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Locations - Leicestershire



Leicester: Museums



KEGWORTH. Co-op. The Community Centre .. was created by the conversion of premises that formerly housed the Co-op, built in 1903, with its butchery, grocery and drapers departments. Each department conveyed money to a central cashier's desk in containers, propelled by elastic, which ran on overhead tracks; receipts and change were returned by the same means." Kegworth Village Association and museum. Down the Dragwell (2009)

LEICESTER. Beehive (drapers), Silver Street. Extensive Cash Ball and ? wire systems. Shop closed in 1962. Part of system was reinstalled in Wygston's House, Leicester Museum of Costume (Leicester Chronicle, 19 Apr. 1974, p. 13). It was later transferred to the Newarke Houses Museum. (I saw in both locations.)
Leicester Mercury, 13 October 1962, p.6 describes the closing of the shop and has photographs of Miss Grimsley raising a Cash Ball for despatch and of Leicester Museum representatives dismantling the railway. (One was Neil Cossens who went on to become Director of the Science Museum.) The operation of the wire system is also described.
• "The overhead railways took various forms, but one of the most ingenious has just been acquired by the Leicester Museum. This, until recently, was working in the Beehive in Silver-street, and used balls which ran along a track of boxwood and mahogony... The makers consider that the Beehive had almost the last railway of its type." Leicester Evening Mail, 21 Nov. 1962, p. 4
Hollins reproduces the photograph of 'The old cash by railway system' and also has a photograph of the frontage on Silver Street.
"Here [the Newarke Houses Museum] is the old cash railway, still in working order, salvaged from the Beehive in Cank Street." Leicester Daily Mercury, 8 Mar. 1974, p. 6

LEICESTER. Bennetts (hardware). Wire system in 1950s. (H.Boynton)

LEICESTER. Co-op. Overhead wire system. Not open before WW1. (Don Hurd posting to Leicestershire-Plus-L list, 10 Jun 1999). "To see and hear cash disappearing in capsules up magical tubes to disappear to Lord knows where, what wonders!" Membership matters: newsletter for Midlands Co-op members, Sept. 2006, p.6

LEICESTER. Crowe and Co. "Drapery. - Wanted at once, a young Lady for Cash Railway Desk. - Crowe and Co. (Leicester Limited), drapers, Leicester. Stamford Mercury, 8 Jun. 1900, p. 5

LEICESTER. "Provision store on Hotel Street, possibly R.L.Ackinson at no. 18" . Photograph showing three Rapid Wire stations in Images of Leicester (Derby: Breedon Books, 1995) p. 91. There is a smaller version in Hollins.

LEICESTER. Freeman, Hardy and Willis (shoe shop), Cheapside. Pneumatic tube system until ca. 1970. (L.Hammond and personal recollection)

LEICESTER. Grices and Cordells, High Street. "Among other shops using the fascinating system during my 1950s/60s boyhood were .. Grice's." Leicestershire Live website

LEICESTER. Hawkins (drapers), Cheapside. Wire system in 1950s. H.Boynton

LEICESTER. Herringtons (drapers), Market Street. Cash carrier. H. Boynton

LEICESTER. Hope Bros (gents' outfitters), Gallowtree Gate. Pneumatic tube system. H.Boynton

LEICESTER. W.E.Lea & Sons, Charles Street/Humberstone Gate. “You put the money in a chute which shot across the room to a cashier who sent the change back.” Leicestershire Live website
"The overhead cable conveyance systems like those that were in use at Vickers Mount's, and also Leas Store in Humberstone Gate." Leicester Daily Mercury, 7 Feb. 1991, p. 6

LEICESTER. Lewis's (dept store), Humberstone Gate. "Countless cash tubes in the walls store all your wealth away." Leicester Daily Mercury, 15 Apr. 1936, p. 17
"Some readers will recall the pneumatic tube system once in operation at Lewis's store in Humberstone Gate and which Cliff Quilter helped to take out in the mid-1950s." Leicester Daily Mercury, 7 Feb. 1991, p. 6
"Lewis's had a modern vacuum system. Your transaction was inserted into a metal container, this was set on its way down a pipe and returned a minute later accompanied by a loud plop." Leicester Mercury, 12 Dec. 2005, p.16. Also personal recollection. Approximately 60 pneumatic tubes. Leicester Mercury 3 Sep. 2010
External photograph at English Heritage website

LEICESTER. Melia Bros (grocers), Gallowtree Gate. Pneumatic tube system. H.Boynton

LEICESTER. Midland Educational, Market Street. Pneumatic tube system on at least three floors. A favourite haunt for books and Meccano. Also H.Boynton

