The chairman who really is a chair man

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When Audlem Public Hall's management committee decided late last year the hall needed 200 new, more comfortable chairs, their chairman Geoff Stretch little realised the saga that lay ahead of him. The chairs, selected after extensive consultation amongst Public Hall users, were ordered from a Wilmslow company. It soon appeared, however, that Britain's great manufacturing tradition no longer extends to stackable chairs and Geoff was told the chairs would be coming from Poland by truck.

Some months later, with no warning, one of the many huge Polish trucks that pass through the village, suddenly veared off the A525 in the village centre, and the massive truck and additional trailer pulled up outside the hall. A small team was rapidly assembled and the chairs were unloaded. As the driver left for his next drop — he asked where Inverness was and was told to turn left towards Nantwich and keep heading north for about 15 hours — it was found the chairs were only 158 in number, were the right colour but the wrong design, and a number had sustained damage in transit.

Over the coming months Geoff toiled ceaselessly to sort out the chairs saga. Telephone calls, letters, emails, faxes went off to Wilmslow and Poland. Many would have given up but Geoff showed why he was elected 'chair man' and success is now near to hand. A delivery of 200 of the correct chairs has been received (albeit with a number again damaged in transit). However, the truck driver wouldn't accept the 158 previously delivered in error. So the hall now has 358 chairs, 158 that need returning which leaves 186 you can sit on when you visit the hall and 14 others you can sit on as longer as you don't mind a scratched chair. Geoff is confident he'll get to the bottom of the problem, however, and the hall will eventually have only its full complement of the correct 200 chairs, and all perfect, just as ordered. What a chair man!


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