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Bristow's Colleagues


Highslide JS
Extract from Bristow (1966). Not published in the Evening Standard

Dimkins and Bristow enjoy a pint on the firm's outing to Whelkston

Next to Jones, Dimkins is Bristow's closest friend in the company. He is often in the Buying Department - and is usually part of their cast for the annual Nativity Play - but works in related departments. Sometimes he is in Costing, where the boss seems to be even more unpleasant than Fudge, or he may be parked on a desk in Invoicing. Dimkins frequently joins Bristow for lunch in the park but prefers the hearty pub lunch at the Brolly & Bowler. He is one of the gang who meet up at Atkins' house for a night of cards and beer, and he complains that when they came round for a Christmas booze-up his house needed redecorating afterwards. He is regularly roped-in to help the Buying department stage their traditional nativity play (where with Hewitt and Pilkington he is usually miscast as one of the Wise Men). He is also keenly involved with the Sports & Social Club, though he fails to get Bristow to participate in the Midsummer Fayre in the Throw a Ball at the Sleeping Buying Clerk stand.

The nature of his relationship with the other buying clerks is very clearly shown on the day that the senior men - Fudge, Barker and Pilkington - are all away. Dimkins drops in for a visit, attempts to leave and is required, under compulsion, to make up a fourth at bridge. And like Bristow Jones and Hewitt, he is a little insecure and feels easily threatened. Not by the management requiring him to work harder, of course. But by the Post-boy whose arrival announced in strip 1705
Strip 1705 was published in the Evening Standard in July 1966. This scan is from the Sydney Morning Herald Jan 1967
instantly made every clerk in the building shift uneasily in their chairs.

Dimkins was not an early character. He made his first appearance in strip 1245, published in February 1965. Unlike most of the clerks, he drives to work and his frequent offers to lifts to Bristow seems to have kick-started their friendship.

On the firm's outing to Whelkston in Bristow (1966), Dimkins is one of the many who over-indulge in drink and incur the disapproval of the somewhat fastidious Bristow. He also has a penchant for trying to sneak off work early but this can backfire with tragic consequences as we see in strip 2734
Strip 2734 was published in the Evening Standard in December 1969 and in Bristow (1970). This scan is from the Sydney Morning Herald March 1970.

In the days before Bristow was seduced by Funboys sur la Plage, he was induced to holiday with Dimkins at the Westerberry Hotel Stoneybeach . Amazingly the two even went on the pull with a couple of potential lady friends but they had no luck in love. Both regret accompanying the other and Bristow certainly never holidays with anyone from the firm again. Dimkins however has no regrets - in strip 5980 (September 1981) his holiday snaps from a topless beach draw a large admiring queue of clerks with their tongues out, Bristow included.

Invoicing move up to the 18th floor, putting Dimkins, who suffers from vertigo under enormous stress, especially when Bristown unfeelingly remarks “I suppose those things scudding around down there are clouds”. He had previously shown signs of odd behaviour in inventing the story of the Hulines strip 4208
Strip 4208 was published in the Evening Standard in September 1974 and in Bristow Latest from where this scan is taken
, a gang of clerks who roam the streets in their lunchbreaks looking for trouble.

Unusually for a clerk, Dimkins takes the trouble to spruce himself up on the day of the firm's AGM. His appearance changes too. Here he is offering Bristow a lift on the day of the AGM, looking rather young. Highslide JS
Strip 3739 was published in the Evening Standard in March 1973 and in More Bristow
but in all other strips he resembles the other clerks.

Perhaps it is the pressure of work that ages him so dramatically. Or maybe he is taking too much of his special New Year's Eve punch. As he explains to Bristow the morning after "It was the punch that did it..made from an age-old recipe...Wild!". Unfortunately it transpires that Bristow left the rave-up shortly after 10pm.

Dimkins is certainly more adventurous than the other clerks when it comes to holidays. Whilst Bristow is stuck at Stoneybeach, he suns himself at the Club Mediterranee in the south of France (but his rest is ruined when Bristow calls him to ask where he left his paperweight). He returns with a great tan and boasts about feeling great. Bristow of course remarks how unkind the sun has been to him.

In an extended sequence on Frank Dickens' website in February 2004, a certain order, DB134, causes real friction between Dimkins and Bristow. Dimkins actually takes it all seriously, whilst Bristow is unflurried and insouciant - after all, its only the firm's money isn't it? Why is Dimkins so concerned all of a sudden?. The matter never get resolved.