CONTRARY to popular opinion, ministers generally don’t have expensive gifts thrust upon them whenever they perform official duties. I did, however, leave my engagement in the Peak District this afternoon with an unusual memento – a British Rail train guard’s whistle.
It’s not that it was a gift or anything; in fact it was a prop for a photo where I put the whistle in my mouth and waved a big green flag (dignified, I know). But since I got utterly soaking wet in the process, I felt entirely justified in telling the organisers I was keeping at least one of the props, and I was never going to get the flag on the plane.
Anyway, the (barely) interesting fact about the whistle is its manufacturer: Acme. Now, am I the only person who thought Acme only made rocket-powered roller-skates and giant magnets to enable desert-based scavengers to try (unsuccessfully) to catch their prey? Turns out it’s a real company. And I feel strangely disappointed that they made something as mundane as train whistles.