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Locations - East Anglia



Coes, Ipswich

Peterborough Museum



CAMBRIDGE. Co-op. "The fascination of the Co-op was to watch, thumb in mouth, the intricate whizzing overhead, to and fro, of little suspended money pods on wires from counters to a mysterious chamber set high at the back of the shop." Late 1940s/early 1950s. (Malcolm Hensher)

CAMBRIDGE. Co-op, Burleigh Street. Wire system shown in photograph of Central Grocery Department (Cambridge Chronicle, 27 June 1928, p.7). In early 1960s, grocery department had wire system with small office in the corner. Clothing and furniture shop next door had pneumatic tube system. (Posting to uk.rec.subterranea newsgroup, 8 Mar. 2000)

CAMBRIDGE. Co-op, Victoria Road branch. Wire system. (Photographs of interior and exterior in Cambridge Chronicle, 27 June 1928, p.7)

CAMBRIDGE. Mathew & Son, The Stores, Trinity Street. Cash ball system. (Photograph of provision department in Cambridge Chronicle, 13 Dec. 1922, p.4 - not very clear)

DOWNHAM MARKET, Norf. Laxtons (high class grocers), High Street. Lamson Rapid Wire stystem with at least 4 lines. Now in private hands. Andrew Stevenson

FRAMLINGHAM, Suff. Carleys (grocery). "We would also buy a few items from time to time in Carley's shop itself and the girl at the check-out, as we would now call it, would put our bill, with prices marked and the money to pay, in a small container which whizzed on a taut wire to the cashier in his office, across the shop. Arthur Staniforth. Farmers: from producers to park keepers (Victoria B.C.:Trafford, 2005) p.23

GREAT YARMOUTH. Norf. Co-op. "Mother shopped for food around the corner at the Co-op. The cashier sat in a glass booth high above the counters, receiving the shoppers' money from an overhead tramway system and despatching the change and receipt back along the same route." Jann Perry. Different drumer: the life of Kenneth MacMillan. (Faber & Faber, 2010), p.20

GREAT YARMOUTH, Norf. Plattens (dept. store) Broad Row. Traded from 1889 to 1998. "On the rare occasion when we went to Plattens, I was always intrigued with the overhead systems of canisters and pulleys they used to send the money from the counter to the cashier at the back of the store." Carrier had gone by 1960s. Great Yarmouth Mercury website.

HAVERHILL, Suff. Co-op. Cash carrier. (Betty Fowler)

IPSWICH, Suff. Edward Brand (drapers and furnishers), 28-36 Tacket Street. "Opening of our cash railway. Friendly house. Edward Brand is now showing in all departments a large and well-assorted stock of useful drapery." Ipswich Journal, 13 May 1887
• "There are stations all over Mr. Brand's premises, the branch lines running off on one side to the furnishing department and on the other to the haberdashery and trimming shop... It may be noted, too, that Friendly House is the only business establishment in Suffolk where the cash railway has yet been laid." Bury Free Press, 14 May 1887, p.2
• "Suffolk Agricultural Show, June 1891. Visitors to the above are invited whether purchasers .. or not to walk through the extensive showrooms, warehouses, and factories... Also inspect the Ready Money System with its numerous trains running every second on the cash railway, which is composed of wires, points, signals, junctions, main lines, branch lines, permanent way, stations, &c. Special service of trains during the show." Ibid., 30 May 1891, p.4

starIPSWICH, Suff. Coes (men's and women's clothing and sportswear), 20-28 Norwich Road. Pneu Art and later Lamson pneumatic tube systems and a cash lift. Still in use for making change when I visited in October 2010.
• "True to its traditional feel, the store on Norwich Road still operates the Lamson cash transfer system." Evening Star, 2 Sep 2002. "Money is loaded into a plastic carrier and gets sent to the store's secure office using vacuum power."

