When I first spotted this guy strutting through the Comp room my immediate impression was that this guy must be high up alongside the Government Printer. On asking the senior apprentice Brian Hartshorne I was told that he was the Government Storekeeper in charge of all stores.
Wow, I thought, he must be one of the top men here. What a job – in charge of all government stores. Little did I know that he was just a stores clerk.
Years later, I purchased a block of land at Highbury and thought about placing a printed sign on the block. I needed a sheet of about 4-ply board. So off I go to the store and stupid me approached Peter Shepherd and asked for one sheet. He replied “Sure where’s your ‘chit’?”
Sadly, I did not have a chit and with that he gave me a dressing down and told me to never ever again ask him for anything without a chit.
I left devastated and bewildered and thought what an arsehole that man is. Later that day I sneaked back to the store and took what I required.
Around five years later Fred Hardwicke approached me and asked if I would typeset Peter Shepherd’s daughter’s wedding invitation, it had Nobby’s approval. I replied ‘Where’s his chit, Fred’? I then said to Fred that I wouldn’t set the invitation and told him of my episode with Peter Shepherd regarding one sheet of board.
Fred went red and said ‘I’ve always hated that man. He took off his apron, grabbed the copy and stormed off to shirt front Peter Shepherd.
On his return he was more red faced and said ‘I fixed up that bastard’ and went straight to Nobby and said ‘No one on my staff will set anything for that man’.
Later that day Ray Stagg, the disshand came up to me and said, ‘Thanks Riley. Now I have been told to set this up, Thanks a lot you Cruel Bastard’!