‘The Floorman’ – Book Excerpt from ‘Skint Mob – Tales From The Betting Ring’

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An excerpt from my book



My first bookie was a confusing boss to work for. I was told at the start that I wasn’t to go near the hod and the money until they knew they could trust me. I didn’t take offence by this, in fact I was quite pleased that as I wasn’t anywhere near the money I couldn’t be the fall guy should any go missing.

My peace of mind didn’t last long because I was soon trusted to pay out and tidy the cash, but there was one exception, though I wasn’t sure if it was his little joke. I was told that I had progressed to being able to delve into the hod but on one condition, I had to roll my sleeves up showing my bare arms. I no doubt looked a bit quizzical so was given the explanation. Back in the mists of time a floorman was caught with elastic bands on his arms up his sleeves. They were loose enough that when the hod was full of readies and he plunged his arms in deep enough he’d ‘fish’ some notes without anyone being the wiser.

If a man was new there would always be a beady eye on him but money up the sleeve was apparently the way to go. To be fair though the bloke had to be a bit thick because if money continues to go missing it won’t take long for the perpetrator to be caught and that will be the end of that, honesty was the biggest qualification for a regular job on the racecourse.

One bookmaker had a little test for new staff. He’d leave a tenner in the hod when setting up before racing. The new guy would be tasked to tidy the hod, get the change ready etc, he’d soon find the tenner. If he handed it to the boss he’d pass, stick it in his pocket nothing would be said but he’d be forever wondering what he had done never to be asked again, or maybe he wouldn’t.

Although floormen were the eyes and ears of the bookmakers they weren’t necessarily held in high esteem with the layers. Especially floorman that punted.  One afternoon at a desolate,  rain-swept, midweek meeting bereft of punters, a bookie looked up to my boss, and then around the betting ring that was over-populated by bookmakers. He sighed and then groaned, ‘It won’t be a lot of good, there’s nobody here’, the boss replied, ‘Oh I don’t know, there are plenty of floormen and they are all c**nts!’

Never one to mince his words.

Now Available on eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/281209985067?roken=uMXnXl

Skint Mob! is a 200 page king-sized paperback book with full colour photographs. It brings to life the betting rings of UK racecourses from Aintree to Ascot and Newton Abbot to Newbury via point to points and the odd nip into a betting shop. The author uses his own experiences working for bookmakers since the late 1980′s as a vehicle to bring to life the colour and characters of that most vibrant and exciting of habitats. Add a liberal sprinkling of humour and you have a must-read for all fans of UK racing and its unique atmosphere. Cost £9.99 plus postage. 

Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW

Skint Mob! Tales From The Betting Ring. OUT NOW

(C) Simon Nott


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by D.phillips. on December 19, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Need two copies at Exeter today.give to joe if I’m not there, try and squeeze the score off of him.


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