IPSWICH, Suff. Central Co-op. "The last one [cash ball system] I remember was in the Ipswich Industrial Co-op. It was replaced some forty years ago by the Lamson 'whizzer'". Daily Mirror, 6 Dec. 1968.
• Overhead wire system in 1930s. Marjorie Goldsmith in National Sound Archive and staff at Coads.
• Pneumatic tube system in late 1950s. Douglas Self.

IPSWICH, Suff. Co-op, Caulder Hall Road. Wire system in late 1950s. (Douglas Self)

IPSWICH, Suff. Footmans. Pneumatic tube system in 1940s. "The cashier was in the basement and money was sent to the store vault by air tubes if notes were enclosed. Change was returned through a chute with a receipt." Shop demolished and replaced with Debenhams in late 1970s. Evening Star website, 11 June 2002

KINGS LYNN, Nfk. Kings Lynn & District Working Men's Co-op. Sturtevant pneumatic tube system with 13 stations. (Sturtevant letter of 13/8/29)

KINGS LYNN, Nfk. J.H. Ladyman, 39-40 High Street. "Their shop had a central cashier in a glass office overlooking [the] whole store. The money and ticket was sent to her in a screw on jar that fixed to a cable and [was] sent speeding along to her, then she sent it back with the change." Delbert posting on Kings Lynn Forums 25/6/05

LOWESTOFT, Suff. Catlings. "I know that Catlings had one of those 'air pipe' systems for sending the money to the cash office." Trigger in posting to Lowestoft Online 23/1/12

LOWESTOFT, Suff. Co-op, Kirkely. "The shop in Kirkely with the little cups on wires to put the money in was the Co-op opposite Clarement Rd." Frankiesays in posting to Lowestoft Online, 23/1/12

LOWESTOFT, Suff. Robertsons. "Yes Robertsons did have one [a wire system], my Mum worked there too." Funkychic in posting to Lowestoft Online, 23/1/12

NORTH WALSHAM, Nfk. F.Randell and Co. (ironmongers and agricultural and general engineers). Lease agreement for Gipe Closed Wire Carrier in Norfolk Record Office, BR 87/69

NORWICH. County and City Supply Stores, 1 Haymarket. "The cash railway. A new line with its several stations now open, and may be inspected without charge at the County and City Supply Stores... Edward Wild, proprietor." Norfolk Chronicle and Norwich Gazette, 25 Sep. 1896, p.4

NORWICH. Frank Price, 72-78 Magdalen Street and 3-13 Botolph Street (not sure which). Cash Carrier. (Linda McAllister)

NORWICH. Jarvis Henry & Sons (dept. store) 55 and 57 St Benedict's Street. Cash Carrier. (Linda McAllister)

PETERBOROUGH. Glass's (dept. store), corner of Market Place. Pneumatic tube system in 1960s. (Ian Carr)

PETERBOROUGH. ?Hodgsons (haberdashers), Bridge Street. Wire system in 1960s. (Ian Carr)

SHERINGHAM, Nfk. Co-op. "Sheringham Co-op had dispensed with the separate cash tills on each counter and replaced them with a centralised cashier's position, linked to the counters by a system of overhead cables." Albie's Tales website

SUDBURY, Sfk. Winch and Blatch, Market Hill. (Formerly C.F.Winch and on King Street until premises burned down in 1920s). "John and Vera [Blatch] overhauled the ramshackle acounts system and installed up-to-the minute overhead pulleys to take cash and bills from the counters to a cashier... Their son Richard, now in his 50s and the firm's managing director, has early memories of climbing up to pull the cord and send the containers whizzing to the cash desk." Suffolk Free Press, 28 Oct. 2005

WHITTLESEY, Cambs. Co-op. "Co-op (loved the overhead cash system they had)." Irene Henson posting to Whittlesey Now and Then on Facebook, 16/11/13


starPETERBOROUGH. Museum, Priestgate. One line of Rapid wire system with two propulsions in reconstruction of provision merchants. Not well-lit and difficult to see.

star indicates systems which are still there (as far as I know) though they may not be working.