I remember a quiet day in my Regent Road shop Salford in the sixties. It was raining heavily and I noticed an old lady who’d been standing at the bus stop was now coming in the shop. She asked for a demonstration, and I showed her several different models. She liked the Novum Mark 10, a modern good value machine which we sold at £69.00. The nearest equivalent machine was the Singer Slantomatic and since that cost £114.00 the Novum was better value. She decided to buy one and asked if I could deliver it, she would come with me and pay for the machine when we got to her house.
It turned out she lived the other side of Manchester in Hyde. When we finally reached her street she got out, said she’d go in by the back door and would open the front door for me “in a minute”.Ten minutes passed, then fifteen before I realised the crafty old dear had, just like Baldrick, devised ‘A cunning plan’ to get a free ride home, out of the rain. And I, of course had fallen for it!
It struck me as funny, and I admired the old girls cheek. I couldn’t help laughing as I reached for the key to start the engine. Just then, her front door opened and she beckoned me in. “So sorry to keep you” she said. “I just went for my sister-in-law three doors away, so she could watch you demonstrate it again to me”. So I did, and as I finished and the old lady paid me, her sister-in-law asked if I would “bring one for her tomorrow, payment on delivery”
So all my nasty suspicions were wrong and I drove back to Salford, a little bit richer and a lot wiser.
I love this business!!