Stoneybatter Area Of Dublin – White Van Owned By The Glimmer Man Pub
Image by infomatique
A glimmer man was a somewhat pejorative name unofficially, but almost universally, applied to inspectors who were employed by the Alliance and Dublin Consumers’ Gas Company, the Cork Gas Consumers Company and other supply companies in the smaller towns and places in Ireland to detect the use of gas in restricted periods during the years of the Emergency from March 1942 (i.e World War II) and in some places as late as 1947. The term derived from the copy of advertisements published in the media and on posters which enjoined the population not to waste gas …not even a glimmer.
The gas companies’ officials were empowered under their supply contract with their customers to enter premises to carry out their inspections and if they detected anyone using gas outside the permitted hours could disconnect the premises from the mains supply.
The inspectors were reputed to be particularly intrusive when carrying out their duties as evidenced by the Phil Chevron lyric in "Faithful Departed" which suggests that in addition to the "boogie man", one can be "Rattled by the glimmer man" in the sense of being alarmed by their anticipated arrival.