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Sea Under My Counter


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Sea Under My Counter by William Groat. Sold in aid of the funds of British Red Cross.

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Over the centuries men have gone to the sea in ships for all sorts of reasons - but none so unusual as that which took Orkneyman William Groat to sea. As one newspaper wrote; "The bank man's umbrella and pin-stripe suit is not for Willie Groat. Barnacle Bill, the unconventional bank clerk, wears a sou'wester instead of a bowler. He weilds a boathook with skill his colleagues confine to a pen. Besides knowing all about money, Willie is an expert on sailing. He needs to be. He is a manager, accountant and teller of Britains's first boat bank."

In this book, William Groat described how he operated and ran a unique phenomenom in banking: a 6 and a half ton cabin cruiser which brought banking facilities for the first time to the remote North Isles of Orkney - the only bank in Britain whose opening hours were dictated by gale warnings and the state of the tides.

This unique and successful operation was mounted by the National Commercial Bank(later the Royal Bank of Scotland) and its story is marked by all the romance and drama associated with any story of the sea.


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