Book of Gems

Entry from Book of Gems, 1904

Entry from Book of Gems, 1904

The Book of Gems is full of examples of ‘unconscious wit and humour’ extracted from various Bank documents. The volume was started by Lloyds Bank employee William John Spiers in 1897, and continued by others until 1943.

Here are a few of the entries

  • Petersfield, June 1914: ‘Her mother who was to deposit security has died. Her brother will do so shortly’;
  • Letter from a lady clerk, 20th October 1919, asking why her services were no longer required in the branch: ‘is it because I do not use bad language, smoke, read the Tatler, or write my private letters in Bank hours?’;
  • Chelmsford, 31st October 1907: ‘Owing to double jointed thumbs his writing is not so good as I should wish’;
  • Southsea, 25th April1904 (as pictured above): ‘He is, however, somewhat short in stature which would mitigate against his being appointed to the position of cashier’.

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