the way through town.
[114] And when we got to the other end one of the lads actually walked in and did a waltz into the school with it which the kids thought was great.
[115] [laugh] But there again you see it's how you hold ... How would you hold a skeleton you see?
[116] It's probably the best way like that you see and walk it in er you see .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [117] Well there p you see you you that's one Thank you, yes.
[118] Just on cue th there Michael.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [119] I I always show this one to prove in fact that this is the case you see cos people sometimes don't believe my stories.
[120] He didn't
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [121] s he didn't remain in the parking in the driving seat er ... and in fact that that's because one of the lads was er a keen photographer and er [cough] So that's actually how it did go.
[122] Now that is the size of vans that I use now for light removals.
[123] ... Er another er rather another er on that tack of course talking about er well in this case a skeleton, I had a job to do just shortly before they closed Coney Street off fully and e it was myse I was on my own and I had t to pick up some dummies from er ... a ladies' shop ... a dress shop.
[124] And you know many of them now are rather abstract things aren't they?
[125] Well these weren't.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [126] They were very realistic were these, and there were fifty to be moved.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [127] And I had to walk about fifty yards to get to the van because it was it was in an area that had been partly pedestrianized.
[128] Now you can imagine possibly the view can't you?
[129] I go in there they they're not covered with anything and I've got a naked lady in my arms.
[130] So I carried it carefully like this, arm round the waist you see and off I went up the road for about forty fifty yards and put one in.
[131] ... Then you go back and you think, Well I can't do this fifty times over.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [132] Anything else you'd get as many boxes as you possibly could and carry them out in order to do the job efficiently.
[133] So the second time I went clasping them round the waist, two, ... you see.
[134] And you got the odd look but it wasn't too severe because at least though they had no clothes on at least you were holding them by the waist.
[135] But once you got well into the business of the removal,y one forgets, you see, and you forget exactly what you're carrying or what it appears to be that you're carrying.
[136] And at one stage I think I was carrying about three.
[137] One was slung over my shoulder one had got sort of between ... two limbs I suspect, holding it round the back like that, and another one was over a protrusion that just seemed handy to hold the lot, and as I walked down the street of course suddenly everybody was glancing at me and I realized what I appeared to be doing. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [138] And I went very red as well as you can imagine.
[139] You don't realize and then you thi [...] you've got these three bodies all wrapped round me and me er sort of walking round cheerily down the road with them.
[140] So you see you do get some strange loads.
[141] Er
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [142] [...] the bodies speak while you were walking along?
Neal (PS6LY) [143] I'm afraid not.
[144] I but it would have made me jump.
[145] I would've probably not've been here if one had started to speak.
[146] [laugh] ... Another strange job one of the younger lads did, he d he was about eighteen and er we went he went north to er north of Pickering to what do they call the forestry area there?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [147] Dalby.
Neal (PS6LY) [148] Dalby Forest that's it, to the Dalby Forest.
[149] And the job there was to pick up tray after tray ... of tiny little sprigs about that high in little tiny paper cardboard ... boxes.
[150] And they in turn were in what were rather like bakers' trays.
[151] And these were put on and then one after the other would put onto the van and they would come right up to this height.
[152] Not a lot of weight as you imagine because they're all little tiny sprigs this high, and obviously what they are going to do, they were being taken to south Wales where they going to start off a new little ... forest presumably.
[153] And we had tray after tray of these.
[154] He went there to Dalby Forest [...] one day in the afternoon loaded them all up and set off for Wales.
[155] It was a two-day job basically because of the time taken to get there and then come back through York again.
[156] And on the second day in the morning he was happily going down this nice sunny day on the coast road er to south Wales driving away ... quite happily, ... and then suddenly [mimics police siren] ... and a police car came across him, came in front stopped him.
[157] So poor Ben thought What on earth have I done?
[158] He couldn't think of any it was a quiet road, he'd done nothing wrong, he hadn't been speeding, and it was a lovely morning and ... I can't do the accent, I won't try to because it was a Welshman obviously but er he came ... [shouting] What do you think you're doing lad? []
[159] ... Ben said Well I'm just driving as normal,wh what what have I done wrong?
[160] [shouting] You've been breaking the law for the last ha ... mile and a half. []
[161] At least.
[162] Well what have I been doing?
[163] He said [shouting] Well it's a windy road, it's got double white lines.
[164] Didn't you notice? []
[165] He'd obviously had a bad night had this poor bloke, you know.
[166] So Ben said, Oh, I'm terribly sorry he said, there was nobody else on the road and I I I must admit I didn't notice whether I had.
[167] I'm very sorry.
[168] [shouting] That's not good enough.
[169] It's not good enough isn't that, being sorry.
[170] You were breaking the law.
[171] Er double white lines. []
[172] So he tried to placate this man and he wasn't going to be placated.
[173] And as the conversation f went on a little further eventually the man said the policeman said for no accountable reason [shouting] And what's your load anyway? []
[174] ... Now, you've seen the picture of the van haven't you?
[175] And how small it is, a th hund er thirty-hundredweight van.
[176] Ben gave the right answer ... literally speaking because it said it on the sheet of paper.
[177] But when he was asked What are you carrying anyway? he said ... Thirteen thousand fir trees. ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [178] Now you can imagine with a little van that size the policeman thought he was taking the mickey.
[179] And it was quite true cos there were thirteen thousand of these little t Er he didn't explain the size, he just said Thirteen thousand fir trees.
[180] [phone rings] So of course the poor Welshman with not having a sense of humour booked him, and poor Ben came back with a twenty-pound fine.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh] ...
Neal (PS6LY) [181] [footsteps. ringing stops] Oh we're alright then.
[182] So he er he was most upset was poor Ben so I did explain to him that what he had to do with policemen if they weren't feeling too good was to try and avoid saying things er quite as straightforwardly as that.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [183] We got another job, we we often get erm ... er we used to g often get jobs from the Yorkshire Museum.
[184] But then they got their own van and they did most of them, er but then again they they a called on us and said Can you come and do a little job for us?
[185] And we thought it was a bit suspicious because they have their ow they had their own van by then you see.
[186] So we went to the Yorkshire Museum there in the g in the gardens, ... Willy went along, and er ... one er and they wanted two men instead of one.
[187] They normally wanted one man to go ... and er ... and that was it.
[188] But two men had to go.
[189] And when we got there we found out why.
[190] ... Well it was what we had to carry you see.
[191] ... It was ... a glass case with a tarantula spider in it.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [192] It was also another glass case.
[193] I just have to look at the list of this cos I always tend to forget this.
[194] ... Oh yes that's right with an anthill.
[195] A live anthill about this high apparently.
[196] Then there was another glass case with scorpions in, live scorpions.
[197] And of course the blokes at the Yorkshire Museum said Oh you're alright don't worry they're quite safe they're all sealed up.
[198] And as Willy said at the time he says Well it's alright you saying that but there's no doubt why we got the job.
[199] But that wasn't the end of it either.
[200] There was a python.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [201] I mean it was only six or seven foot long ... but it was a a python nevertheless in a glass case.
[202] Course you can imagine how careful he was carrying it with that in it.
[203] And all they wanted it to do was to go around the corner to Marygate ... for the winter and then we s got the [laughing] same in the spring to bring it back, [] but by that time the python was a lot bigger.
[204] We moved it once and apparently it had to go a zoo after that cos when we moved it back it was about twelve foot long, and then of course it g grew even larger than that.
[205] So those are the kind of odd little things that help to make our job interesting and a little bit more exciting.
[206] But then of course the kind of stories I give and the ones that most people like generally speaking are the accidents I have.
[207] ... That's what you've come for most of you you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [208] Now of course I'm not supposed to admit to these things, being a professional, bo b before I do admit it them as I am going to I have to say that er ... on an average year er year we do about one thousand five hundred jobs and in that time there will probably be about three or four claimable accidents that we'll have.
[209] Last year's been better than that actually, I I think we've had about one or two.
[210] That is accidents where we genuinely do unfortunately damage something.
[211] We're covered then, the insurance pays for whatever the cover is, er and er ... that's how it works.
[212] Now that is w er in fact it was a pretty good It's point nought three per cent I think of our our jobs er that we carry out that you can have you're allowed to have an accident which I think is a fairly good rate.
[213] I mean anybody can have an accident.
[214] I had one chap who worked for me for over two years without one accident, didn't scratch anything, did everything right, he was a wonderful conscientious man, and then one day he was carrying a big box containing some expensive crockery and he tripped on the top step of the stairs and the lot went down, the whole box went right to the bottom.
[215] And it demolished about I think about ... a third of what was in it.
[216] Now of course what happened is that we claimed, we w went to the insurance and then they took ... they got a list of what was damaged and we replaced it for what he'd lost er exactly.
[217] So the man was happy enough and even at the time, he realized that er it wasn't this lad's ch er ... mm fault entirely, because the reason he tripped was cos the carpet was loose on top of the stairs.
[218] Having said that a good removal man should have noticed that before he started.
[219] But as I say he was the most conscientious removal man and after two years when he came in he was so upset.
[220] Er had had such a record, I mean if he'd smashed just er a lampshade or something like that it wouldn't have been so bad, but to actually get rid of a third of all the crockery in one fell sloop was er well it was [laugh] fairly excessive.
[221] But I am going to having said that I will tell you of the few accidents that have occurred over the years, and one of them was mine in the early days when I was learning th the full size removal job.
[222] And this is the one people seem to like best I think.
[223] Er it says something about human nature does this.
[224] Erm [laugh] You know the ... ring er the r er roundabout as you go down Monkgate, er one one of the l the roads goes off to Huntington Road and the other one is is Heworth Green and then the other road goes off now to Sainsburys.
[225] Now at one time that road as it started off there were terraced houses there ... erm little tiny terraced houses, and they were due to be demolished.
[226] Yes?
[227] It's a long ti It's a car park now for that pub on the end there.
[228] And er we went to move this lady, we got there about I suppose quarter past eight time, a summer's day, nice day it was.
[229] A huge orange and black van with the full the name of the owner on it of course, because if you want to advertise something a removal van is one of the best things in the world for putting an advert on if you want people to see it that is.
[230] And when we got there we started to pack the small things on the front, the l the luton as we call it over the cab.
[231] And then we got to the stage where we needed to get the wardrobes out.
[232] Now these houses were of the kind that when you walk in through the door at the front you go into a l sitting room, through the next door is what can be a kitchen ... cum ... living room, and the staircase isn't immediately obvious but what it is is it's a door that looks like a cupboard.
[233] And you open this cupboard door You can tell there's a step at the bottom.
[234] You open what appears to be a cupboard door and in fact the stairs go around the corner and back up on themselves.
