Service with a smile . . .

Nigel Baynes delivers another gas bottle to a happy customer

You might have to put up with a bit of craic from the delivery man, but the Baynes Calor gas service here in the Allen Valleys is second to none in terms of efficiency, alacrity, dedication and cheerfulness. Come to think of it, it’s the only such service here. But even if there were ten other Calor agents in the area, the Baynes service would probably still be the best.

That’s because Nigel carefully builds his business on the basis of friendship and neighbourliness, along with care and attention to the task at hand, which often means connecting the heavy bottles himself when taking away the empties. Sometimes he delegates the deliveries to trusted staff (I was one of those, in my youth!) but more often these days it’s the boss man himself taking care of business. And staying healthy at the same time — those bottles aren’t light!

Delivery is often a tricky business, as you have to drag the carrier up steps, most times, along uneven paths and into the secure gas bottle stand, where you carefully disconnect the empty bottle (ideally the switch-over system is taking gas from the spare cylinder, so the empty one is cut off), and re-connect the new full one by twirling it around into position. These bottles are full of 42kg of gas and liquid, and empty they’re about the same, so that’s nearly 90kg of mass to trundle around, which in our earth’s gravity field is not an insignificant thing to lift. I suppose for a dedicated fireman, as Nigel is (and more about the retained Fire Department in a later post), 90kg is child’s play, but it feels more like strong-man’s play to me.

It’s surprising how many folks call up for gas only when both bottles have run out! Inevitably then, no cooker, no heating . . . surprise surprise! That makes delivery more of an emergency, or at the very least, a high priority. With a bit of huffing and puffing in the office, and hastily re-arranged schedules, a crucial delivery can often be arranged, but you might expect a brisk rejoinder from the put-upon delivery man in such a circumstance! Far far better to order a new bottle when the first one has run out, or even, if you can, to have a third bottle as safety, if you don’t care to monitor the switch-over signal that closely.

Anyway, when you’re far away from the natural gas service of an urban connurbation, as Allendale is, you have to depend on the big bottles to supply Liquid Propane Gas for cooking or heating energy, unless you’ve gone the whole hog as it were and invested in a large propane tank that can be filled by the truckload. Or, of course, if your home energy comes by electricity, oil (kerosene or diesel), coal (anthracite, bituminous, sub-bituminous, or lignite, ranked by carbon content, with highest content burning best and cleanest), or wood (split logs or pellets), then you probably aren’t interested, really, in this discussion. Or you may have moved into heat-exchange units, drawing energy from ground-source or air.

Well . .. we can have a chat later about different kinds of energy for domestic use, but for now, considering this is a piece about the delivery of bottled gas, and the numerous gas consumers throughout these valleys, we’ll stick with the dependable Baynes delivery service. Thanks for stopping for a quick pose, Nigel, on your busy delivery route, and best wishes to you and all your satisfied customers!

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