Yet another judicial colleague gets in touch with memories of first days in the law.

Jeremy Cochrane, who describes himself as a ‘long-retired district judge’, recalls a sudden introduction to legal hierarchies: ‘Upon completion of my National Service in 1956, I began work for solicitors in central London as the most junior of junior clerks, my first few days being spent filling in innumerable and incomprehensible forms relating to divorce, albeit being entertained by the trolleybuses swishing past outside. After a week or so I was dispatched “over the road”, as it was known, to the RCJ to issue a writ, being sent off with the exhortation, “nothing to worry about, squire, it’s all in order”.

‘It wasn’t. I went to the correct room and approached the counter. After a minute or so the clerk slowly unstuck himself from the radiator on the far side of the room, came towards me, and disdained the proffered document. After 60 years I remember the exchange: “It’s wrong”; “Oh, sorry, why is that?”; “You’re the solicitor”. With that he returned to the radiator.’

‘It was all such fun,’ Cochrane adds.