[235] Now of course with wardrobes that are three foot wide ... it's an impossibility to get them up the stairs.
[236] Funnily enough a sing a double wardrobe which is four foot ... wide and eighteen inches deep if you split it in half, as the old ones could be, you end up with two pieces two feet and they actually can go up the stairs cos you can just get them underneath.
[237] But with a th a single wardrobe ironically you can't get them up the stairs because soon as you reach that step you've got another step so if you were to lift it up to the next step it'll hit the top of the d doorjamb so it won't go any further.
[238] Even if you got it further it's wider than the stairway which is only two foot six and the r wardrobe's three foot.
[239] So there's no way can you get them up the stairs.
[240] ... So ... it's a window job.
[241] ... Now window jobs are easy, ... believe it or not.
[242] They they look spectacular but they're very easy to do if you know what you're doing.
[243] And I'll show you basically The the theory is that you ... go inside In fact I can show you with this this kind of window here.
[244] Er don't very often have this you see when I go to talks that.
[245] But here you have a piece of beading.
[246] You take that out.
[247] ... You do the same to that piece there.
[248] Now once the beading's free you can pull this sash out, this window frame will come forward.
[249] It's on cords.
[250] This isn't because it's set to, but normally it's on cords which go up to there up to that pulley wheel round and there's a big heavy weight inside which carries the window.
[251] It's an equivalent weight to that window frame there.
[252] So of course having pulled it out the the cord is attached with two very thick ... nails, and you can pull those nails out, and then get ... you leave go of the cord.
[253] Er y you don't actually leave go of the cord straight away.
[254] If you do you need a joiner.
[255] Cos if you leave d go the cord straight away the cord just goes shooting up there, the weight inside comes down here and you lose the cord and you have to take the whole lot p t apart in order to get the thing to work again.
[256] But what you do as a removal man is you get hold of the cord that you've pulled away from the side of the frame, put a knot in it, a loose knot, then leave go gently because again if you don't leave go gently if it's an old cord when it gets to the reaches the knot it'll [laughing] snap and you'll still lose the weight inside [] .
[257] So you let go gently then you do the same on the other side, and then of course you've got this piece free.
[258] Sometimes if the the piece of furniture is very large you have to do the same with the top one where there's another lap there, that one, another piece of beading there, and this will come out as well.
[259] It means you'll lose a bit of paintwork when you do the job but very u most often you can get it all back together with a few flakes of paint missing.
[260] More often than not you only need the bottom window out because most wardrobes'll go out that way you see.
[261] So that's what you've got, you've got a situation like that.
[262] Then you bring your ladder that you've brought with you for the job and you put it up leaning on this windowsill, so that essentially if that's the windowsill the end of that table there, it's up to here you see with the top of the ladder just above the windowsill.
[263] You put a wrapper over the top and then off you go.
[264] This is a two-man job.
[265] You get your wardrobe, its feet are that way on, you get each side of it, you put it on there and its bottom of the wardrobe rests on top of the ladder.
[266] One man who's going to stay upstairs has the head of the wardrobe, you go tro I go trotting downstairs you see, ... and then I climb up the ladder And the ladder remember is over the edge ... of the sill.
[267] So about four rungs down from the top I stop.
[268] I'm quite well out from the ladder because it s [...] at an angle ... and there in front of me is the wardrobe.
[269] All I have to do is push down, the man inside pushes up and the wardrobe slowly comes up like that.
[270] I go down one or two rungs and the wardrobe follows me.
[271] It rests at an angle, it rests on the er ladders of course because they are ang er the ladders are at an angle like that so part of the weight's taken by the actual ladders.
[272] And down you go.
[273] You trot down like this.
[274] The man at the top leaves go once you've got it well resting on the ladder and he runs down the stairs to meet you at the bottom ... by which time you've got to the bottom rung, he comes takes one side of the wardrobe, you take the other and that's all there is to it.
[275] Done it ... I suppose I've done it eighty a hundred times by now But this was the first time, ... you see.
[276] And th it was about quarter to nine.
[277] ... And that roundabout in those days and probably nowadays at that time gets snarled up with traffic all going to work.
[278] We didn't help with a huge van on the Foss on the Foss Bank there.
[279] That was holding up traffic too.
[280] So everybody was watching this.
[281] ... All sit there, tapping, waiting to be able to move on.
[282] And I was going up this ladder.
[283] But there was a problem.
[284] The ladder ... wasn't long enough.
[285] It didn't go onto the windowsill.
[286] [sigh] It was about that short.
[287] About three four f foot short of the windowsill.
[288] Now I knew of no better, and Alan should've known better because he'd done a lot more removals than I had and he said Oh you're alright Neal, don't worry.
[289] Just climb, I'll pass it to you, you'll get, don't worry about that Neal.
[290] I said Are you sure?
[291] He said Yes,d So I did.
[292] I climbed up the ladder.
[293] I was too naive not to do you see.
[294] ... Anyway I got to virtually the lat rung and of course I was smack up against the wall.
[295] I wasn't two or three foot back like this as I should have been, I was up here.
[296] The wardrobe wasn't in front of me there, it was there, you see.
[297] ... So he started to push.
[298] The lady who was having operation done and wanted to see a remo er er er a wardrobe come out through a window was standing down there ... just on the edge of the road to watch this ... miraculous occurrence.
[299] And he started to push did Alan, and I started to go like that.
[300] I then started to put my foot to get the next rung down.
[301] And as I moved my foot about, like this, trying to find the next rung, I began to realize things weren't quite right.
[302] ... The ladder began to move around below me.
[303] ... Alan was still pushing quite happily.
[304] I was bending like a banana backwards like this by this time.
[305] And I was going like this ... doing a little dance on the ladder trying to find the next rung and the ladder was doing a little dance on the wall.
[306] And I suddenly realized at this stage that there was going to be ... something rather unexpected happening.
[307] Well it probably was to be expected really under the circumstances.
[308] And I was very worried because the lady ... that was going to be paying for the job was just down there and if we weren't careful we were going to kill her with the wardrobe.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [309] And fortunately ... I suddenly had inspiration, just at the last possible moment.
[310] It very rarely happens to me.
[311] But I realized that I had to do something pretty dramatic to avoid too serious an accident.
[312] So just at the last moment as the ladder began to sweep that way ... I just pushed as er hard as I could in the air, and the wardrobe flew up into the air in that direction, the ladder flew off in that direction, I flew off in this direction
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [313] And it was a bit like a fountain, going in different directions, you know how the water comes up and goes over.
[314] And we all landed on the ... pavement and road together.
[315] All in one fell bang.
[316] The wardrobe when it landed didn't ... it hit a corner, but it didn't just crumple up, it exploded.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [317] It just went Crash! and shot off into fifteen different pieces.
[318] Honestly, cos I counted them when I was putting it together.
[319] We missed the lady fortunately cos it had you see ... that last push it just flew right over her head and past her.
[320] And I mean one had to be grateful because she was much more concerned about whether I'd hurt myself falling off the ladder than her wardrobe.
[321] She wasn't worried about her wardrobe in comparison to me having landed on the on the road, which I thought was extremely good considering that she I'd just demolished a nice piece of her f er a piece of her furniture.
[322] And of course being as it was ... with everybody watching, we got applause for this.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [323] You can imagine, they're all waiting there, anything t to distract you if you're waiting in a queue, and there was this man, throwing himself off ladders, chucking wardrobes everywhere and we got [claps] Very good.
[324] Can you do it again?
[325] I didn't see it properly that time? you know.
[326] Some bright spark said By God I know what firm, I'll write I know what firm to get anyway in future. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [327] No I funnily enough I just landed er er I I I didn't hurt myself at all.
[328] I think er I don't know why but I must have just landed and done a s
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [329] somersault and landed on my feet.
[330] And I was I d I said I was very sorry about the wardrobe and I'd replace it for her and see what I could do, and she said Oh don't worry love as long you're you're alright that's all I'm worried about really.
[331] Which was extremely good.
[332] And in fact what I did do was erm went and bought her a secondhand ... wardrobe, took it to her, and she was really pleased because apparently she thought it was a better one than the first one.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [333] And it was bigger and it was shinier and er so she was happy a fortnight later anyway.
[334] But er ... there was one bit that didn't bust.
[335] It was it was o it was a utility Er now it depends on your age now, you're going to have to admit something here you see .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [336] Do you remember these utility wardrobes?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [337] Yes.
Neal (PS6LY) [338] The only solid bit [phone rings] was at the front.
[339] The only er solid part of the wardrobe was in fact the front part, which was made of [phonecall ends] ... Sorry about that.
[340] Which was made of wood, and the rest is plywood at the side and back.
[341] You know the kind that if you lived in a house which had got an uneven floor when you opened the door ... the wardrobe falls over towards you.
[342] The only time it won't fall over you is when it's full of clothes, but the problem is opening the door and getting the clothes in before it falls on you.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [343] It's one of those wardrobes, you know the kind?
[344] And it has a mirror on the back, and that was the bit that didn't break.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [345] Good grief.
Neal (PS6LY) [346] As it fell, it hit on the corner and the door opened and the corner of the door was stressed, literally, you could see stress marks on the wood, but the mirror [laughing] at the back [] was in one piece.
[347] ... Now that mirror's the one that you look into when you go in the ladies' toilets.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [348] Oh. [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [349] In the club here.
[350] It's just the right shi size and shape.
[351] I don't like wasting things you see.
[352] [laugh] It is, that is the sa [laughing] it's the same mirror in fact [] that that came from there.
[353] ... We got rid of all the rubbish, put it in and started packing and erm about five minutes later ... the man from next door came out.
[354] ... And he said er ... Ee he says, they're terrible houses these, you know.
[355] I'm going to have to move soon.
[356] ... I said Aye they're awkward aren't they.
[357] He says Aye terribly.
[358] He says, you know ... when I came to this house I had to have split all my furniture into little bits so I could get it up the stairs.
[359] ... He says, Does your firm split furniture?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [360] I says, You should have been here five minutes ago, we did a marvellous job.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [361] [laugh] We didn't get the job, incidentally.
[362] [laugh] I think somebody must have told him.
[363] [laugh] Another accident we had with an a wardrobe two of my lads had which was a funny one in retrospect but ... I some when you carry a wardrobe, ... funnily enough, the easiest way often if you've got a tight corner, you know as you go round a corner in a staircase you'll come from a landing and often turn right or turn left to go down, if you put it at an angle like that then you won't get it round the corner without catching the bannister.
[364] So very often it's better to hold the wardrobe vertical ... and the man at the bottom end if you like holds it vertical and you go down holding it flat like that.
