Letters: How many men does it take to fill a hole?

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I cannot stress enough that this is not a complaint, only a wry observation on where we have got to, and why your utilities bills keep going up.

Recently my neighbour asked me if I had lost my electricity supply; I hadn’t and went out.

She established over the next two hours that something was seriously amiss with her supply.

I returned to find what I can only describe as a jump lead connected from my mains to hers. I should stress beneath my meter so I was in no way inconvenienced.

The power man assured us it would be fixed as a matter of urgency (one person).

A couple of days elapsed, then the circus came to our cul-de-sac.

Four supply personnel, each with his own van. Two ground workers in a van with a trailer carrying a digger (seven persons).

They ascertained that bin day was imminent.

I relocated my green bin to my neighbour’s driveway.

They located the fault under my side path, excavated it beautifully.

The path is narrow, so the two older supply men, supervised the two younger supply men from my neighbour’s side of the fence.

Beautifully carried out and very instructive.

The groundworkers bestowed sand from small sacks over the newly joined wires, all declared the union blessed and vowed that the spoil would be collected, the hole cemented and the fences removed.

The fences were erected to prevent accidents, apologetic notices were attached, le toute ensemble was photographed for posterity and against possible litigation.

The next day possibly the largest vehicle ever to enter our road arrived, its two man crew removed the spoil with a maximum of four grasps of its on board grab and delivered a good quantity of limestone to complete the filling of the hole, the overall effect was incredibly neat (nine persons).

There then occurred an interval which necessitated the lifting of my blue wheelie bin over the fence and a succession of phone calls, by my neighbour, it being her supply.

On the Friday before the Bank Holiday we were assured the cement would arrive, by five, we both felt the supply company lady might still believe in fairies.

On the anniversary of the emptying of the green bin, some six days later, we saw groundworkers who departed in search of the local readymix installation (11 persons). They were not seen again that day.

They reappeared the next day in a truck laden with readymix, and sealed the hole excellently (13 persons).

They departed having left the fences to prevent anyone treading in the wet cement, but the fences will be collected. They promised. On past form, it is unlikely one man will be allowed out on his own, so that will be 15.

Can you remember a bloke with a van and a shovel taking half a day?

Roger J Gould

Fairmead Way