Insight article

Who’s Bumper Harris?

Whilst traveling to a meeting on the underground recently I came across a wonderful example of storytelling…

For some weeks now, a set of escalators at Waterloo underground station have undergone a full refurbishment which, for many commuters, will have proven a tad troublesome. An A-Frame sign with a grammatically incorrect notice written in marker would usually suffice, but to my joy (and I must admit surprise) a story had been thoughtfully crafted. The message, which was displayed across eight wall hanging advertising boards, not only informed passengers about the ongoing repairs but featured snippets of information, both past and present. This was a breath of fresh (albeit London Underground) air.

One such snippet detailed the story of a one-legged character by the name of Bumper Harris. Employed for the opening day of the escalators at Earls Court, he constantly traveled the escalators in an effort that demonstrated, to the many on-looking sceptics, the safety and overall stability of the new contraption. Of course, his bravery paid off and modern day commuters riding the moving stairs are none the wiser to his efforts.

What amazes me about this story is that Mr Harris has been the talk of our office ever since we learned of him, he’s been included in this blog – I’ve even found myself ‘Googling’ him! All of which just goes to show the true power of stories.

Nailia Tasseel