[365] And when you get to er to the landing you turn it round through forty five degrees and then down a little bit further and eventually you tip it over to go down the stairs.
[366] But very often you'll see wa men will wa go horizontal, then it'll go vertical round the corner, then nearly horizontal or at forty five down the stairs.
[367] And that's how you do it.
[368] But if y Some of the finishes on some of the wardrobes are particularly slippery ... and if they're particularly slippery then i i it's difficult often.
[369] And in this particular instance, two of the lads were doing this very thing, coming down the stairs.
[370] The back of the wardrobe you always have facing the bannister of course, so that the shiny bit's on the outside so it's less likely to catch anything.
[371] Er if you catch the corner of the bannister just as you're going by, usually have a wrapper over anyway, but i it it isn't going to damage.
[372] And he'd got round the corner, ready to go down to the rest of the stairs which went down, and then at the bottom turned round the corner again.
[373] And the man at the bottom missed his foot.
[374] ... He missed a step so he went down two instead of one.
[375] But he'd still got hold of it.
[376] But the man at the front hadn't been told this of course, naturally enough and he couldn't see that ... so suddenly with a jolt the wardrobe left him, two steps' worth instead of one at a time.
[377] So he shot forward, and what you are trained to do as a good removal man is you drop if you're dropping anything you drop it on your toe ... or on your hand.
[378] It doesn't matter if you injure yourself as long as you don't injure the customer's furniture.
[379] So his foot went down two steps, and sure enough down came the wardrobe onto his toe ... and didn't do any damage and then just bounced to the next step down.
[380] But having h done that and having gone off his toe, he the wardrobe wasn't in front of him so much as it was down there by now, and he'd still got hold of it you see, so because of the momentum, ... of going that way down two steps and one further one he shot forward and went right over the edge of the wardrobe.
[381] ... Now of course the man at the top was depending on the man er Er the man at the bottom er was depending on the man at the top to be holding it to stop the weight fall on him.
[382] Well there was nothing to stop him by now, there were two weights, there was the wardrobe sliding down the stairs and the man on top of it.
[383] ... So he suddenly came to a halt at the bottom of this stairs as it turned the corner, ... with the bottom of the wardrobe [slaps fist] rammed into his chest, pinning him to the wall.
[384] The other man ... nose first was sliding down towards him, and ended up nose-to-nose with the other man,
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [385] ... with his feet up in the air at th the bottom end of the wardrobe, or what was now the top end.
[386] So there they were facing each other, the man a that being squeezed er his lungs being squeezed, the man on the wardrobe n unable to move because he was upside down virtually facing him head-to-head.
[387] The man who owned the house was laughing at all this of course, cos it did look very funny apparently.
[388] But the problem wasn't even helped there because you see he couldn't get up the stairs ... easily, because the wardrobe was in the way.
[389] ... So what he had to do, the the the the customer in fact, is end up by climbing up the bannister ... to get to the top so that he could get hold of the lad that was at the top ... get hold of him by the feet and pull him upwards and over and er finally free the man at the bottom.
[390] So you see it's a dangerous job as well.
[391] It's exciting and it's you can have ... all sorts [...] .
[392] Again f fortunately in this instance with that accident no damage was caused to his wardrobe and he was very happy with the removal, and highly amused by it I gather as well.
[393] ... So those are the kind of accidents you have.
[394] And then of course you've got the er ... the business of er ... [tut] places you're going to.
[395] ... Er problems that you can have beset when you go to some places.
[396] We had a job ... which was involved in loading up the day before ... this is in a big van, in the previous job I I had, er er a large van fu filling it full of a houseful of furniture in the afternoon,sp spending two or three hours taking it out of store, and we were asked to deliver it to an address in New Brighton.
[397] Anybody know where New Brighton is?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [398] It's near Walla Wallasey .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [399] Wirral is it?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [400] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [401] Wallasey.
[402] On the Wirra on the Wirral.
[403] Near Liverpool.
[404] That's right, yes.
[405] ... So off we went you see.
[406] We went there, we took it with us, all this load, And what it was it was a forces couple ... and they were coming back to this country from Germany or somewhere like that, so we hadn't seen them.
[407] They'd had the stuff for a couple of years in the store and we were going to meet them there, at number twenty five Lilac Avenue, New Brighton.
[408] We got there for about half past twelve ... in the afternoon.
[409] Tapped on the door, it was the last It was a cul-de-sac we found Lilac Avenue, number twenty five, It was the last one i the c in the cul-de-sac as it happened, number twenty five.
[410] There weren't any more, if it had been twenty seven it would have been impossible.
[411] Knocked on the door, nobody there.
[412] Thought, That's a bit funny.
[413] Still, you see if they're coming from somewhere like Southampton or wherever they might have come, maybe they were delayed on the journey and er ... So we went and had our half hour lunch.
[414] I rang up the boss, and said We've got the right number haven't we, Lilac Avenue?
[415] He says, Yes, twenty five, ... so we were happy with that.
[416] We went back and no, still nobody there.
[417] I looked through the window and in fact there was furniture in the place.
[418] But then with services ... houses, very often, like the ones in York in Manor Drive, they're in two halves.
[419] They don't look like that but they are,thei their er their back door goes into an upstairs converted flat.
[420] So with forces families very often in those days, you might be delivering to the first floor.
[421] S still wondered about it and thought This is a little funny.
[422] Then the man came out from number twenty three.
[423] What are you doing then?
[424] Well, we've come to deliver this furniture for Mr so-and-so at number twenty five.
[425] Oh no he said, there's er there won't be any furniture moving from there or to there.
[426] I s Well how do you mean?
[427] Oh they're not moving.
[428] Ah.
[429] I said Well, well they must be we've got furniture.
[430] No no no he says, we get a lot of this kind of thing you know.
[431] I said How do you mean?
[432] He says Well, he says, I'm always getting mail here for twenty three ... Lilac Avenue, New Brighton.
[433] Get loads of it.
[434] It's not for me.
[435] I said Well it must be if it's to twenty three.
[436] Oh he says No he says there's er ... And this was the bit that hurt.
[437] He says No th it's it's not here there's another New Brighton.
[438] ... I said Another ... New Brighton?
[439] I didn't like to ask him ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [440] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [441] where.
[442] I'd spent all day going there hadn't I, half a day going there.
[443] Spent three hours the previous day packing it.
[444] The people needed to be living in the house that night.
[445] I mean with removals you can't say Well I'm going to be two days late ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [446] cos the people've got to be living there.
[447] ... So I [...] I said Where's the [laugh] [laughing] where's the other New Brighton?
[448] I've already done a hundred miles, [] where's the other Ne Well he said Well actually it's in Wales, and I thought Oh no!
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [449] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [450] And I had visions of it s on the south corner of Wales.
[451] Anyway it wasn't that bad.
[452] It was in an area called Mold, just beyond Chester, about thirty forty miles on.
[453] So we whipped into the van and off we went.
[454] And believe you me, we found this little village of New Brighton.
[455] It's got a main street, and I think it'd got two other streets and that's about all ... and sure enough one of them was Lilac Avenue.
[456] We got there for four.
[457] They said We are pleased to see you.
[458] I said Not half as pleased as [laughing] we are to see you [] . [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [459] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [460] Wouldn't have happened with a postcode would it?
Neal (PS6LY) [461] Oh no, without a postcode it wouldn't.
[462] And of course it wouldn't if we'd been more accurately given the address, but
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [463] the trouble was ... in many ways is the man that booked it had had thirty five years' experience of removals, he knew all the country you see.
[464] Now I've told this tale before ... and some bright spark said Aye but th do you know there are five in the British Isles?
[465] And so I when I got back from the talk I had a look and sure enough there are, throughout the British Isles there are five New Brightons.
[466] There's one in Leeds.
[467] ... So you see you you'd have gone the wrong place wouldn't you if you'd followed ... what
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [468] I just said you see? [sigh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [469] Shows you never to er [...] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [470] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [471] [laughing] No well er [] I was learning you see quickly from these things, learning fairly quickly.
[472] We went to another one on a Saturday job.
[473] It was one of these jobs we were hoping It wasn't too big a load but it was a houseload, we were hoping to get mi finished for the mid-afternoon, about three o'clock in the afternoon, or four perhaps.
[474] And erm so we set off and I can't remember which village it was but it was ... towards the Humber Estuary somewhere and it was what I call a cul-de-sac village.
[475] That is, it it it petered out and that was the end of the road you see.
[476] You went off a main road went down another road and the village was at the end of a road and that was the end of it.
[477] You didn't you couldn't come out any other way, just the one way in ... and that was the finish of it.
[478] So we d weren't worried about that, a nice big van we'd got, it was a big one so we'd got plenty of room thirteen foot high it was, nice size van for the job, and we filled it up and [...] plenty of space left over, off we went.
[479] When we got to within quarter of an hour q sorry quarter of a mile of the the actual village itself, and remember it's quarter of a mile I'm talking about not ten yards fifteen yards away, ... we saw a railway embankment in front of us.
[480] Well, obviously there'd be a you know ... er ... a way underneath a tunnel underneath.
[481] There was, ... but it said on it ... Twelve foot six.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [482] And our van said thirt we was thirteen foot you see.
[483] Well you always know that you know when they say twelve foot six it isn't quite right, they give or take a few inches.
[484] So we edged forward and in the middle of the archway and ... there was about that much and it wouldn't go.
[485] Cos the back end you know is is slightly higher than the front end and we'd just got it in and the front was about that so it wasn't gonna Oh well can you imagine the perspiration there would be,
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [486] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [487] walking a household of furniture quarter of a mile up the road?
[488] ... I couldn't imagine, we could be there till Sunday moving it, you know.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [489] So you let the tyres down.
Neal (PS6LY) [490] Ooh there we are we've got some bright sparks here .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [491] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [492] Now I didn't think of that because again I was fairly new, but ... the lad that was doing the job said Oh don't worry Neal we'll sort this out.
[493] So sure enough we let the tyres down sufficiently for it to be roadworthy and not to ... destroy the tyres on the way there, but soft enough just so that it would go down, and we edged it through and Roy got it through the middle and off we went.
[494] Got to the other end and I think we were unloading in about an hour and a half or so.
[495] ... Two hours something like that.
[496] Turned it round on the way back driving merrily towards the arch very happily past the pub on the left and the playing fields where they were about to play rugby I suspect.
[497] ... Went past the pub you see, just about to reach the archway and I said Roy!
[498] For goodness' sake stop.
[499] ... Now when you have a house full of furniture, it weighs about five tons usually.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [500] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [501] And five tons on the back of a van causes the back of a van to go down.
[502] So there was ... we'd already taken the air out to get us through.
