Sunday’s Piece

Somebody ought to be making and selling egg-timers (the flowing sand type?) for use with the telephone when you ‘dial-direct’. The S.T.D. (subscriber trunk dialling) service is wonderfully advanced for such a young country but it can ‘cost a fortune’ through excessive use (or absue!). The Post Office will by request disconnect it which is a fact not widely known!

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 12th, 1968

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Saturday’s Piece

More ideas in my head than I know what to do with, so here are some for free! Edible string and edible meat skewers, flavoured with mustard etc for the joints. Also, some gadget for evenly injecting salt and pepper into boiled eggs before they are cracked open.

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 11th, 1968

Friday’s Piece

With the glass paperweights mentioned on Friday 29th December we found some 25 year old genuine onyx and marble pen sets with 14ct gold nibs and they are being offered from 19/11d upward. Do you think they sell at these silly prices? Not on your life! Perhaps we should double the price as we did with the paperweights. I suppose some synthetics could conceivably be worth more than the genuine article but surely not in the case of marble and onyx. I really do have a lot to learn about the retail trade!

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 10th, 1968

Thursday’s Piece

Despite assets more than adequately in excess of liabilities I might have to close down this business because of staff and cash problems. To the layman this will sound absurd but it is perfectly true (and I am not feeling sorry for myself or crying on anyone’s shoulder!). For many reasons, not least those which are pleasurably intangible or abstract, such a course of action would be regrettable. I choose to air these facts freely; firstly because I am, for better or worse, made that way and, secondly, it is not a ‘back-yard’ business as so many imagine and it cannot lightly be undertaken by any old ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’. It might seem opportune for some enterprising person or group of persons to pick up where we leave off but it takes a lot of cash (at least £30,000 so far) and not a little acumen. Just as our name is becoming known, just as our ideas begin to penetrate and just as our sales begin to substantially improve, we find ourselves in the grip of a vicious cycle of obstacles and problems. We are short of cash and short of staff and, ironically, we are short of cash because we are short of staff. We could employ additional Capital to meet our cash needs but it’s a bit daft doing that if capable, trustworthy, generative staff for office, shop and factory are not obtainable with the experience and of the calibre to meet our particular needs. I would ‘give my right hand’ for a few more employees such as ‘Skilly’ du Bois (now running the factory, founder and formerly owner of Wilrose Upholsterers), or Helen Gillespie (secretary, shorthand typist and bookkeeper – now unfortunately for Rhodesia in England) or Teresa Clatworthy (now worthily in partnership at Terra Nella – a Salisbury concern). The added trouble is that there is only one me – although some are no doubt thankful for that!

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 9th, 1968

Tuesday’s P.S.

What I wouldn’t sometimes give for a ‘hot-line’ to God!

J.L. – B.&S.

January 7th, 1968

(Note for printers – please print as above – ie “TUESDAY’S P.S.” – if possible place directly following “TUESDAY’S PIECE” submitted separately – last time you changed “P.S.” to “PIECE”!)

Tuesday’s Piece

Every day I think of closing this ‘headache’ of a business; almost weekly I determine to do so – I think my wife would clap hands if I did! We are sustained more by praise than profits – our losses are extensive. It might be significant that people find this hard to believe?

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 7th, 1968

Monday’s P.S.

A true story:

At the time of the ‘Buy Home Products’ campaign on television my son, Ross, then aged 2, was walking down First St., with my wife. It was armistice Day or some such occasion and toward them came a man wearing on his chest a bobbing string of medals. Ross tugged my wife’s hand and said “look! Mummy – ‘and your money comes back to you'”!

J.L. – B.&S.

January 6th, 1968

(Note for printer – please place immediately following “MONDAY’S PIECE” submitted separately – ie do not correct above to read “PIECE”).

Sunday’s Piece

John in his army days

The happy beginning to many a day has for me been marred by those ‘eyes front’ – ‘never look left or right, never think of those behind’ types who drive with their elbows out of the window and have all the time in the world to waste. One can only assume that their time is not very valuable or belongs to someone else – the latter more likely. In the Republic ‘elbow driving’ is an offence for which you are fined ‘on the spot’……whew! Sorry – that’s the way I feel this morning.

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 5th, 1968

Saturday’s Piece

We are always looking for new personnel – especially for the factory. Our most urgent need is for a man to help run the carpentry, joinery, painting and polishing department. Our ‘furniture clinic’ is very busy. Applications, please, to Heaton’s Personnel Bureau – ‘phone 28126.

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 4th, 1967

Thursday’s Piece

“Now the New Year reviving old Desires,

The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,

………”

(Edward Fitzgerald, 1809 – 1883)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_FitzGerald_(poet)

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

January 1st, 1968

Lentell Soup

I’ve been in a dilemma from the first piece. I reluctantly excluded a number of pieces as they seemed to colloquial or personal or specific to Barum & Sarum and therefore less relevant as a modern ‘thought for the day’. A writer friend pointed out this blog should be called Lentell Soup and another close friend who knew my Dad well pointed out there’s no way he would endorse the selective exclusion of any piece. They’re both dead right. Read the updated ‘About’ page and you’ll understand. Every damn piece, and more, is going in from now on. I’ll try and back-fill the excluded ones as well.

Gour

Wednesday’s Piece

Apologies to the fifteen households in the Princess Drive, Highlands, area who didn’t get their Sunday Mail on Christmas Eve. I found the delivery man (Michael) in distress with a broken bicycle chain (and the added difficulty that some well-wisher had slipped some gin into his Mazoe Crush the night before!) so, with my three young sons, I put the bike on top of the car and we spent an uproarious 2 1/2 hours delivering 160 newspapers to puzzled Highlands residents – some of whom, in the confusion, might have got two! Sorry. I haven’t done the round before! In fact – I have not delivered a newspaper since before I was a boy of about 10 in sunny Somerset – memories galore come flooding back on Christmas Eve.

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

December 31st, 1967

Tuesday’s Piece

We are not ourselves blameless but if asked to state the most formidable obstacle or problem in establishing or maintaining an efficient or profitable business in Rhodesia – I would without hesitation refer to the acute shortage of experienced, versatile and generative staff. It is, in my humble view, becoming a national problem.

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

December 30th, 1967

Monday’s Piece

Would you believe it? A large quantity of colourful and functional glass paperweights were found in the back of a Salisbury warehouse. They had been lying there for 25 years and we were able to sell them in our shop for 2/6d each. They hardly moved until, told by a Johannesburg antique dealer, that they were worth much more, we put them up to 5/-d each. They have since sold like ‘hot cakes’ and only 29 remain. Daft isn’t it? But the same Johannesburg man told us that most of our prices are daft and visitors from all over the world tell us the same thing.

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

December 29th, 1967

Sunday’s Piece

I need a businessman (or woman) with an accountant’s head, or an accountant with a businessman’s (or woman’s) head to assist me in running this not unsuccessful circus. Applications to HEATON’S PERSONNEL BUREAU, please. Phone 28126.

John Lentell – Barum & Sarum

December28th, 1967