Over Christmas I caught the end of Mary Poppins on TV, and noticed the children’s father, Mr Banks the banker, delivering some now rather quaint comments on his noble profession:
A British bank is run with precision. A British home requires nothing less. Tradition, discipline and rules must be the tools. Without them: disorder... catastrophe! Anarchy! In short, you have a ghastly mess!
Remember that the bank is a quiet and decorous place, and we must be on our best behaviour.
If you invest your tuppence wisely in the bank, safe and sound, soon that tuppence, safely invested in the bank, will compound! And you'll achieve that sense of conquest, as your affluence expands, in the hands of the directors, who invest as propriety demands!
And by the way, why does everyone go on about Dick van Dyke’s wobbly mockney accent – he doesn’t even have that big a part – when at the centre of the film is a lovely, pitch-perfect performance from David Tomlinson, who as Mr Banks delivers songs in a sort of Rex Harrison-style sprechgesang even though, unlike Rex Harrison, he has a pleasing baritone voice. I had forgotten all about this charming, clever film which, like Cadbury’s Buttons and Bagpuss, is far too good to be wasted on sprogs. If you’re not a sprog you can still catch it for a few more days on iPlayer at
Mundane quote for the day: ‘Familiar acts are beautiful through love’ – Percy Bysshe Shelley