See in the black and white days of TV when the blue ball was behind the yellow as said on "Pot Black" plumbers had to contend with lead pipes.
The plan went astray when the valve failed to completely turn the water off and no chance of a helpful DOE Water Commissioner calling out to shut down the entire street.
Resourcefulness is the bedlinen of a good plumber and he snuggled up in the knowledge of an old trick. By making a dough plug out of the insides of a Belfast Bap and ramming it tight into the offending pipe the water could be stanched for just enough time for solder to be heated and applied to make the joint. His apprentice John was thus dispatched across the street to were a wee old lady was just entering her home laden with a couple of bags of groceries.
He tells that it took his apprentice John 20 minutes to return carrying a tray laden with buns, cups and a pot of tea with the wee old lady in tow. They sat then on the garden wall exchanging pleasantries until the Good Samaritan was satisfied that her philantropic deed had been rewarded with empty cups and crumbs left on her best china.
The explanation followed from John "Sorry boss, I just knocked her door and asked could she spare a piece of bread for the plumbers working across the street, I think she thought we were half starved.!"