[503] We'd now no weight on the back of the van you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [504] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [505] So ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [506] Yes.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [507] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [508] She's jumping ahead is this.
[509] She's spoiling me stories isn't she?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [510] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [511] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [512] Yes.
[513] [laugh] I was sweating, you could imagine thinking God we're going to have to take the wheels off and drag it through with a tractor or something like that on skids, cos we needed the van for Monday and there wasn't going to be a lot of t But then suddenly yes a again I suddenly th
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [514] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [515] I remembered the noise [laugh] I remembered the noise as we went past the pub, so I went back to the pub and sure enough there were fifty Sorry thirty burly men.
[516] It was er u er er rugby union obviously.
[517] There were at least thirty ... big men.
[518] I said Excuse me lads, just before you start playing can you give us a hand?
[519] What is it?
[520] You know.
[521] I says Well I've got a van and it's ... too light at the back.
[522] Can you pa Oh, they thought this was r [laughing] great [] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [523] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [524] And they all jumped on the back and ... under we went.
[525] So, we did, we got our van back home again you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [526] Had they not done it before?
[527] I would have thought it was a regular occurrence.
Neal (PS6LY) [528] Well no we'd never had that happ .
[529] I mean you very rarely get things that close you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [530] Mm.
Neal (PS6LY) [531] Er but when you think about of it i i it is, it's logical.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [532] Must have cost you quite a lot to buy them each a drink.
Neal (PS6LY) [533] Oh no, they were too good-hearted, they were all Yorkshiremen, John.
[534] Not like you.
[535] [laughing] They were []
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [536] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [537] [...] burly fellows in the van, I'd [laughing] have come straight back home with them [] . [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [538] [laugh] Oh dear.
[539] Ah but that's another story.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [540] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [541] That's another story.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [542] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [543] You're lucky it wasn't a rowing club.
Neal (PS6LY) [544] Yeah. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [545] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [546] So that was another problem you see.
[547] So everything happens.
[548] There are always different things occurring.
[549] One of them of course is estimates.
[550] Now today if you rang me up to do removals, we don't work the same way.
[551] One of the reasons by being s a small removal firm doing light removals, I'll send one, two, three men out.
[552] But if you wanted a single bed moving, then the cheapest way would be just to have one man, he comes we charge you for the time we take, with a minimum of an hour's charge.
[553] So we charge for the time we go to the first address pick the thing up go to the second unload and get back to depot.
[554] If it's done within the hour we charge the hour.
[555] If it takes an hour and five minutes, we charge an hour and a quarter to get ... for the time to get back.
[556] And of course if you book over the phone, then it can be done that way.
[557] But if we were doing as we do a lot of jobs like that and I had to go round and estimate every one ... it would cost me more to go round and estimate than it would to do the jobs.
[558] You see adverts in the press that say Free Estimates, well of course they aren't.
[559] If you get a firm that's doing big removals, inside the cost of that is the cost of an estimator to go around and look at half the jobs he's not going to get.
[560] He's going to give a price and somebody else is going to give a price in competition, and half the time if he's lucky he'll get the jobs.
[561] But I did learn that when I was doing full-scale removals.
[562] As I say, nowadays I get the information from you over the phone, and then when we've got somebody who said Oh no, it's only a small flat, [...] I've got this this and this and that's the big pieces of furniture, er if it's somebody that's done it on spec I say Well look give me a ring back in an hour if er when you've come off the phone you er there's something you've forgotten.
[563] Or sometimes if they're not sure I'll say Well before we book it can you just have a run round the house and then ring me back tell me actually what there is to go.
[564] And then I can give them an idea of price, and we can work out what it's going to cost.
[565] If it's s something like that and they tell me the amount of furniture and if two thirds of the van will be filled with big stuff, and then they tell me there'll be half a dozen boxes, I assume there'll be at least four times that number of boxes, and if it's still going to go on, we'll do it.
[566] ... We had a job this week that was booked in [tape change]
Neal (PS6LY) [567] [sniff] Er ... estimating I was on wasn't I?
[568] That's right yes.
[569] And erm so er er if people do that And er this this businessman, this week, he he rang and he he was sending messages via the secretary, instead of getting on the phone to me and and me finding out what there was, he finally he s he said There'll be about an hour's work.
[570] Tell him there's about an hour's work.
[571] Oh I think there'll be an hour's work, she said.
[572] Now I know the man.
[573] ... So I said There's no way that what you've just told me will go in an hour, I said It'll take at least a couple of hours and what about all the small stuff he'll have in the house?
[574] ... So she relayed that and I heard it Well what about the small stuff?
[575] Oh we haven't got much.
[576] We'll take that in the car.
[577] Came back again.
[578] So I said Well no, I said Two hours it's got to be otherwise you'll never cover for that.
[579] D I didn't want to give him a false impression.
[580] So er it was decided that he it would be one man because he would give a hand.
[581] ... So he only wanted o one man, and it w if I allowed two hours.
[582] I've got to make allowances you see cos I've got to fill the day f with jobs for the other lads, so if I allow two hours I've got to fill the other six.
[583] So I need to know beforehand, within half an hour or so.
[584] Now we got off the phone and knowing the man I allowed three.
[585] ... His wife rang up ... the following day.
[586] Could we move the piano as well at the same time?
[587] I said Not with one man we can't, no.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [588] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [589] I said ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [590] we always use at least three for a piano because although two men can lift them very often if you're going round awkward corners it helps to have a third person s to steady them.
[591] So I says What we can do is I'll do an hour for you, we'll move the piano and other bits, bicycles in this case that he had, we'll shift them to the house close by, drop two men off, and one man'll come and do the remainder of the work.
[592] Does that sound re ?
[593] Yes, she was happy with that.
[594] I said We've got one man booked anyway for the re Oh she says Don't want one, he's hopeless is my husband, he'll never manage, you'd better put two men on the second half as well you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [595] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [596] So I just said in passing, I said Well your husband's allowed up to two hours, he thinks it's only gonna t Ooh she's says it won't take that, no.
[597] Good Lord no it'll take more.
[598] G allow another hour will you?
[599] Well I already had you see.
[600] So there we were, one hour plus three.
[601] ... We did the job this week.
[602] ... Seven hours it took.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [603] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [604] Seven hours.
[605] I told them that at one we'd be going away on another job cos we'd got another job booked in, but in fact I reorganized everything so that in fact we could do it for them.
[606] But that's the kind of problem you meet.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [607] He was was quite right, it didn't take an hour.
Neal (PS6LY) [608] [laughing] It didn't take an hour, you're right. [] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [609] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [610] I'll tell him that when [laughing] I see him, yes [] .
[611] [laugh] When he's paid the bill.
[612] [laugh] But that's the kind of thing that can happen, cos y people aren't aware.
[613] When I moved from my own ... place er in Walmgate to here I still underestimated how much furniture I'd got.
[614] And it is very difficult to assess.
[615] So with the big firms, when you're doing a full house and you you aren't just going to have a few bits like you would for a light removal, off you go and you estimate.
[616] I remember going on one of the first ones with the boss.
[617] It was in Poppleton.
[618] End of a cul-de-sac.
[619] And we went in the house three-bedroomed semi-detached house.
[620] Walked in the lady said Oh right, you can can have a look round and showed us the rooms.
[621] The ... two main bedrooms a small back room ... living room ... er drawing th front room and the kitchen.
[622] We saw all the furniture and my boss didn't list everything.
[623] I do.
[624] I was learning a lot over the period of making mistakes as you can imagine.
[625] So I was learning from my own mistakes and others at the time er things like getting the right county where the New Brighton happen to be and things like that I was learning.
[626] And er so he didn't list it.
[627] He'd had thirty five years' experience, he was looking at th and and in his mind's eye putting the jigsaw puzzle into the van as it were to work out how much space it would take.
[628] He said Right, yes, and he looked at that and Is that everything?
[629] Have you anything outside in the garage?
[630] Well, my husband's got the key.
[631] Well there's nothing much there's a bench there's a couple of tea chests there's an old cooker and I think probably five or six bo Is that all?
[632] Yes, that's all there is.
[633] Oh fair enough, if you're sure, Yes, you see.
[634] ... So we left and the boss told me that how he would work it out and how it would take probably something in the order of two thirds of that particular van that w we were going to use, if it was packed about six foot high.
[635] ... Brilliant you see, he's done it for so many years can work out the space and everything.
[636] ... Sent an estimate.
[637] Now estimates are are actually that.
[638] You estimate that.
[639] But if you send an estimate you more or less have to say what you're moving as well because if there's more than that and you don't put down what you're moving then you're p stuck with the estimate really and in p practice that's what usually happens, ... you give an estimate and then you do it for that price.
[640] So he sent the estimate and we got the job.
[641] It was to near Leeds.
[642] I went with the boss to do it so that we could follow up the practice of ... the theory you see.
[643] The husband was there then.
[644] We took his four- poster bed down that he wanted taking down that he cherished for ... some peculiar reason, ... and ... [laugh] then ... we moved all the other bits of furniture, and as we w were sort of getting most of the furniture out of the first bedroom he said Don't forget the loft will you?
[645] ... So we said What loft?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [646] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [647] Oh didn't my wife tell you about the loft?
[648] No no she didn't tell us about the loft.
[649] Oh well ... would you like to go and have a look?
[650] So we went and had and there was a little space, you know normal ... bit bigger than average and a little hooked thing and it opened up and down came some steps and we went up ... with trepidation I must say.
[651] There was as much in the loft as there was on the whole first floor.
[652] ... My the boss said a few things under his breath, came down the steps and we went back into the van.
[653] Cos we had to repack it you see because it was going to take a it was going to take probably not ... it was going to go right to the end with this lot on.
[654] So up it went higher.
[655] ... Not the six foot he'd thought, seven or eight foot we went up and started to pack away again.
[656] A little bit sarcastically my boss said er to the owners There's nothing else that we haven't seen is there?
[657] [laugh] . ... Well have you seen the gar ?
[658] Well your wife said there w Oh well you'd better come and have a look, you see .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [659] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [660] So we went and had a look at the garage. ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [661] Did it have a car in it?
Neal (PS6LY) [662] No, there wasn't a car.
[663] It was a two it was a two-car garage.
[664] Full ... to the gunwales.
[665] Full
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [666] [...] ?
Neal (PS6LY) [667] to the gunwales.
[668] Oh rubbish, all sor .
[669] Boxes.
[670] There was er there was the cooker er there was a cooker there was two fridges there was a disused ba er washing machine there was a And it all needed to go ... apparently.
[671] ... So of course inevitably what happened is we got ... the house lot in just, took it to this place in Leeds, got finished with that load and back for four which is what the estimate had covered us for, and then we had to start all over again ... with what was in the garage.
