Mario couldn’t believe how old it was…
Just a regular plumbing job. Or was it?
We got the call. Mr Higginbottom (not his real name, but close), a very eccentric, much-loved customer of many years, was having trouble with his pipes. Over the years, we’ve fixed many a problem: split washers, leaky taps, radiators that stopped working in the dead of winter…
But this job was different. We put Mario (not his real name, but close) on it. Mr Higginbottom has always had a soft spot for him – we like to send someone who’s already built a rapport with a customer.
If a customer has a favourite, we’ll always do our best to send that person. Anyway, he turned-up within an hour of receiving the call, and entered Mr Higginbottom’s rather palatial home.
He was greeted with a lukewarm cup of camomile tea. He did offer to add a tot of whisky to it, but Mario never drinks on the job. He gratefully accepted (just the tea) and proceeded to the kitchen.
As they were entering, Mr Higginbottom was explaining that a funny smell was coming from the kitchen sink. He assumed it was something to do with his U-bend. But as he was talking, something caught Mario’s eye. Something of great beauty. Craftsmanship of a sort that we no longer see.
For Mario, it was like catnip to a kitten. As much as he wanted to hear about Mr Higginbottom’s U-bend, his attention was well and truly diverted.
What he was witnessing was one of the world’s oldest boiler systems. Still working, still in near-pristine condition, and purring away like a contented cat. Sorry about all the cat references.
It was a Vaillant one of the first boilers to have been created for domestic use. Made by hand, not by machine. It was a moment in time, captured like a museum piece.
Mario marvelled at its gorgeousness for a few seconds, then continued hearing about the funny smell. There wasn’t much point in him mentioning the significance of what he had just seen. He could see that our valued customer was concerned about fixing his problem.
But that moment really left an impression on our Mario. He loves his job, but when things like this happen, it makes his week. Oh, and the smell? It was a dead mouse – nothing to do with his U-bend.
If you would like us to check your U-bend, fix a plumbing issue or install a new boiler, give us a call on 0208 9 457457. And if you would like to read more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.