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No, fork handles….handles for forks

Antique Door Hinges Antique Door Hinges

For readers of a certain age, the title of the blog needs no explanation. The classic Two Ronnies sketch from (wait for it) 1976 involves the miscommunication between a customer (Barker) and shop keeper in a typical ironmongery-cum-general store of the period. If you haven’t seen it (ever or just for a long time) check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz2-ukrd2VQ.

It got us wondering at Ironmongery Online if we would pass the Two Ronnie’s test – and how much things have changed in 35 five years.

We don’t sell candles but we have plenty of forks – with handles – on offer so we would be OK for the top of the shopping list. No bath plugs or 13 amp plugs, but one of the largest collections of rawl plugs and screw and wall plugs anywhere in the UK, and plenty of junction boxes, switches, and connection strips for Mr B’s plugs. No ointment for sore tips (we advice a trip to the pharmacists) but loads of solder tips, chisel tips, bent tips etc etc. We definitely don’t sell panty hose but there are plenty of Os for the gate, door, garage and any where else. And just to add to the confusion we’ve loads of garden ‘ose too.

Again, we fall short on ‘pumps size 9’ (must speak to the buying department about this lack of clothing items) but we have a whole section devoted to compressors and pumps, and when it comes to washers we can outdo Mr C any time: we’ve got round metric, round imperial, penny mudguard, square plate, spring, serrated, dog tooth – and pressure!

A lot has changed since the sketch was written and performed. The corner shops that allowed DIYers to buy hinges, door furniture products and ironmongery is long gone, and even the specialist retailer is now reducing floor space. The move towards online retailers has bought many benefits to the Mr Barkers of this world. Firstly, they can buy exactly what they want – without any miscommunication. There is also a much wider choice – again, Mr B would be surprised at the number of style of Os for his ‘mon repose’.

Although times have changed, we are sure there is many a sketch to be written about some of our customers – and some of our staff too! Having loads of product information and Live Chat for any queries does not mean everything runs smoothly all the time.


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