[672] Even then we were in for a surprise you see, because at the end of the ... You know how most houses have a rectangular plot within which the house is put?
[673] But the ones at the back aren't.
[674] On the corner of the cul-de-sac they go off at an angle don't they.
[675] And depending whether it's a rectangular plot or whether it isn't or not or if it's slightly at an angle then some of the corner houses have a fairly long gardens.
[676] Well we'd seen to the back of the garden anyway cos we could see the hedge going across like that at forty five degrees.
[677] But he said to us You won't forget the stuff in the hut will you?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [678] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [679] Cos we'd had a recce by then and had a look round and you see.
[680] Well we said What hut?
[681] Well apparently that wasn't the end of the garden you see cos that came across like this and when you went through a gap in the hedge ... about another twenty yards further on in the far distance it seemed there was the hut.
[682] ... And when I opened the door everything fell out.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [683] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [684] ... So we'd got about forty yards to march to the er the van before we even got that on board.
[685] ... We finished that job about ten thirty that night.
[686] And of course my boss because he hadn't listed what we'd seen ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [687] Was lumbered with the estimate.
Neal (PS6LY) [688] Was lumbered with the estimate.
[689] And that's what he had to pay .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [690] For twice the amount of work.
Neal (PS6LY) [691] For twice the amount of work yeah.
[692] So I again it's something I learned from that.
[693] It was funny, actually it was on that one, I think he was a little bit erm ... sexually-orientated more than average this gentleman, cos he'd got the four poster bed.
[694] This was before they became a popular thing you know.
[695] This was an original he was very proud of this and he kept telling us about this.
[696] His wife kept [tut] a distance, she said nowt, but he was quite proud about this.
[697] But you don't get this very often now but you it's funny how sometimes you get gifts when you're on removals, and this was this particular instance.
[698] Because not only had all this lot to be moved, but halfway through the removal he suddenly remembered there was something else needed moving, shot to the stairs ... with a white ... face, opened the door in under the stairs and out came all the bits and pieces from there.
[699] Oh don't forget these lads, but he said [whispering] I've got a present for you lads [] .
[700] ... Conspiratual of tone.
[701] That th w thickness ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [702] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [703] of girlie magazines.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [704] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [705] Here you are lads, get rid of them quick won't you? [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [706] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [707] We used to have a stock of them [...] .
[708] They don't now with with liberated women they don't allow it now you know.
[709] The ... [sniff] the men are no longer liberated and can have them so they just y it's quite funny but you don't get them now.
[710] ... It's funny how er th trends change, but that was a was quite a common occurrence was that, men feeling ashamed of what they'd got but trying er er in terms of these magazines giving them as if they were doing you a favour.
[711] And of course for some of the lads it was.
[712] They weren't there in the they weren't in this office for very long before they disappeared [laughing] elsewhere [] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [713] [laugh] And er er but it's funny how that should happen.
[714] The corollary to that sad case actually was when after we'd moved them we got another phone call six months lad er later from this very lady who was leaving the house and moving out.
[715] ... She'd had enough of him obviously.
[716] Magazines, ... four-poster bed the lot .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [717] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [718] Yes that was that was sufficient for her.
[719] And we moved her back, so we did get something else out of the job as well.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [720] Do you think a four-poster's more erotic than a divan? [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [721] Not me personally, no I I
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [722] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [723] Yes?
[724] Ye No I yes I ... I f would have thought it could be quite obstructive in certain circumstances .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [725] [laugh] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [726] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [727] But I wouldn't know of course.
[728] Yes, maybe, I don't know.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [729] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [730] Yeah.
[731] ... [laughing] Yeah. []
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [732] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [733] I've not had that ye that problem with that.
[734] Yeah no I'd er [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [735] So there you ar Now then we get ... another kind of job.
[736] This this one I'm going to tell you about Are we alright for time?
[737] Are you not in
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [738] Yes.
Neal (PS6LY) [739] You're alright so far?
[740] Erm ... er this o this one is not one single job as it happens but it is the kind of thing that we have come up against before and I've put them the things together in one so that we don't identify people really under the circumstances.
[741] But ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [742] [...] . [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [743] In the early stages ... we ... were we you know used to take phone calls and take them at face value, and we got a phone call like this.
[744] Erm, lady's voice.
[745] ... [whispering] Er I wonder er what time do you start in the morning? []
[746] So he said Well we start at mm half past eight eight o'clock time usually.
[747] [whispering] Could you start a job at ... about half past nine in the morning? []
[748] Yes madam, no problem there.
[749] [whispering] How long would it take you to get the furniture out?
[750] Would you be out by midday? []
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [751] [...] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [752] I can see what's coming.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [753] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [754] So I said well it depends how much there is you know, we we are only a light removal firm, we don't have [whispering] Oh no no well there's no problem there, it's only half a houseload. []
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [755] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [756] Now the advice a few years er be from the s solicitor was not in quite the the th precisely these words but if somebody was leaving, I mean if the wife was leaving the husband, the instructions were basically Love, ... get your furniture out, hide it somewhere, and argue about who owns what afterwards.
[757] And that was the kind of advice some years ago was being given by solicitors.
[758] ... So what we were doing of course is we were moving in taking her half of the stuff and moving it out.
[759] Now on one occasion, as I say this is a conglomerate this is of several things put together, but one happened rather like this.
[760] ... We got there round about the half past nine.
[761] Hubby had gone of course.
[762] Er it was a cul-de-sac job.
[763] ... And we started s to put the stuff in at the front and whatnot you see.
[764] And then we started to get to the big stuff.
[765] It always happens with the big stuff really.
[766] We've got well under way with the job, she's very white,sh you can imagine why, she's feeling very you know she's very sort of edgy as you move things out and she's deciding what to move.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [767] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [768] ... Now on that particular day ... Because the husband ... is ... unaware of these things you see.
[769] But that particular day she didn't know beforehand, this was planned a few weeks in advance as you can imagine.
[770] But he's off ... to see his area manager in Leeds.
[771] ... It's an unusual day cos he's got to have create a good impression with the boss you see, the area manager, there might be something in it for him.
[772] So he's rushing around and flapping this morning before he goes off just before nine.
[773] ... And off he shoots in his car, his splendid ... company car.
[774] Up he goes, off he goes.
[775] We arrive a few minutes later you see, to plan, and we're putting the stuff in.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [776] He forgets something and comes back.
Neal (PS6LY) [777] He's just adjusting his ... outfit as he's in the car driving up the Tadcaster road ... and he looks with horror.
[778] He's forgotten to put his tie on.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [779] So what does he do? he turns round ... and comes back.
[780] And it's sod's law you know because nearly always these things happen ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [781] Mm.
Neal (PS6LY) [782] when we've got the worst bit.
[783] It's either a six-foot high ... with sharp edges ... f fridge freezer ... or a cooker which all the back's got grease on and is sliding out of our hands as we carry it.
[784] And sure enough, down the street this man drives.
[785] Can you imagine, you're in his position?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [786] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [787] A happily married man you think, coming down the road ... and suddenly there are some clow clowns ... actually with a van parked outside your house, moving what you recognize as your ... fridge freezer out through the door.
[788] Now y I mean you've got no preconception th th y idea that this is going to ha happen at all.
[789] So you leap.
[790] And he leapt out of the vehicle, [shouting] What the bloody hell do you think you're doing with this lot?! []
[791] ... So I [...] look a bit shaken cos we've he's just come from nowhere, screeching to a halt.
[792] Moving this fur .
[793] Bloody fools or something?!
[794] It's the wrong bloody house!
[795] I'm not moving!
[796] I say Well I'm very sorry sir, but the lady inside says y The what?!
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [797] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [798] But the lady inside, she said to er Take it back in!
[799] And the lo the that bloody lot!
[800] I want it back inside!
[801] But i we've been to I don't give a damn what you've And er of cour naturally enough you see.
[802] It's a job you get shouted at is removals, very often.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [803] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [804] So you go to the door and you open the door and you walk backwards.
[805] It's like one of these films in reverse you know.
[806] And this time you're coming backwards and
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [807] ... this way on.
[808] ... And the lady's going [mimicking woman] What what what on earth happened?
[809] [...] I want that out I want that [] There's a man behind us ... and he says if we don't bring it in he's going to kill us.
[810] [mimicking woman] Oh good god no!
[811] ... Well [] And then there's there's y er y he can't get in the house cos you're in the way and he's trying to push past and y we don't know where the hell to go.
[812] You know, we don't know what to do with the bloody bit.
[813] ... Get the bloody thing back in the k !
[814] Oh, you know [mimicking] I don't want it in the kitchen, oh! []
[815] So then there's a s set-to inside the hallway.
[816] Now of course the difficulty you can't i it's a personal thing and you don't like standing watching all this operation going on for too long.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [817] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [818] At the same time you've got to try when there's a break in the in the shouting to explain that the longer they shout the c more it's gonna cost if you actually do do the removal,
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [819] and even if you don't it's gonna c you know And er you get a few choice words and then eventually you say Well well look we'll go outside and sit outside for a few minutes and d and wait till you've decided what and don't forget i time you kn you kn
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [820] Yeah.
Neal (PS6LY) [821] and [...] you know.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [822] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [823] And so you wait outside.
[824] ... It's fifty-fifty.
[825] The result, that is.
[826] Fifty-fifty usually.
[827] You know you th either come back and they're embracing each other and cuddling and there're a few tears and everything and er everything's hunkydory and ... you start traipsing back in with all the bloody stuff you've just brought out from beforehand you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [828] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [829] The other fifty percent of the time of course is i it's split again because they're arguing like And he comes charging out [shouting] Take the bloody lot, I don't care! [] ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [830] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [831] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [832] And [sigh] Oh well, I'm not telling you you see.
[833] ... Cos as I say it's a mixture of a few you see.
[834] But actually in between, I'd forgotten the in between bit of course is while all this pandemonium's going on, the neighbourhood didn't realize she was moving, or perhaps one or two did.
[835] But you know ... it's it's a strange thing, you don't realize how conscientious English people are.
[836] ... How ... often they come out and clean their windows.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [837] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [838] Mow their lawns.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [839] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [840] Paint ... the door.
[841] ... Tell you this time they were out all in full force you know.
[842] [shouting] Like a cup of tea?
[843] Whilst you're waiting. []
[844] What's going on in there?
[845] You know, it's it's it's ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [846] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [847] And it's not professional to say anything.
[848] It's professional to take the tea of course, but you don't say anything after you've got it.
[849] But of course he comes up [shouting] Take the bloody l ! []
[850] And so I er you er you you start to take it back out again.
