Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo

As I walk along the Bois Boolong with an independent air,
You can hear the girls declare"He must be a Millionaire."
You can hear them sigh and wish to die,
You can see them wink the other eye
At the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo.

I was sitting in a lovely quaint pub with a male friend recently when we were targeted by the pub's local nutjob... or so we thought. This man was scruffy in appearance and slurring his words and spilling his Ringwood bitter as he made a pass with cheeky small talk. "Who is this lady by your side?" "I've seen you in here with a girl or two." To which my friend was quite embarrassed! But it turned out that this old man was reading us a song. He had a wad of old hall songs which his grandfather used to sing to him. The one that interested us the most was The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo, based on the casino gambler and trickster Charles Wells who 'broke the bank' (won more chips than was on the table) at the casino twelve times. Investigators were employed to try and work out his system but it is thought that he simply doubled his bets to make up his losses. Wells got away with this for some years before being found guilty of fraud at the old bailey and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.

What started as a feeling of dread, being approached by a strange, scruffy looking man who seemed quite lonely and bored actually turned into quite a fun and interesting history lesson. You can find this quirky character at the Black Boy pub in bar end of Winchester. Go for the crazy decor... stay for the locals!

...and if you thought I'd end this blog without a link to the song... you're wrong :)

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha the man who broke the bank sang by the man who bought the bar!! Great stuff!