Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Some years ago, before they closed it down and turned the premises into yet another Fried Chicken Palace, there was a branch of a famous bank standing in West Ealing.
As it was the nearest branch to where I lived, I had an account there, and most of the time* all was well and good with this arrangement.
As my father also banked there I often made the bus journey there to do various banky things for him as well as taking out my ill-gotten gains wages from my job.
One day during the week, I was there waiting to pay in some cheques for my dad, and as usual at a really busy time of the day when many customers wanted to do other bank related things, there was only one teller working at the time.
As usual when only one counter is open, many people wanted to pay in £100 in ten p pieces from the amusement arcade shops and a gaggle of bradies were waiting to pay in £1 for each of their numerous grandchildren's bank accounts.
The queue slowly moved on until there was just one person in front of me.
Said person was from the look of him, fairly elderly being rather dishevelled and losing his hair, which might have once upon a time been a rather striking red.
As he got to the counter he said to the teller that he wanted to take out some monies rather urgently but didn't have his cheque book with him.
The rather bored young girl behind the counter asked him if he had any of his bank related documents that would have his details on them.
The man replied in a lilting welsh accent that no, he hadn't thought to bring any.
The girl then asked if he had any identification on him at all, to which he replied in a rather hurt voice, that no, he didn't, but didn't she know who he was?
The girl stared at him for a while as the man turned to me with a look of 'Surely someone here recognizes me? Do you know who I am?'.
I recognized him straight away, but being me, just gave him a rather sympathetic smile as if to say 'You poor old thing you, want a nice cuppa tea and a biscuit do you then?'.
The teller said that no, she didn't know who he was and called out to the back room 'Wayne, 'ere, do you know who this bloke is?'
Wayne came out and said 'Nah'.
The poor old thing looked incredibly hurt, and I almost felt sorry for Neil Kinnock as he walked away, without his money and very little dignity.

*Apart from when I'd say 'Please can I have some money?' and they'd reply 'Nah. Compu'er sez no'.