A Word In Your Ear with Roy Edmonds
Golden days of cheap ballcocks
They’ve started calling me Golden Balls at my local pub though, unlike David Beckham, it’s got nothing to do with soccer skills . . .Well, I’ve not been completely honest there. The new moniker, in full, is actually Golden Ballcock.It amuses builders, who drink there in late afternoon, that I paid almost £100 to have the ballcock valve replaced in our WC at home.“Must be gold!” they jest. On the internet you can get a replacement floating ball, arm and inlet valve for £10-20, while the plumber in question was barely in our loo half an hour.“Well at least he came quickly, wiped his feet and got the job done,” commented She Who Knows, who has a different outlook from myself upon such jobs and, in fact, upon spending money in general. It was cash well spent, she seemed to think. At least it stopped me bending the ballcock arm and flooding our bathroom. It’s just as well he didn’t add a call-out charge, otherwise I might now be Platinum Balls. Next time I’ll ask for OAP rates – not that I’ll be phoning him again.The last ballcock fitted in our Victorian cottage was for a water tank in our roof space and a plumber called Brian, sadly now long gone, scaled the heights then battled with our dusty old pipework for hours.“What do I owe you?” I asked the cheery ex-Londoner who revelled in rhyming slang.“Oh, give us a cock and hen,” Brian said reluctantly, when pressed, meaning a tenner.If I’d offered £100 he would have fallen out the loft.Ah, those were the days, when trusty tradesmen imbibing at our ‘local’ would pop round for the price of a few beers.But, then, the price of today’s pint would have stunned Brian too.n For Roy’s books, on Kindle or in paperback, visit royedmonds-blackpool.com or Waterstones.