You can judge a person by their handshake - town crier

A handshake can tell you a lot about a person

A handshake can tell you a lot about a person - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Exmouh Town Crier Roger Bourgein writes for the Journal.

‘Pleased to meet you’ I said, shaking hands.

For sixty years I’ve shaken so many hands in so many countries and it’s just struck me how much I used to judge a man by his handshake.

I don’t mean the shake of friend to friend or acquaintance but that first ‘bull to bull’ of sizing, measuring.
Not to exclude women...construction was, and often is, a sexist trade.

Memories...the heavy hand of the Belgian who’d built his office on the ground floor, with transparent glass ceiling above for the printers and copy
machines his secretaries walked to-and-fro from - unbelievable today. 

The obsequiousness of my secret service ‘minder’ in Khartoum.

The calloused warmth of men from Donegal as they dug English soil.

The ebullient giant Catalan with a huge hug of a handshake and the almost ceremonial bow as the village headman shook my hand in remote mountainous Eastern Turkey.

The eagerness of newly released business men after the Velvet Revolution in Eastern Europe.

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The limp wrist who’s wife was thirty metres away in a clinch with the foreman fitter.

Huge maw of Glasgow ‘guvnors’, that pair of brothers, each of massive powerful presence, each with large new Mercedes luxury saloons, unrecognisable, groaning under the weight and onslaught of bags of cement, bricks, shovels, pickaxes, timbers and chaotic debris.

Trade Exhibitions in Paris, London, Istanbul, Zaragoza, Madrid, Dubai, Munich, Düsseldorf, Wichita, Atlanta -  where I’d be so busy I’d sometimes find myself shaking with left and right at the same time ! Fleeting almost afterthought as they scurried past.

The occasional brief, dismissing head turn as the wrist withdrew.

But my saddest handshakes came from my three young children, introduced by my wife after yet more days of out before dawn, back at night, “children, this is your father”.

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