“Bleedin cheek. You wanna watchit, Jimma”(Glaswegian accent, à la Rab C Nesbitt, as follows):
Jimmy: “I am the main tour guide for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.”
Bobby: “How many are there? One?”
Jimmy: “As you can see, I come from Scotland and have been asked by Andrew (Bobby’s son) to take you round the works. Toys, cameras, bags and other paraphernalia are not allowed in there. May I ask you to wear these Rolls-Royce coats during your visit to show that you are visitors.”
Bertie: “I bet they didn’t treat Paddington like that. In fact I know they didn’t, because there was a Paddington Bear trail in London with a very special Rolls-Royce one… All the statues were sold for charity and Tracey Emin bought the Rolls-Royce one and gave it away for charity again.”
Jimmy: “You will be safe here in reception while we go round the works.”
Bobby: “Fine. There you are, Bertie. Just mess around on these two Rollers until we come back.”
Jimmy: “WHAT! You can’t call them Rollers. This isn’t Del Boy or Arfur Daley!”
Bertie: “Time for your tour, Jimmy.”
And off they went, in their matching RR coats.
Dave: “There’s no pockets in this coat!”
Bobby: “There aren’t any in shrouds either.”
Rob: “It’s to stop you nicking things that only shortarses can see!”
Along the way they met the lovely Helen.
Jimmy: “This is Helen, secretary to Torsten.”
Bobby: “Wow. The CEO. Torsten Muller-Otvos. I bet he didn’t come from Balham. I’d like to meet him. Put in a good word for Andrew!”
Jimmy: “These are Andrew’s friends and family.”
Helen: “I like Andrew. In fact, he’s my favourite.” (Was that a little blush?)
Bobby: “In that case, it’s your lucky day. I’m his dad!”
Helen: “Ooooh Bobby” as he kissed her hand.
On they went. The full history of how Rolls met Royce and their determination to build the “Best Car in the World” was uncovered.
Along the production line, with fantastic machines putting the cars together. Parts coming from all over the world. Even leather from eco friendly cows. No waste. Posh burgers as well. 12 Cows for one Phantom, bred sustainably. Jimmy had lots of stories. Here’s just two:
Jimmy: “This bloke came in and ordered 27 Phantoms. All bright red. Not surprisingly, Torsten called him in to congratulate him.”
Torsten: “Well done. That is the second biggest order in Rolls-Royce history!”
Bloke: “What’s the biggest?”
Bloke: “Righto. Stick three more red ones on and an extra convertible for the “trouble and strife!”
Torsten: “Congratulations. That IS the biggest order in Rolls-Royce history.”
They needed to speed up. Bobby had been talking too much. They were meeting Andrew at five. A meeting of RR royalty in Bobby’s eyes.
But first, one more story. Golden Balls, David Beckham, turned up wanting an open top Drophead Phantom to cheer up the missus. They took him down the production line. An engineer shouted to his fellow engineer. “’Ere Dave can you come over ‘ere mate?” And got the shock of his life when Becks walked round the corner up for a laugh. Unlike his missus.
All the time this was going on, I was sitting with the lovely ladies in reception. Hoping someone famous would walk in. George Clooney, Lucinda Williams (who?) Harry, Tom or Dick. And then, as if by magic, it happened. The doors slid back and, silhouetted against the sun, George walked in and strode towards me. I was mesmerised – until he uttered those famous words:
“See my Dad’s here!”
Ah well. He looked better than George Clooney. Ask Helen.
Upstairs, it was drinks in the restaurant. Soft drinks. Water actually. And George/Andrew took them to a few extra sections of the works.
And finally we were all reunited in reception. Pictures were taken and a promise made. “Come back and I will take you for a ride in Phantom”.
It was quite surreal. A Phantom is £350k +, and yet we talked about them as though anyone could have one. How many Rollers were there in the staff car park? None. And we considered what RR
would be ours in a rich world or if Dave’s gee gees started winning!
For big, bold, bearish Bobby it had to be one you can put four dustbins in.
And then there is Dave. It would have to be something very special indeed to replace his beloved Ford Mondeo. A car of which there is only one in the world … so far. No, not his Mondeo, but the Rolls-Royce SRH.
A little fanfare:
This is as good as it gets……….
Not only is this absolutely brilliant, but we are able to show you the inside of the works not allowed by Jimmy and the Rules!
And we must not forget:
Tim and Elizabeth.
Nothing will drag Tim and Elizabeth away from MGFs. As president of the MGF Register, his mind is set. As membership secretary at Brooklands Museum, I am forever in his debt as the First Teddy Bear Special member.
And finally then there is David.
David arrived on his bike. David arrives everywhere on his bike. Or one of them. David probably goes to bed with his bike.
Jimmy was great.
Andrew was great.
Helen was lovely.
Torsten had gone home.
Thank you RR for a lovely day.
The SRH has just been in for its first service:
Lighting a candle for Diddley.
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