Search

Lloyds Bank, left high and dry by ill mayor, asks 40-year customer Melvyn Hill to officially open Hornchurch branch

07:00 04 October 2013

Melvyn Hill, centre, with (from left to right) Deborah Garrard, Vicki Tear, Janice Barry, Lindsey D

Melvyn Hill, centre, with (from left to right) Deborah Garrard, Vicki Tear, Janice Barry, Lindsey D'Arcy, Mr Hill, Gill Neary, Julie Cavalla, Nav Lakhanpal (bank manager), Stephen Willner and Lesley Bardley

Archant

Popping out for a routine Monday morning trip to the bank, retired teacher Melvyn Hill little expected he’d be asked to officially open it.

But that’s what happened after the Mayor of ­Havering failed to turn up to the relaunch of Lloyds Bank in Station Lane, Hornchurch.

After a brief panic, staff hit upon a smart idea – why not ask a loyal customer to do the ­honours?

Melvyn, 70, said: “I usually go there on a Monday. I was asked by a gentleman, who I know, how long I’d been with the bank and if I could cut their ribbon.”

The worker must have been delighted by the answer – Melvyn’s been using the branch for in excess of 40 years.

Melvyn, of Emerson Park, had only visited to collect his pension, but was more than happy to oblige.

He grasped the ceremonial scissors and declared the new-look bank – demerged from TSB as part of the UK government’s bail-out deal for the group during the financial crisis – open for business.

So how did it feel to step into the mayor’s shoes?

“How disappointed they must be,” laughed modest Melvyn. “The mayor can have his shoes back as soon as he likes.”

It later emerged Cllr Eric Munday hadn’t known about his appointment because of a paperwork mix-up. “I’m sure Mr Hill did a much better job than I would have done, and I’m very grateful for that,” he said.

Branch manager Navjot Lakhanpal said: “The staff were proud to have the ribbon cut by a long-standing customer, Mr Hill.

“The mayor had been booked but didn’t turn up, and luckily enough we had this customer in our branch at the time.”

It isn’t the first ribbon Melvyn’s cut. “I used to work as a teacher,” he said, “so I had a lot to do with things like fetes being opened – but there was nothing like this.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

11:51
Rehearsals at the Brookside Theatre in Romford for Nights on Broadway, a charity show in aid of the Recorder's Fundraise on the First campaign with children's charity First Step

Nights on Broadway will bring the sounds of the West End to Romford this week and we’re giving you the chance to win two tickets.

Yesterday, 21:07
The Havering Show on Sunday. Knights of the Damned

The downpour failed to dampen spirits at the second and final day of 2015’s Havering Show.

Yesterday, 12:00
Deanine O'Connell with her son Danny and daughter Grace

A mum-of-two has explained how First Step helped her son, who has autism, become “the happiest child you could have”.

Yesterday, 10:00
Cllr Melvin Wallace at Hornchurch War Memorial

Missing names of servicemen and women who gave their lives during the First World War are to be added to Havering’s war memorials.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder