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|A Musical Interlude|
A traditional air, updated to laud a certain Miss Pretty
Song frequently pours forth from Bristow's lips. It might be a fine solo effort in praise of a Kleenaphone employee or a rousing group chorus of Land of Hope and Glory when the 8:15 commuter special is on time. When in a good mood he might even warble tunefully on his way into work strip 3495 .
His worst habit is singing whilst doing his dictation. The typists bear this with resignation since they know that he has his limits strip 5491 . His greatest achievement is one that even the hardened and cynical post-boy is forced to admirestrip 4841 shows that if pushed he can go one better.
The Chester-Perry Works Brass Band
It is good to see the long established tradition of works brass bands continued by the workers of the Chester-Perry Organisation. This one actually makes its official debut on a chilly day in April 1973, playing "Baby it's cold outside". The C-P band may be more widely based than most works bands since as Jones tells Bristow while explaining that they have to attend "A lot of our mates are in it". Bristow's weary reply is in strip 3769 . They are not impressed by the uniforms (designed by Sir Reginald) or the pomposity of the self-taught conductor "Hark at him blowing his own trumpet". And who asked Peterson to play euphonium?
The debut mentioned above contrasts oddly with an earlier strip. In December 1972, another outfit described as the works band assembles at a railway station to greet Sir Reginald as he arrives to visit the Northern Branch. He is sadly rather late but they console themselves with multiple renditions of Amazing Grace. Perhaps this is the local band from the Northern Branch, rather than the one based in C-P headquarters. It would seem improbable even for Sir Reginald to ship up an entire band just to serenade his arrival.
The Glee Club is like an exotic bird that appears briefly around the end of the year then is heard no more until the next year. Their annual performance of Christmas carols brings tears to the eyes - especially those of Bristow who tends to be struggling home through the snow whilst the Glee Club, massed on the pavement outside the office, sing appropriate lyrics
And Dimkins is not to be found amongst their fans either but for quite different reasons strip 2734 .
In fact it is not clear who does appreciate the Glee Club. If there is a terrible screeching in the offices in late November it is either the central heating starting up or the Glee Club rehearsing. If a group of strange men wearing carbon-paper blue cassocks, pinstriped surplices and carrying clerical grey songbooks gather in a suburb it is the Glee Club wearing the standard office colours (as designed by Sir Reginald). If the only options available for a lunchtime's entertainment are listening to the roadmen drilling outside or the Glee Club rehearsing, then it is hard to choose which. The sick bay run out of cotton wool and Bristow runs out of Christmas spirit as those well-loved carols are given are a good mangling. But one person usually smiles when the Glee Club gather - strip 2713 .