A customer so absorbed in looking through sci-fi books in a bookshop in Manchester last week didn’t hear the owner leave and got locked in.
The man had been browsing the shelves in a back room of the shop – it is believed the owner had gone for coffee and forgotten he was there – only realised he was locked in when he took his books through to the counter to pay and found the shop deserted.
He searched for a key or a mobile number for the owner, but unable to find either, rang the police. An upstairs fire exit, with police offering to call the fire brigade to help with the rescue, proved useless because part of the ladder couldn’t be used. The man then agreed to wait inside the shop until officers could arrive – reading books he hoped to buy to pass the time. After an hour-and-a-half the shop’s owner returned and set the customer free.
Even worse, the man was unable to pay for the books because the family-run shop doesn’t accept bank cards. But when he went back with cash to buy the books, the owner did give him a voucher to use on a return visit. He said: “I was relieved to be able to spend the night in my own bed without having the embarrassment of a rescue by the fire brigade!”