Alex The Toff Riley when a Sales Officer would often return to State Print around 4.00pm. After settling in he would ring Brian GrubbyHartshorne to enquire about his jobs in progress throughout the plant.
On this day Grubby’s phone was not answered. Bugger me says Riley and departs for Grubby’s office after phoning another three times with no answer.
On arrival there’s our Grubby sitting back at his desk. Riley confronts Grubby and asks why he doesn’t answer his phone.
The old Grubbs answers back smugly that if the phone doesn’t ring, He can’t answer it. Riley is stumped for words and storms off.
The following day when Riley returns, he again attempts to phone Grubby. Again no answer. After a hard day’s work Riley storms off to Grubby’s office only to find him sitting back with not a care in the world. Riley again confronts Grubby about not answering his bloody phone.
Grubby again says his phone didn’t ring. Now Riley’s getting annoyed and asks Grubby to get someone, anyone, to ring his phone. And guess what – the bloody phone rings.
Riley is now beside himself and can see that Grubbs is becoming annoyed. So, he returns to his office red faced, clearly in a state of annoyance and he tells the guys in sales his problems with Grubby and his phone. They all look surprised, but say nothing.
The next day Riley again returns to work, but this time an hour earlier, and decides to settle for a coffee. He rings through to Grubby, but the phone as usual rings off so Riley says nothing and finishes his coffee. He then decides that he will phone Grubby, JUST ONE MORE TIME.
Finally, Grubby’s phone is answered, but not by Grubby. It was answered by a workmate Peter Humby and that’s when Riley realised that he had been sucked in.
Some rotten bastard had changed Grubby’s phone number to Peter Humby’s home phone on Riley’s phone.
Oh! yes it was a big joke and all they were grinning at how The Toff had been made to look an idiot. What bastards.
And the biggest grinner turned out to be Rodney Sam Bloody Lawn, the Cheeky Monkey. Beauty Sam.
Since our arrival at the Netley complex on 2nd January, 1974, members of the Machine room have grown used to change.
From that first day of seeing all the machines set out in organised rows, there has been constant change of machines being moved here, there and everywhere.
Two events in recent times have caused me to look back into the past and to write about change.
One was the visit of the retired people on 7th June,. It was good to see the faces of so many people who have retired since the arrival at Netley. I counted 22 in their category, and seeing them in the building again gave a strange feeling of being “Home Again”.
The other event was to see a list of names of workers who have earned their 20 year badge and were connected with the Machine room at the time of arrival at Netley.
Postscript: Since the article was first written the following Machine Room staff have passed on:
Barry Cagney, John Dawe, Jim Fisher, Lawrie Hussin, Bob Virgin, Jan Keizer, Norm Fellows, Norm Hodson, Kurt Peiker, Laurie Blackwell and Colin Goodfellow.