Hello everybody. As I sit here typing this, one of my neighbours is screaming his head off. As he has just broken up from school today for twelve bloody fucking weeks I am uncertain which one of us will survive. If you’re a betting person – have a bob on me.
I was using a Black & Decker electric saw earlier today and it fell to pieces. Only two pieces mind but one of these was the blade which decided to part company from the rest of the saw. You must agree that an electric saw without a blade is not much cop. I’m fairly optimistic that the saw will repair but where do you buy spares these days?
Anyway this reminded me of a Black & Decker story from the 1970’s….
I bought one of the very first B & D rotary mowers back in the early ’70’s. This little mower had no grass-box but as I had only two tiny lawns, it wasn’t a huge chore to rake up the cuttings afterwards.
I mowed merrily away for several years without a problem until one day when the mower refused to start work. The full extent of my electrical prowess is to change a fuse which is what I did to no avail. My next step was to put it away in the garage hoping that the fairies would mend it. This has been known to work but not on this occasion.
Luckily my Dad paid us a visit and asked me why I was so glum. He worked in Leeds at the time and offered to take it to the B & D Repair Place/Shop located near his office.
Dad took the mower to this shop and when he went to collect it a couple of days later, the nice man said it wasn’t worth repairing but he would allow £10 against a new, improved model. Dad told him to fu… Dad said it wasn’t his decision to make and he would let him know.
I wasn’t in a position to fork out for a new mower at the time so I waded through the long grass to return the bloody thing to the shed to give the fairies another chance.
During this period, a friend of mine from work called round to make a social call. This guy was a fitter so his practical side was slightly better than mine (!).
Why so glum he asked. Come to think of it, I must have looked permanently glum at that time! I told him the story and he asked if I’d checked my brushes? Brushes? Come on, let’s have a look.
The mower was a simple affair – four wheels, a handle and a motor. The cover to the motor was pop riveted on but I was amazed when my mate Andy (Gill) didn’t let this stop him and the rivets were removed in quick time using brute-force and ignorance.
Surprise, surprise. Not an electric motor per se but a drill fastened to the chassis and poking through it where a blade was fitted instead of a chuck. Seemples. We swapped the brushes in the mower-drill with the brushes in my drill-drill and away went the mower – good as new. It gave many more years of excellent service.
The black-cloud disappeared from above my head and I was no longer glum. I was absolutely elated. I couldn’t thank Andy enough. The whole job had taken less than half an hour from start to finish. The motor cover had been bolted on and everything looked as good as new.
Whoa whoa whoa there – elation? Have you forgotten something? Oh aye – that twat in the B & D store in Leeds. Being a grumpy young man in those days, I wasn’t going to let this lie. I hate, loathe and detest being blatantly ripped-off. I did then and I do now. It’s not big and it’s not clever.
I wrote to B & D and received a letter back saying could I describe the man. I wanted to go to the place with my Dad and rip his throat out but instead I just lost interest. I was much less tenacious in those days.
I don’t know if it’s coincidence but I don’t think I’ve bought a Black & Decker anything since then.
I have another lawn-mower tail. If one or two of you “Like” this story I will tell it.