Dear Reader: Paid to wear giant sandwich boards in Harrogate

Graham Chalmers

Graham Chalmers

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Weekly column by Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser

All this week while driving to and from work in Harrogate I’ve been trying to avoid eye contact with those poor devils by the roadside trying to earn a crust by promoting a tasty offer for a famous takeway chain.

From Otley Road to Empress Roundabout and beyond they’ve been there from early morning to late at night advertising “any size pizzas for £6.99” while standing inside over-sized sandwich boards.

It’s literally a depressing sign of the times.

What exactly do you call this new sector of the economy which serves the service sector?

Any job is ultimately still a job, I suppose, but only in the sense that a tsunami is an opportunity for redeveloping your property.

I had the pleasure of being guest speaker at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes on Tuesday night after five-a-side football.

I don’tknow how I came across - waffling on for nearly an hour about newspapers - but this hard-working bunch of men and women who do so much for charity were a lot more entertaining than I’d expected.

I’ve always thought being a journalist for the Harrogate Advertiser was as much of a privilege as a profession; but it does bring the occasional perk, if, like me, you’re a music fan.

I had the chance last week, for example, to interview Jimmy Osmond who is coming to Harrogate along with his famous musical brothers.

It’s a busy office, though, and I forgot to phone him, though he was in good company, I’d forgotten to phone Martha and the Vandellas the week before.

In the event, the interview was rearranged and Jimmy turned out to be as nice as apple pie.

We got on so well, he asked me to come to talk to him in person after the concert in December. He said it twice without prompting, so I think the invitation was genuine.

There’s only one problem. What do you say to an Osmond back stage?