[851] And then of [...]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [852] ... Just back like a yoyo, backwards and forwards.
[853] ... And so it goes on.
[854] And eventually you you either do and he drives off and nearly runs into rams into a lamppost or something like that on his way when he's finally given up, or else sometimes as I say they get together and er everything's hunkydory.
[855] But of course the problem then is ... after all that, whichever way, whether you move them or you don't, you've taken time.
[856] You've probably taken two hours getting the stuff out and then putting it back in again, and if you move it you've taken a lot longer.
[857] ... Nobody wants to pay. ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [858] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [859] The bloke certainly doesn't want to pay, he didn't book you.
[860] ... The woman doesn't want to p play because she doesn't think it's her fault.
[861] And if they get together neither wants to pay because they haven't done anything, we've only taken the stuff out and put it back in again.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [862] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [863] So the usual thing eventually after five months waiting for payment is to find out the ... bloody solicitor that told them this you see and inform the the solicitors that er his client has not yet paid us and we it ought to be done and eventually that's how we get the money. ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [864] Well it was her fault really for not checking he'd got his tie on.
Neal (PS6LY) [865] [laughing] Yes that's right. [] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [866] So as you see it's not a boring job.
[867] ... One time no a long time ago, which it might actually, might you might have been at the meeting, I don't know.
[868] But ... This club as you know opens at eight o'clock in the evening.
[869] Now I've done removals before then, not so much now, but I at one time used to be out on the road doing removals myself very often and I would get in for about seven o'clock in the evening get a quick grab something to eat, rush round this place, put the fires on ... and get it ready.
[870] Now today there are two people working one or two, there's somebody on the door somebody o o o on the bar ... because we get fifty people into the club often now.
[871] But in those days, in the early days, we used to be lucky to get twenty or thirty didn't we?
[872] And we'd maybe just have two meetings on.
[873] So one couldn't justify having two people on board doing the job when in fact what was involved was bringing you in signing you in and then serving you.
[874] So I used to do both jobs, sign you in then rush to the bar.
[875] It was like Fawlty Towers, I'd be to the bar
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [876] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [877] It's alright for you regulars who know what it's like, but imagine somebody new coming to the club.
[878] You wander in, you pay your ninety P, and I say If you just go through that door please, and the next minute I'm out at the bar as well saying What would you like to drink?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [879] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [880] But that's how it had got to be in the early days, otherwise ... it would have cost more to run ... than I took.
[881] And it was one of those such nights that at half past seven I'd just got most of the fires set and ready to er er just on and going ... and I'd half an hour to get everything straightened and ready for eight o'clock opening, and the door at the back went, which was where the office used to be.
[882] ... And it's another shouting job again.
[883] ... Open the door [...] [shouting] Want me bloody furniture back! []
[884] ... That's all he said.
[885] I said Sorry?
[886] Sorry sir?
[887] [shouting] You've taken my furniture! []
[888] I says I beg your pardon?
[889] [shouting] It's gone! []
[890] I said, I'm sorry can you tell what's the name?
[891] So he told me his name, I think it's something like Mr .
[892] I said Sorry we haven't moved a to [shouting] You moved my bloody furniture, today.
[893] It's gone I tell you.
[894] I go out [] ... to work this morning at nine o'clock, I come back, I open the kitchen door, four o'clock this afternoon ... walk into my kitchen ... [shouting] empty! []
[895] ... It's all gone!
[896] I couldn't believe it.
[897] I went into the living room.
[898] All my bloody furniture's gone from the living I went upstairs the lot's gone!
[899] ... And you've got it!
[900] I said I'm sorry Mr but we haven't got Er come with me into the office, I'll show you, we've nothing till for a Mr .
[901] I said Where's it from?
[902] He said [shouting] Tockwith [] .
[903] Oh.
[904] I said Tockwith?
[905] I said Just a minute but ... We've had a Mrs .
[906] Mrs Cooper rang us up.
[907] We've taken her, yes we've moved her stuff to th to the store I said.
[908] [shouting] That's her! []
[909] ... My housekeeper.
[910] She's only been with me six weeks.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [911] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [912] I said Serious He said I want i I want my stuff back now.
[913] I says I I er no no messing around I want it back.
[914] Well I says I'm very sorry but I says it's six miles away in a store, we don't attend stores in the evening, I've nobody to come d [shouting] I've got Where the hell do you think I'm going to sleep tonight? []
[915] ... I says Well I must admit it is yes I you know I He said I'm going to get a policeman if you're not careful.
[916] He says I want a poli I want my bloody b furniture back tonight, otherwise I'm going to get a policeman.
[917] ... Well by this time it was ten to eight and I'd got all these members were going to be outside, I was going to have to let them in and serve them and I was getting a bit frantic you see.
[918] I said Well look, you go and get the policeman ... I'll ring my solicitor up ... and then we'll sort it out from there.
[919] So off he went in high dudgeons as you can imagine you know, red-faced, excited.
[920] Well you would be wouldn't you if you'd nowhere to sleep on the night?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [921] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [922] Imagine going home tonight, opening the back and there's nothing there.
[923] It's not funny is it?
[924] You know.
[925] So ... I rang my solicitor and he wasn't there.
[926] So I then rushed to the front of the building, I said Look, will you come in please?
[927] Go up to your rooms, and I'll take your money off you later.
[928] I'm sorry I can't serve you now but I'll get back to the bar as soon as I can.
[929] So these poor people came in and I s it was actually it was an Argosy club night.
[930] That's why you might have been on it you see.
[931] ... And er ... or yourself maybe?
[932] Do you remember that?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [933] No.
Neal (PS6LY) [934] It was many many years ago, but it's it definitely i this is what happened.
[935] I mean probably the members didn't realize what was going on.
[936] And er so I shot back to the phone, tried a second partner finally the third partner in the solicitors firm that I deal with was there.
[937] [sigh] So I explained what had happened.
[938] He says Well you're quite right n y I Cos I didn't think we ... You know I'd said to the man already it's quite possible I wouldn't be able to really take the stuff out of store for him.
[939] ... He'd have to t Cos you see there was no proof of ownership.
[940] Mrs was the person that had contacted me.
[941] So ... he said You're quite right.
[942] Mrs made a verbal contract with her.
[943] When you arrived at the house she was in residence.
[944] So you'd made a verbal contract over the phone with a lady who you found living on the premises so you had every right to believe that she owned the furniture.
[945] ... If that man wants his furniture back and it is his, because it might not be, ... he'll have to get a court order.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [gasps of astonishment]
Neal (PS6LY) [946] So I told him that when he came back with the policeman.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [947] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [948] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [949] I know.
[950] Well the policeman was there [laughing] anyway wasn't he?
[951] You know [...] [] .
[952] [laugh] . And the policeman just Well of course this is a civil matter he sai He wanted to get his tea no doubt you know, and he wanted to be off .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [953] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [954] So he r he disappeared from view and the man'd quietened down a bit.
[955] I said Look I'm I really am very sorry.
[956] I said I wish I could provide you with a bed, I can't.
[957] I said I wish I could because I I I am sorry for your situation.
[958] But I cannot take it out of store because I would be breaking the law effectively if I did.
[959] I said All you can do basically is go to a solicitor, get a court order, unless I can persuade the lady herself ... to let you have the furniture.
[960] Now I'd also in this time rung up the er forwarding [...] address in Manchester, rung up the telephone number I'd been given of the forwarding address.
[961] Because she'd paid the bill for the removal.
[962] And I had to have an address to send the bill for the storage, which I would send to her on account every three months.
[963] And she'd gone you see.
[964] She'd So I thought well I'd ... I ... Well he'd I didn't say what he'd done I didn't ask about that, I mean I had I had enough trouble without asking questions like that you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [965] And erm ... I rang the lady it turned out it was mother that was on the phone at Manchester.
[966] And she said Oh yes I says Well I'll tell you what's happened Oh she says My daughter's a hussy.
[967] She reall s I you know I've always had trouble with my Oh she I can understand, The poor man she said, I do feel sorry.
[968] I said Well er don't worry about that I said er you know But can you give me your daughter's phone number or address so I can contact her and get this sorted out?
[969] I wish I could love, but she says I can't help you.
[970] She said she's just went on she go she a after your removal today she got on a boat at Southampton, and she's on her way to Australia.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [971] [laugh] . ...
Neal (PS6LY) [972] And she was.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [973] And what was the outcome of this?
Neal (PS6LY) [974] Well, within about ten days I got a phone call from a solicitor er in Leeds telling me to let me ha let the bloke have the stuff.
[975] I said Well I'm sorry you'd better refer to my solicitor who's told me that you need a court order.
[976] And the trail went dead for about another fortnight, I didn't hear any more so, I thought Well maybe it isn't you see, maybe it isn't this chap's furniture after all.
[977] A fortnight later from Bradford, another set of solicitors rang up, explained that they understood the circumstances, said Look c could I hold the stuff there and what was I going to charge for the storage etcetera, er and they would be going to have to get an affidavit from this lady in Australia at some stage in order to give er him the chance to have the stuff back.
[978] They'd need an affidavit to say This is not mine, it belongs to Mr ... er whatever his name was I've forgotten it now.
[979] And er
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [980] .
Neal (PS6LY) [981] ... Mr , thank you.
[982] And er so ... that's what he had Do you know how long it took, all that lot?
[983] A year! ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [984] What the hell did he do meanwhile?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [985] [...] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [986] [...] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [987] [...] carried away anyway.
Neal (PS6LY) [988] Well you see, I didn't know what had taken place.
[989] He said it was my housekeeper you see.
[990] Now I I'm I'm only a simpleton in these matters.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [991] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [992] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [993] Yes y [laugh] yes that's right,y
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [994] [...] housekeeper.
Neal (PS6LY) [995] Y that's that's right yes.
[996] [laugh] And obviously I think it was a revenge job by the sound of it.
[997] And it took a year for him to get it back.
[998] In fact then he by that time he was living in Leeds, so he had to pay for the cost of removal from my store to Leeds.
[999] I charged him only half the normal price.
[1000] So I didn't make a loss but I didn't make a profit on the bit of space that I need ... that I was using for storage cos I thought it was only fair to the poor bloke.
[1001] And in fact it shows a lot for human nature because he was chuckling away at the end of it all and he even gave the lads who did the job a tip.
[1002] So it's er but it's a funny world isn't it, eh?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1003] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1004] And er so not only is it fun, and exciting, but quite risky.
[1005] You know, you ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1006] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1007] So that gives you an idea of what goes on with doing removals.
[1008] There are all sorts of other tales, but I think by now I've yes I've just about er had e had enough time I think now, haven't I?