LEICESTER. R.Morley & Sons (family draper), 14 Cheapside. "Then on to Morley's to buy some cotton (just loved the overhead cash system there)." Leicester Mercury 14 Sep. 2000, p.14 . (Also H.Boynton).
• There are photographs of the exterior and interior in Paul and Yolanda Courtney. The changing face of Leicester (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1995) p.81

LEICESTER. Henry Raiment (grocers), Granby Street, opposite Grand Hotel. Tube system. T.W.Buxton and H.Boynton

LEICESTER. Simpkin and James (high-class grocers), Market Place. Pneumatic tube system. Specification. Carrier was still operating in 1950s. My recollection and H.Boynton
• Specification and tenders to supply an Independant Power Control Gravity Desk, 1923 in Leicestershire Record Office.

LEICESTER. Smiths (outfitters and toys), 91-97 High Street. Personal observation of pneumatic tube system in the 1960s - the source of my school uniforms!
• "[Sale] on the premises for Messrs. Smiths Clothing Stores Ltd. Office equipment, fixtures and fittings... Electrically-controlled Lamson Cash Railway System." Leicester Daily Mercury, 6 Sep. 1969, p. 3
• "A Lamson cash railway system has been withdrawn from tomorrow's office equipment sale at premises in Leicester's High Street... The Lamson is an old tubular suction type wiyth its receiving end like the many pipes of an organ... " Ibid., 17 Sep. 1969, p. 18

LEICESTER. Stead & Simpson, Gallowtree Gate. "Stead & Simpson 'come home' to Leicester... Cash tubes by Lamson Engineering Co., Ltd." Leicester Daily Mercury, 19 Nov. 1959, p. 10

LEICESTER. Vickers Mount (grocers), 31/33 Gallowtree Gate. "Wanted, smart young ladies for cash desks. Preference given to those used to cash railway." Leicester Daily Post, 29 Mar. 1919, p. 3
•""When he had served a customer he had to operate the overhead system for carrying the customer’s money to the kiosk in the corner of the shop where it was cashed by the cashier and the change returned to the counter. Each container for the money consisted of a cylinder of wood which was twisted (I think) to open and shut then operated to send it skimming over the heads of the customers. Later versions used a vacuum system but this system used overhead wires." WW2 People's War website
• "Mr Quilter .. carried out the maintenance work on a pneumatic cash tube conveyance system at Vickers Mount's which succeded the cable operation for the quick transit of customer's money from the counter to a central cash office." Leicester Daily Mercury, 7 Feb. 1991, p. 6
•"As a girl it was Mrs Bailey's fortnightly errand to go into town to pay the grocery bill at Vickers, Mount. 'I'd sit on a tall stool and watch fascinated as my money and bill were sent whizzing on wires via the overhead carrier system to the cash office,' she recalls." Leicester Mercury, 8 Jan. 2003

LOUGHBOROUGH. Pickworths. Wire system. Quorndon Magazine, Summer 2002

LOUGHBOROUGH. ? "When I was a kid, Mum took me to a haberdashery store, in Loughborough Leicestershire, that had one of these installations. It always fascinated me. Watching the baskets flying back and forth. Probably around 1952/53." Peter Knock in posting to Facebook . [After seeing the basket system at Didcot. More likely the "baskets" were cash cups.]

LOUGHBOROUGH. Young, Pilsbury & Young, 36-37 High Street. "Messrs. Garton .. are now instructed .. to sell by auction .. the whole of the valuable drapery trade shop fixtures and fittings, etc., including .. 'Dart' cash carrier system serving 5 counters." Leicester Evening Mail, 19 Nov. 1949, p. 11
• Wire system. Jean Carswell (ed.) Loughborough as I remember it

MELTON MOWBRAY. Co-op. Wire system. "Another memorable shop in Melton was the Co-op. The best thing here was the wonderful system of obtaining change. There were no tills at the counters, so if you paid with a ten shilling note, this was put with details of your purchase into a metal cylinder, and sent by overhead wire to the cashier who worked in an office high up on one wall. She would put in your change and send it back down to the shop assistants. Three of the overhead wires ran to counters in the shop, but others ran through holes in the wall to the Co-op butcher and cobbler next door! The cylinders were sent up to the cashier by a spring mchanism, but came back by means of gravity" David Bell: Those were the days: Leicestershire in the forties, fifties and sixties. (Newbury: Countryside Books, 2001), p.58

MELTON MOWBRAY. Maypole. Wire system. T.W.Buxton


starLEICESTER. Newarke Houses Museum. See LEICESTER. Beehive above.

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