I spent so much time in the massive library that I became good friends with all the staff, and other users often mistook me for a librarian.
One day, for example, I was obliged to field complaints from a couple who had driven several hours to attend a public lecture at the library, only to find on arrival that it had been ‘cancelled’. I was too embarrassed to confess that it wasn’t really a cancellation. The library staff had forgotten all about this commitment because they had been busy photocopying book chapters for me in a back room. (Or, more precisely, they had lost the book in question and spent the whole morning looking for it. It was eventually found under a coat beneath a desk.)
Occasionally I needed other documents for my research that could not be accessed by my librarian friends. These were supplied instead by TPR’s former colleagues LC and LF, both of whom still had a fondness for flashy cars. Indeed LF was often seen driving around town in a blue and white Mercedes 123, decorated with distinctive corporate branding across the bodywork.