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in the Buying Department
When first we meet Mr. Bristow there are 6 persons labouring
within the grimy walls of the Buying Department
- our hero plus Fudge, Jones,
and one Himple who retires almost at once leaving not a trace behind.
Himple is never permanently replaced but a number of new faces come
and go, thus keeping the numbers up. The most durable is Barker
but a few other youngsters have made their mark. Bristow is always suspicious
and anxious about newcomers - they threaten his position in the hierarchy
and they often have unpleasant personal habits. Let us make the acquaintance
of these would-be buying clerks
Early in 1962 a Mr. Reg Pepper replaces the "new man". He plays it all wrong by possessing a Hitler-style moustache and irritating Pilkington with non-stop chatter. His predeccesor having taught Bristow well, Mr Pepper finds himself on the receiving end strip 22 and then makes the fatal mistake of trying to out-talk Fudge. Result, one dismissal and massive schadenfreude all round.
Mr. CharterisIn November 1963 Bristow hears some unwelcome news - a new man is due to start. Cue fists beaten on desk and a mournful cry "Suddenly I'm nineteenth in line for chief buyer". He quickly develops a cunning plan involving squeezing the telephone receiver all morning so as to build up the strength in his fingers with which to put the unsuspecting Charteris out of action at the first handshake. Unfortunately his victim seems to have the same idea. strip 875 . But he is clearly not suited to Chester-Perry's and is gone in flash, citing the old-fashioned methods used in the firm as his reason for going elsewhere. Bristow sums it all up perfectly in strip 878
wastes no time on his first day
With his dashing good looks, long blonde hair and woman-chasing obsession, Mr "Woof, Woof" Jackson makes his mark at once, moving smoothly from the receptionist to the girls in the pool (all before he has actually stepped through the door of the Buying Department), as strip 1348 shows. And the moment he realises that no ladies (or "chicks") work in that room, he is off to try his luck across the street at Myles & Rudge Ltd. This gives him an excellent vantage point to survey the talent in the C-P building strip 1426 using the hapless Bristow as his stooge but he is sadly disillusioned when Bristow steers the unsuspecting Miss Sunman into his sights in strip 1428. A potential disaster for Bristow looms when Miss Pretty turns up the clean the phones because Myles & Rudge are also her clients strip 1437 - but they don't hit it off.Mr Jackson continues to work, or at least chase the skirts, at Myles and Rudge and he keeps on popping up at unexpected times - such as immediately after a pretty young woman takes a seat in the crowded train beside Bristow or when a girl, attractive because she owns her own car, seems to be available strip 1534 . But life catches up with him in the shape of a tough cookie called Agnes. In no time his hair is trim, he sports a bowler and a steady wage in a 9-5 job is his heart's desire.
Barker leaves in April 66 and the following month a potential replacement provides Bristow with a headache. For young Mr. Tyson, at once the apple of Fudge's eye, is arrogant, lazy and downright rude to the only man who can see through him.
The behaviour of young Tyson (our "our Terry" as the infatuated Jones calls him) provokes a real crie de coeur from Bristow in strip 1637 . Bristow's goose seems cooked in strip 1639 but his old friend in the accounts comes up with a cunning plan to save the day in strip 1647
New Man #2
40 years later the Buying Department has shrunk to just 3 permanent members but they still recruit the odd youngster. For reasons that are unclear, the young man who joins in 2009 is put in Bristow's care to be trained. Bristow's philosophy of life is doubtless inspiring -strip 2214 - but the new man is too ambitious strip 2220 - and he departs forthwith.