[1009] Bef er I'll start boring you soon with other bits and pieces.
[1010] Any questions at all? ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1011] Have you ever been threatened with anything? ...
Neal (PS6LY) [1012] ... Not quite, but these split jobs where you have a split between couples, it can get a little bit heavy at times.
[1013] But my instructions for the lads have always been that if you go to a job for a lady particularly and then a man comes along and starts to get stroppy, you'll have to explain to the lady you may have to leave it temporarily and go back.
[1014] But we've never quite had to do that.
[1015] Erm ... [sigh] but it's been near.
[1016] I remember one, the chap called Dave in York who er has a removal firm
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1017] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1018] Yes, well I was on a r a radio programme with him at one time and er and he was telling about some of his sticky stories, and there was one where he was doing a [laughing] similar job from a farmhouse and he picked the furniture up and had to drive [] down this long drive to get onto the road and the the farmer, who ... presumably was the man who felt er an injustice to him was being done as it were, he was on his tractor, saw the van moving down the driveway, took a shortcut to the road edge, and fired a shotgun at [laughing] his van. [] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1019] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1020] [laughing] And he said as he drove off down the road it went rattle rattle rattle rattle and there were these hole little holes in the side of his van. [] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [1021] So we've never come as er as quite as close as that.
[1022] His brother Melvin, er who has another removal firm in York, erm he had a funny [laugh] experience too [] that I've not hac had.
[1023] We move pianos on ground floor.
[1024] We're light removals, but we will move a piano with three men.
[1025] I have moved pianos upstairs, in certain cases where it's a very open staircase and a straight one, but we won't normally do that cos er we need the equipment to do it, the proper sled and everything and we haven't got those things because we wouldn't be asked upon to do it often enough.
[1026] And er but he did one did Melvin, and he he was ... trotting up the stairs with three men pushing you see, two at the bottom one at the top guiding it, and the top of the piano started to disappear into the staircase.
[1027] ... Because it was an old house that they were renovating, and it had got so much rot in it and woodworm, and he said [laughing] he said [] he said th there they were walking up one minute and [laughing] the next minute the piano was just going down through the stairs [] .
[1028] And he said Eventually with ropes and various other tackle it took seven of them to ... lift the piano back up again out of the gap that it had produced in the stairs and get it up the stairs.
[1029] ... So y tell you, it's amazing the the kind of ... remarkable things.
[1030] One other one, if I may just, that I've just remembered that A lady who had a Again this is when I was big removals.
[1031] She lived in a one-bedroom flat in St George's Place as you may know those council flats.
[1032] Very small, very compact, very nice little places.
[1033] ... And he booked it over the phone, said Is it a standard flat? which was a silly thing to ask cos to everybody who lives in a house, they've a standard amount of furniture.
[1034] Nobody believes they are excessive.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [1035] ... Oh I've got an average amount they say and everybody's average is different of course.
[1036] [...] living on her own, so he assumed it take three and a half hours did the boss.
[1037] She mentioned that she kept had some Ercol furniture.
[1038] You know the kind, that lovely blar dark brown furniture.
[1039] ... We arrived on this job, first floor, and we went and opened the door.
[1040] She said I must mention I've had a few more deliveries from Ercol ... So we walked into the living room.
[1041] ... You know how people collect stamps?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1042] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1043] And if you've got a c country's stamps they collect the whole lot, you know, they don't just collect they collect the whole range all in one f And she'd done this with her furniture.
[1044] She lived on her own, I I think she was an ex-nurse if I remember rightly.
[1045] ... And she said the extra bits she'd got completed the collection.
[1046] ... They were wall units.
[1047] You know, six foot high, one of them was six foot wide.
[1048] The other one was only four foot wide because of course she needed to collect the whole lot you see, and then the next one was three foot wide.
[1049] All three of those had just arrived the day before.
[1050] ... Plus a drop-leaf table.
[1051] ... She'd got about six ... little normal ... dining chairs, and then there there were the carver chairs, she'd got about six of those.
[1052] She'd got all the array of occasional tables they then did.
[1053] ... She'd got the sort of sideboard.
[1054] She'd got a bureau.
[1055] Everything in the bloody catalogue at Ercol she'd got.
[1056] The only problem was that there was no space to walk!
[1057] ... And in this last day, she must have been camping about, I don't know how, but somehow she was traversing I she probably didn't she was using the living room as a store, I could only think that, she couldn't possibly live in it.
[1058] And we had to shift this lot.
[1059] ... But added to that, when you went into the bedroom, ... there was the normal wardrobe and the dressing table and the chest of drawers.
[1060] Behind the wardrobe were there all sorts of things.
[1061] On top of the wardrobe w there were big plastic bags.
[1062] ... Full.
[1063] Chock-a-block.
[1064] Under the bed.
[1065] ... There wasn't any dust under the bed really because there was no room for the dust because it was ... jam-packed
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1066] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1067] full of bags.
[1068] Sh Don't forget she said There's a coal house outside.
[1069] I said I'm sorry love, we don't move coal.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1070] [laugh] . ...
Neal (PS6LY) [1071] Oh she's says It's not coal, no, I don't use it for coal, she sa I've got gas central heating, we don't need No it's just that er well there are a few things in there.
[1072] We I mean you know with coal houses they they're about this wide, about that high, of course you don't put the coal that high do you cos it's [...] forty five degrees job.
[1073] And it goes back about six or seven foot doesn't it usually?
[1074] And you open just like a little shelter.
[1075] ... Same thing as as I mentioned before.
[1076] It all fell out.
[1077] Bags.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1078] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1079] [...] ?
Neal (PS6LY) [1080] Yes, certainly.
[1081] She'd got all the clothes she'd ever had.
[1082] You know those little party dresses, what are they called, tutu dresses?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1083] Mm.
Neal (PS6LY) [1084] That five-year-olds have to go for parties.
[1085] She'd still got one of those in a plastic bag.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1086] [...] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1087] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1088] Everything that she must have had in clothes she'd kept.
[1089] All the shoes from little tiny ones, right up to the current.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1090] Oh. [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1091] She'd got a bag full of light bulbs.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1092] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1093] Not new light bulbs, the ones that she'd taken out and put into the plastic bag.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1094] [...] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1095] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1096] There w Honestly, they were all She wasn't going to chuck anything away at all.
[1097] I forget what mania this is, there's a word for it isn't there?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1098] [...] recycling.
Neal (PS6LY) [1099] Is it?
[1100] Well recycling yes, but not the mania.
[1101] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1102] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1103] Kleptomania, yeah?
[1104] No she didn't.
[1105] I mean I don't know whether she thought she could put them in the garden when she got to the new place and they'd grow but
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1106] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1107] There were five dozen jars, literally five dozen jars of jam.
[1108] ... And as you can imagine they weren't all fresh.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1109] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1110] Forty ... jars of marmalade.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1111] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1112] ... She could use the sugar she'd got for building bricks for a new shed I reckon, the amount she'd got there.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1113] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1114] And all solid, you know.
[1115] It was all over the place.
[1116] Under the sink, behind the cupboards, every single where you could imagine was chock-a-block.
[1117] That job took ... nine and a half hours.
[1118] It was estimated for three and a half.
[1119] Because we started in the afternoon that day, should have finished about half past four five, went on till seven, and then wen went ne next morning to get the next lot.
[1120] But the funniest thing of all was that the flat she was going in, the floor area was less than the one she'd left.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1121] [laugh] . ...
Neal (PS6LY) [1122] The only gain she'd got was it was about another two or three foot up to the ceiling.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1123] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1124] And that that li literally was what ... we did.
[1125] I mean she was chuffed.
[1126] She thought it was great, marvellous, you know she was very pleased with us.
[1127] I bet she was at that price.
[1128] ... And she was a marvellous woman, you know wonderful.
[1129] But all I mean the shoes and the lot and everything.
[1130] Nothing went at all.
[1131] ... So y you see [...] there's another ... s strange ... funny thing that can happen you see.
[1132] And this is ordinary days .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1133] Have you ever ... Sorry Neal.
[1134] Have you ever gone to remove someone and they've been still been in bed or been having their breakfast or something you know?
Neal (PS6LY) [1135] [laughing] Or something like that yes [] . [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1136] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1137] [laugh] .
[1138] Or making a meal of it y Making a meal it you mean?
[1139] Yes. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1140] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1141] Oh yes, I mean very often I mean [cough] er you often go you very often.
[1142] I mean if somebody rings you up and says How much will it cost? if it's er a sort of full removal you're doing, you say Well are you packing or aren't you?
[1143] Because if you're packing then we'll dr bring er the forty boxes out fore beforehand.
[1144] We don't use tea chests, incidentally, we use we wine boxes that we get from wine merchants, empty ones.
[1145] Because people will put books into tea chests then you can't lift them.
[1146] ... You have to do a Chinese walk like this with them with a man on the other side holding the box like this because there isn't the distance.
[1147] So we use cardboard boxes and even if you're moving crockery, you put half or a third of what you'd put in a tea chest goes into er a a a cardboard box.
[1148] You carry it out, and as long as the lid As long as you pack stuff so that the top doesn't come above the le level of the lid, you won't get any damage done, and it's much easier.
[1149] And again a man a removal man you see can leave cardboard boxes, you don't need to have them by, we'll collect them if you want.
[1150] But on the other hand as is often the case, there's so much that you've got you don't need, that when you finish your removal you want a whole lot of boxes in the corner out the way until you've sorted er everything else out.
[1151] So th that can happen.
[1152] But if people don't pack, as was the example of this job to this last week that took till erm ... the time it was it was four o'clock as I said when they finished.
[1153] Erm ... that would have been much much quicker if they'd bothered and organized them but they hadn't organized anything.
[1154] They were just there.
[1155] And the I suppose they expected to whirl round like that and all go into the er the the boxes.
[1156] And that's why it took a long long time.
[1157] We don't mind doing it.
[1158] ... But basically if people plan and pack beforehand, These these for example, erm, the black plastic bag, your dustbin bags, marvellous things.
[1159] If you've got clothes, your coats and dresses, and fold them over once, and then put them into a bag like that and we put them gently on top of the load, they come to no harm at all.
[1160] And big things like your er cooking utensils, your your your pans, they are best put into black plastic bags tied at the top.
[1161] Cos then they take any shape up you see.
[1162] When you put them on board they just will change shape so they'll fit in and they're marvellous for for packing in.
[1163] And they're a way of getting a lot a lot of things in a in a in a space.
[1164] Er but that kind of thing can make such a difference, but people sometimes are, as you say, [...] they're not prepared.
[1165] I mean I I once had a job, it was booked ... Er [sigh] now what do they call the road?
[1166] I always forget the name of the road.
