Radio HSBC

We all popped into Hereford today, to buy some creosote to get over my clothes and into my eyes and also to some extent on our ricketty backyard fence.

Also, I planned to visit the Hereford HSBC branch while we were there. My old Mum was kind enough to send me a cheque  for my recent birthday, scraped together out of her meagre pension, and I wanted to pay it into my account. Since the The World’s Local Bank has closed its branch in Presteigne, it has proved really quite difficult to get to do my little bit of banking. The cheque had been in my wallet for a couple of weeks.

You’re supposed to do banking all by yourself on machines, but I pretend I don’t know how to do this, and I make the HSBC apparatchik who is always hovering around fill in the paying-in slip, write down my details, put it through the paying-in machine, etc. while I explain that all of this had been done by Gwennie in Presteigne before her bosses closed the branch for not being profitable enough. Not loss-making, you note. Not profitable enough. She explained that there was a counter upstairs, and that I’d probably have to use it anyway, since my cheque was too curly. I didn’t like her, and she didn’t like me.

And yet, I found myself strangely uplifted. I felt as though, no matter what struggles I might go through in life, there would always be somebody there for me. Then I realised that these good feelings were being caused by the HSBC in house radio station (really), which was playing Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terell’s classic ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’.

‘This is great. ‘ I said to my new friend. ‘Now I can listen to the radio while operating machines in a bank 25 miles away from my house. How much does this cost? About as much as you saved closing your Presteigne branch?’

‘I doubt it sir,’ she said. But I’d be really interested to know how much HSBC radio does cost. So I’ve written to the customer relations team at HSBC and to their press office to ask, and I’ll let readers know what they say.

11 Responses

  1. D Owen says:

    Creosote was very good in fighting bronchitis. I used to suffer from it and an elderly nurse gave me a prescription to give to my pharmacist, who smiled when he said “can’t make that any more”, but he said he’d make a medicine as near to it as he dared. It worked and I was cured. I didnt die and I’m 90 next year.

  2. Sofie says:

    You’re a star, Ian Marchant.

  3. Dan says:

    Thanks Ian – there’s a lot out there on that www – but when nuggets are discovered it’s always good to share.

    I chanced upon a superb Motorway site the other day – and much as I detest the concrete despoiling our landscape and the general impact of the private car, the site provided much ultimaly dull stuff in a highly entertaining fashion.

    When I mentioned it to a friend in the pub that night he said he’d had 3 people inform him of the link just that very same day. We both felt we were surfing the zeitgiest (or some such) – whilst drinking pints of Mild!

  4. Ian Marchant says:

    @Dan; you are a genius. That IS a fab website…

  5. Dan says:

    Yes, on the subject of creosote – my favourite wood preservative – I became aware some years back of it’s impending ‘banning’ – not sure it is really banned – but you can’t get it anywhere anymore. I stock piled a bit thankfully.

    The equivalents don’t seem to work or look as nice, and go flaky, and as for the smell – no comparison. After all who wants a shed that does not smell of creosote? Did you reference creosote smell in Men in Sheds Ian?

    Like many things that actually did what they said they should do – they seem to get listed as maybe able to kill you. One day it will happen to things like knives I suppose. Don’t worry though I’m not making a case for the re-embracing of Asbestos.

    I suppose if you used Creosote DIDO it might not be good for you, but who can forget the childhood pleasure of being asked to creosote the fence on a hot summer’s day in the school hols?? Inevitably you would get a lot on your hands and arms and clothes.

    In trying to find out about this banning I chanced upon this superb website

    go on – you know you want to check the link….

    Which a heartily recommend for anyone interested in these matters.

  6. Rad says:

    I’m terrified of banks, I wouldn’t go in to a branch alone til I was 18 and since I’ve still opted for company. I find the ‘helpers’ either intimidating or irritating. You argue an excellent point though and I look forward to the reply -if they can afford to arrange that of course. I’d also love to see the letter you wrote.
    Finally, I’m sad that today didn’t work out, I got all the way to the Baker building before seeing your message.

  7. Dru says:

    My fave in-house entertainment is at a local Post Office, where they tend to play Hot Club type jazz, and the Oxfam Bookshop, who do some quite get-down bebop. In Wells the other day, appropriately enough, the Oxfam Bookshop were playing Elgar’s string music, but the CD had got stuck and they hadn’t noticed.

    We used to have a 45 gallon drum that was periodically topped up with creosote, sump oil, and any other mildy toxic hydrocarbon-based crap that was lying around, and wooden posts were left soaking in it until it came time to use them for fencing. Quite sting-y on the fingers, it was.

  8. Ian Marchant says:

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s creosote as such. Some hideous DIY product. And there is somewhere nearer to buy whatever it is. But nowhere nearer with both an HSBC and a Nationwide; Hilary had banking needs too. At least the Nationwide doesn’t have in-house radio.

  9. Bob says:

    There must be somewhere closer than Hereford that you can buy creosote, surely?

  10. I will really look forward to their reply – you make such a good point. I certainly don’t need to listen to the radio in the bank – if they spent the money on paying more staff I wouldn’t be in it long enough to need to listen to anything!

  11. Deirdre says:

    I may be missing the point here, but I thought creosote had been banned?

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