The judiciary may be renowned for its eccentricities, but sometimes the clerks can outshine their lordships for oddness. One of Tulkinghorn’s scribes gamely took it in good humour when, upon calling the High Court recently, a clerk playfully compared journalists with ladies of the night.
Frankly, he’d heard it all before, although he did smile at the clerk’s embarrassment when he realised he was talking to a scribe named Hoare.
The banter was fine, but then the hack became a little concerned when the clerk declared he was trouserless. “I’ll just go in and get Mr Justice X for you,” said the clerk, “but first let me put my strides on.”
After the phone was placed on the table, our scribe heard the trousers being pulled on followed by a “zzzzzzzzzzippp”. The judge was then fetched, though whether his lordship was similarly semi-attired or not is impossible to say.