Welcome one and all to my beach hut

Grab a deck chair, Tea or coffee and help yourself to a buiscuit but you'd better mind the seaguls or they'll grab them first. Just look at that view and doesn't the sea look inviting.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Cash Railway

Sitting here in the Beach hut reading my morning paper and recalling how the shop assistant who took the money for the paper struggled with working out what change to give me took me back to a time when in certain shops the assistant had no control over the cash and so didnt need to do any counting of change, It was all dealt with by the cashier situated in a small office often in the center of the department store. Has a small boy in the 1950s I was never keen about having to go shopping and yet I never refused the opportunity to visit our COOP store on a Saturday morning. The reason for this was my fascination into what was sometimes called the 'Cash Railway'. When customers took there item of purchase to the shop assistant to pay for it, a bill was made out, this bill along with the payment was placed in a small tube like container and the screwed to a disc on runners attached to a wire above the shop assistants head who then pulled a cord and the tube shot off along the wire and through a hole in the wall to the cashiers office. The cashier would then place the correct amount of chainge in the tube along with a reciept before returning it along the same wire back to the cashier. Like many young boys at this time I was fascinated by this proceedure. the cord that the assistant pulled was like a catapult and once detached the tube would be shot forward at a fast pace suspended on rollers attached to the wire. These wires were suspended from the shops ceiling and depending on how big the the shop was determind how many of these wires there were and they all converged onto a central spot. Our Co-op was quite large and there were many dividing walls to go through before the cash reached the Cashiers office and as such it was like watching a model railway with tubes zooming about in all directions sometimes emerging through walls like minature trains coming out of tunnels and yet there never seemed to be any collisions and the money always reached its destination. It was a great dissappointment to me when eventually the wire system was replaced by a new Pneumatic systems because with the new system there was nothing to see, the container was placed in a tube and with the pressed of a button along with a wooshing sound the container was wisked off towards the cashier office out of site. I often wonder if any of these cash railway system were ever preserved in a museum anywhere because I am sure they would still be entertaining to watch as they were back when I was a lad


  1. Can you please tell me which Co-op this refers to? I'd like to record it on the Cash Railway Website. Thank you.

  2. The Co-ope refured to was in Long Eaton, between Nottingham and Derby