Updated 03 September 2020
On Christmas Eve in the sleepy town of Bradford Fells, a young financial adviser named George Daley stands alone on the bridge, gazing down into the icy waters below… unaware that he is being watched. Story by Nick Green.
George Daley turned with a start to see a stranger beside him on the bridge.
‘Jeez, you gave me a fright! Who are you?’
‘My name is Clarence. I’m a friend.’
‘How do you know my name?’
‘That’s not important. George, you shouldn’t be alone out here on a night like this.’
George stared down into the river.
‘Don’t see why not. I’m a financial adviser. No-one thinks of a financial adviser at Christmas.’
‘Oh, but that’s not true!’ Clarence beamed at him. ‘Everyone out there is thinking of you, George. Even if they don’t know it.’
George frowned. ‘How so?’
‘Well, take the Goldings,’ said Clarence. ‘They’re able to enjoy this Christmas in their own home for the first time, because you arranged their mortgage.’
‘It was a big deal. If you hadn’t found them that deal, they could never have managed the repayments and they’d still be renting today. And what about the Winton family?’
‘What about them?’ George sniffed.
‘They didn’t think they could afford to start a family yet, but you set up a financial plan for them and arranged their investments, and now they have two little ones looking forward to Santa visiting tonight!’
George nodded reluctantly.
‘And how could you forget old Mr and Mrs Peters?’ asked the mysterious Clarence. ‘Mr Peters who retired last year and was so worried about how to take his pension. You explained to him about drawdown and annuities, and now he’s confident his money will last him and his wife to the end of their days. I could go on and on. Why, half this town is enjoying a better Christmas this year thanks to you!’
At last George stepped back from the edge of the bridge.
‘You’re right, Clarence! People do think of financial advisers at Christmas! Jiminy crickets, that’s exactly what we’re here for!’
‘Quite right.’ Clarence took him firmly by the arm. ‘So don’t you go thinking of jumping off any bridges.’
‘Actually I was just up here to get a phone signal,’ George confessed. ‘But, uh, Clarence – how did you know my name?’
‘Oh, that’s easy. I found you in moments by clicking the link at the foot of this page. Have a merry Christmas, George.’
‘Same to you, Clarence. Merry Christmas, Bradford Fells!’
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