|JezUK Ltd - Trundled down to the Register Office to ...|
|<< Previous||November 2003||Next >>|
Trundled down to the Register Office to fill out Harry's forms on Tuesday. It's a reassuringly British and bureaucratic process. As you arrive at the Register Office, a board instructs which window to present yourself for births, deaths, marriages or just rootling around in your genealogical tree.
On presenting yourself at the births window, a functionary takes your details and looks them up in a big looseleaf binder, confirming that your bundle of joy really did arrive at the time and place given. Quite what happens here if the two don't agree, I fortunately didn't have to find out. You're given a docket, and told to wait until called.
Because I'd turned up mid-Tuesday morning, it wasn't busy and the wait was only for two or three minutes. Up those stairs there, to the office on your card, Mr Higgins. Accurate to a fault, but also rather redundant because there is only a single flight of stairs. Up I ran.
The stairs turn onto a long corridor, windows on one side, doors on the other. The door nearest has a little sign sticking out above it marked 'A', the next 'B' and so on into the distance at somewhere around 'P' or 'Q'. My docket said 'B', so that's the door I chose. Anything else would just have caused confusion and delay. The door opened onto a rectangular room, furnished only with a desk, a couple of chairs and a little trolley with hanging files. The Registrar sat on the far side of the desk, and invited me to sit opposite. Again for the avoidance of confusion and delay, I did.
In a brief acknowledgement of changing times the registration form filling is done on a computer. Once you've confirmed the baby's name, your name, occupation and so forth though, the Registrar opens a desk draw and pulls out a big, apparently leatherbound, book, the Register indeed. Using a dip pen the details are transcribed from screen to page, given a good going over with a piece of blotting paper, and presented to you for signing. You're given a little certificate, which the Registers signs and blots, and that's that.
Don't forget to hand the docket back in on your way out.