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  • Michael Braccia

Braccia Banter 091115 - must see photo

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Working for Glaxo (now Glaxo Smith-Kline) in 1982 as deputy warehouse manager, I found myself trapped (along with 40 other employees) in Church Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham.

The works car park, bordered at the rear by the river Tame, was in danger of being completely flooded. I moved my trusty 1973 Mini 850 into the warehouse (fortunately on higher ground) and we watched the cars floating by.

One of our intrepid van drivers, who liked a pint, bet us all £1 each that he wouldn't strip to his underpants and swim across to the pub over the road for a pint. It was worth a quid to see him struggle across (sorry, no photo), avoiding the bollards on the pavement, now submerged by the torrents. In the attached photograph, someone in the blue Ford Cortina (with its lights left on) was heard to shout "the driver's gone, please help..."). I can't quite tell from the photo (and can't remember) if they made their escape before the camera's shutter did its job.

I've recounted this story many times since the 1980s and no one believed me, and I couldn't find the photo. Well, I found it a few days ago while clearing out my loft.

Oh ye of little faith, my ex-colleagues...

Remember, this was before the days of smartphones and digital cameras. This photograph had to be developed at Boots would you believe ! Those were the days.

By the way, yes, that is Church Road. A road, not a river. Just 600 yards from the Birmingham Alexandre Athletics Stadium.

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