[1167] You know Marble Arch, what's the long road that goes off Marble Arch?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1168] Edgeware Road.
Neal (PS6LY) [1169] Edgeware Road, thank you, yes.
[1170] We had a b I got a booking one night.
[1171] I should have known better but I got a booking about half past nine in the evening.
[1172] Can you pick up for us, please, perhaps a part-load price, for a bedroom suite from number seven Edgeware Road, when you're going?
[1173] And as it happened, we were likely to be able to go.
[1174] What you do is i er erm At one time when business was booming you may have as many as twelve enquiries over one month for the London area.
[1175] So you'd try and parcel together, er say, four.
[1176] And if you got four together you may be two down or three down and one back, you could make it pay, and share the cost out between everyone.
[1177] And I was able to do this, so that half the fee was being paid for a three-piece suite going, some boxes, to another address, and then this bedroom suite was taking the other half of the charge back.
[1178] And I arranged it on that day at the time.
[1179] They went down in one day, unloaded the two separate loads, got round to number seven Edgeware Road the next day.
[1180] ... It was a shop.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [1181] ... And when we think about it, Edgeware Road, number seven, it is pretty early on, I ought to have realized, but I didn't know London well enough then.
[1182] So we went into the shop, said Sorry to bother you, but Mr so-and-so er number seven is there a flat upstairs?
[1183] [laughing] No, it's our storeroom [] upstairs.
[1184] It was only a two- storey building.
[1185] ... Er well we're after Oh there's nobody li nobody lives here at number seven Edgeware Road.
[1186] ... Somebody would've been drunk that night you see, half past nine at night, thought it was a good trick.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1187] Oh.
Neal (PS6LY) [1188] So I'd gone all the way down there and come back for half price basically, and lost on it.
[1189] So you learn.
[1190] [laugh] And we never heard from it again.
[1191] If it had been genuine, they'd have been on the phone quick enough if we'd not arrived.
[1192] But there was no nobody lived there at all.
[1193] And it was just And of course what else can you do in many ways ?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1194] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1195] As I say I ought to have had savvy enough, Edgeware Road, the first part of it, is purely commercial as you know, er er erm but I hadn't realized that at the time.
[1196] So that's you know the kind of thing. [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1197] When you say that people have been bad packing things,
Neal (PS6LY) [1198] Yes.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1199] ... I always understood that if you packed things, you weren't insured.
Neal (PS6LY) [1200] No well y y there is some truth in that, yes.
[1201] In th i in the old days when a firm would come along and pack everything, then they said that, and that was quite true, that they would pack everything and then they would be responsible if damage was done.
[1202] There's still always the argument with certain firms as to whether it was done before or after.
[1203] But from a practical point of view as time has gone on, most people now are aware that they want to save money.
[1204] And as packing can take half the time of the total removal and even more in certain circumstances, most people opt for that.
[1205] And a what I would say is that if you pack carefully, and I advise people as to how to pack crockery You don't put plates th s big plates on the bottom and then build up, because that puts a tremendous weight on the middle of the big plates at the bottom.
[1206] You put them edgeways up and you put newspaper in between.
[1207] And we usually say Anything that you think is too fragile, let us pack.
[1208] And when we get there, there's probably four or five boxes to pack, but the rest is done, like books and crockery and things like th normal crockery.
[1209] It can save immense time.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [1210] And we've not had I I must say that over the years I might have had ... two cases perhaps when there's been a query with regard to that in terms of packing.
[1211] We've not had that problem.
[1212] But some firms do, and then they won't f they won't pay obviously, because they don't think it's their problem .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1213] [...] nineteen sixty one [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1214] Yeah.
[1215] But that was the practice.
[1216] But because labour related to cost of the total has gone up so much, er i i most people now prepared to pack would prefer to do.
[1217] There is a s distinct advantage of course is when you get to the other end if you've labelled it all or you know y what you've put into which box, you know what you want out immediately, like the kettle.
[1218] ... As we all look er c [laughing] hopefully you know [] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1219] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1220] Like the kettle you see.
[1221] Or else you er ... er er you you know Well I won't need that, it can all go in the corner.
[1222] I mean when I moved I had stuff in here before the upstairs was used, I had it for about a year or so, before I opened it up .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1223] Do you ... do you pr pr er er erm supply boxes in advance?
Neal (PS6LY) [1224] Yes, oh yes.
[1225] Yeah I mean if it's somebody wanting to move a three-piece suite and just a few books, no, we'd do it at the time.
[1226] But if it's a proper removal job we're doing then yes we would.
[1227] We'd go beforehand for no charge, drop the stuff off.
[1228] As long as you're not living in Newcastle.
[1229] ... Then that
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1230] Er
Neal (PS6LY) [1231] would be a different matter you see.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1232] Gateshead.
Neal (PS6LY) [1233] Yes.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [1234] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1235] How do you suggest [...] pack glasses then?
Neal (PS6LY) [1236] Erm well when you're getting to glasses, erm there is a way.
[1237] If you take erm ... Depends on the shape of them, but very often if you put a piece of newspaper round ... and then face the corner of one into the into you could put one ... into the bottom of the next and do it in a square.
[1238] So one goes into there and the next one'll go at forty five de like that.
[1239] So the who Th one goes into there, if it's a cup shall we say, a cup goes in The opening of that cup goes into the corner of that,
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1240] Oh I see, yeah.
Neal (PS6LY) [1241] and do it round, you see, in a circle.
[1242] Now if they're long narrow ones you can't.
[1243] So the best thing is to put the piece of paper in in a wadge and then come out on the outside and pack it vertically and put them next to each other like that.
[1244] The main thing is to get a piece of paper between each piece of glassware so that if it does move, And if you j you just pack a piece of paper in er er fold it over a little er and push it in,i i so you stop movement.
[1245] But even then in boxes if they're in boxes very rare rarely do you get damage.
[1246] Very rarely. ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1247] What about emergency stops?
[1248] You know you've got that big thing over the cab, [...] say you put chairs and things.
[1249] What happens if you haven't quite put the the other goods quite up to that level?
Neal (PS6LY) [1250] ... Oh, so that you're usi
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1251] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1252] Well y Yes, but no but you see if you do an emergency stop it all runs to the front anyway. ...
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1253] Yeah.
Neal (PS6LY) [1254] It's only if you do an emergency start and shoot off the road at high speed, which vans aren't capable of.
[1255] They can't drive like
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...]
Neal (PS6LY) [1256] We can't drive our vans like you do your car out the car park you know.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1257] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1258] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1259] Yeah. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1260] [...] get forty miles an hour down [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1261] [laughing] Yes, yeah. []
[1262] [laugh] . I remember one thing, talking about things falling out and one of We had to go and pick up erm er er There was a great business you know about these er what are they called these these games.
[1263] Not not billiards, what is it now?
[1264] The the American?
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1265] [...] No er er
Neal (PS6LY) [1266] Er
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1267] pool .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1268] Pool.
Neal (PS6LY) [1269] Pool tables.
[1270] We used to deliver them to various different places where they were rented out.
[1271] And then of course they the the the fashion died out and the owner had to get his pool ... tables back.
[1272] And very often the people wouldn't pay the rent for them you see, so they weren't very happy weren't the people u losing the pool table, but the owner was saying Sorry you're not paying your rent enough, we're not getting enough out of the machine, I want it back.
[1273] And the he sent one of my lads we used to do a lot in the area for him, and obviously he can't afford to spend too much so h we sent one man in the little van to get this pool table from a working man's club in New in er Nottingham.
[1274] ... Got all the way there, he'd been told that they'd help er him out, cos they're big heavy things, you need at least two to three people to get them out.
[1275] Got there, and what you normally do as well, is you have a key to undo the take the balls out and all the various bits to make it lighter.
[1276] But this bloke didn't want to lose his pool table.
[1277] So when Willy said Well could do you mind givi he he told him to sod off, you see.
[1278] He said No no, you c get it you you're come to collect it, you you bloody take it yourself.
[1279] So poor Willy was left in a situation where there was nobody to help him out with the f a full pool table for which he couldn't get the key.
[1280] The money was in, the balls were in, everything was inside so he couldn't.
[1281] He went outside, used his initiative, and found some [laughing] poor chap who'd give him a hand with it you see [] .
[1282] [sniff] So they w they came out of this working man's club on top of this hill ... pulled out the whole thing [laughing] and all the balls rolled out [] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [1283] And how many are there in a [laugh] pool table?
[1284] God knows, fifteen or something like that, I don't know, something like that.
[1285] [laughing] And they all rolled down the street
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [laugh]
Neal (PS6LY) [1286] and down the road ... and they were all rolling down [] .
[1287] And fortunately again you often find that people, because it's a novel situation, it's amazing how the public are c often so helpful.
[1288] [laughing] And all these people [...] into the road
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1289] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1290] risking their lives and coming back with the whole lot that he [] collected and brought back again.
[1291] And we got it back alright.
[1292] ... One of the funny things that did er talking about the kettle though is that er er the number of times on full removals where You know with my re little removals you've only got ten foot front to back, but some of these vans are huge, there's there's there's twenty to thirty foot of van virtually to front.
[1293] And one of the psychological advantages of working on light removals is that whenever you're doing it you can see the front of the van you know.
[1294] You can pack it up, but you can still see the front so you know how near you're getting to the end of your job.
[1295] But when you've moved a five-bedroomed house which has got a grand piano in it as well, and you're about ... twenty to thirty foot at the back and all you can see is furniture furniture furniture furniture furniture, you can imagine as you go on you're thinking God will we ever get to this?
[1296] And er d you n really ne you need you need a bottle of champagne by the side of you when you reach the stage when suddenly you can see the front of the van.
[1297] We've had situations like that where you've packed right to the back, and then the lady can't find her keys.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1298] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1299] They're in her handbag of course.
[1300] And her handbag was in a box in the kitchen in the first box that you put in the van.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1301] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1302] And it's it i Seriously, it has happened a few ... I in my experience over the years I can remember it happening to me at least half a dozen times.
[1303] And so you've got to be like a bloody monkey and you've got to climb up the side of the van and climb along the side of the van without damaging any of the furniture right to the front to find the box to bring it back again.
[1304] And of course it th it's more often done that with the kettle of course, so that it's it by the time you get to the end of the job you don't want a cup of tea anyway. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1305] [laugh] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1306] So at that stage I shall finish. [laugh] [applause]
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1307] [...] and then you could go on all night.
Neal (PS6LY) [1308] [laugh] .
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [1309] [...] .
Neal (PS6LY) [1310] No certainly you couldn't, I'm sure you couldn't.
Unknown speaker (KNCPSUNK) [...] [tape change]