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Locations - English Midlands

Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire have separate pages.



Bromsgrove Museum



AMPTHILL, Beds. Pecks (drapers/furnishings), Market Square. Wire system. Shop closed in 1980. Bedfordshire Country Life Magazine, No.4, Spring 1999

ARLESLEY, Beds . Co-op. "I used to 'volunteer' to go shopping with my grandmother to the Co-op in Arlesey in the mid-50's, just to see those in action... I even got to send the cash carrier once, I recall." website

BEDFORD. E.Braggins & Sons (drapers and outfitters). "Group member Graham Wild remembers this system [Rapid Wire] at E.Braggins & Sons Ltd. .. in the 1940s and 50s." Railway & Canal Historical Society. Occasional Paper No. 14 (rev. 2009)
• "E. Braggins and Son remained in its two Bedford stores after the death of the founder. They were active in the 1940s and 50s but stopped operating as a family stores in 1968 (the premier store was renamed Beales in 1982). The firm sold high value products as  well, such as mink jackets and cocktail dresses for ladies. The store was a source of fascination for young technophiles because it used the cash railway system that was probably installed in the 1930s. Money taken at tills was put into golden metallic canisters that were locked onto railway trolleys that winged their way with much rattling along long, open metal tracks pulled by a system of wires to the cash office in the dark recesses of the building." Winslow History website

BEDFORD. Electricity showroom. About 1933 a pneumatic tube system was installed under the High Street to connect the electricity showroom with the Borough Treasurer's office so that bills could be paid at either. The office was demolished in 1940 for bridge widening. C.Collard in This England, Summer 1975

GORNAL, Staffs. Co-op. Wire system. Posting to demon.local 10 July 1998

KETTERING, Northants. Co-op, Abington Street. Pneumatic tube system. (Executive on Sunday. Northampton: W.P.Publications, 1989)

KETTERING, Northants. Co-op, Wellington Street. "Shopping was at the 'Co-op' in Wellington Street where they had an overhead type of railway. Cash, no credit cards or cheques in those days, was placed in a container, attached to the runway; a cord was pulled and off it whizzed to the cash office." Burton Latimer website

KETTERING, Northants. Woodcocks (dept store), corner of Montagu and Newland Street. Overhead wire system. Later became part of the Co-op department store. (Addis, Ian and Mercer, Robert. Kettering Then and Now. Moulton: Jema, 1997, p.10)

LUTON, Beds. Blundells (drapers). Pneumatic tube system. Eric Meadows

LUTON, Beds. Co-op. Rapid Wire system. Eric Meadows

LUTON, Beds. Henry Gibbons & Son, 'The Fashion Centre'. "Drapery - Young lady required as cashier. Lamson cash railway system." Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle, 5 July 1917, p.1

LUTON, Beds. Oakleys (family grocers), Chapel Street. Rapid Wire system in 1930s. Eric Meadows

MARCH, Cambs. A haberdashers. Wire system. Cambridge Library staff

NORTHAMPTON. Brice and Sons. "The introduction at Messrs. Brice and Sons', general drapers and outfitters, The Drapery, of the ingenious Lamson Cash Carrier, is an instance in point. The system .. consists of a light elevated metal railroad, on which hollow balls - to contain bills and money - travel from the counter to the cash desk, and then back to the counter... There are nearly 40 shop assistants to use the new cash transmitter... This line of railway is 100 feet long... Altogether there are 500 yards of the railway in the establishment... There are four lines issuing from the cash desk to the various parts of the shop... Its sterling palpable advantages are three - time is saved, the assistant never leaves the counter, and the steps of the assistant are very materially reduced." Northampton Mercury, 17 July 1886, p.6

NORTHAMPTON. Co-op, Abington Street. Large shop with many departments. Pneumatic tube system. Tony Barker

NORTHAMPTON. Co-op, St James' Square. Wire system in 1950s. "I would often accompany my mother and delight in seeing the canister travel through a hole in the wall to the cash office." Tony Barker

NORTHAMPTON. Frisby Dyke. "Messrs. Frisby Dyke and Co., of Waterloo House, have just had completed at their establishment a system for transmission of cash and bills from the assistants to the cashier's desk. The apparatus, which is called the Lamson Cash Carrier, is a most ingenious arrangement. Briefly it consists of two elevated tram lines, light, and not disfiguring, running near the ceiling over each counter to the cashier... The system is installed throughout the premises, there being five stations in the downstairs-room, one in the show-room, and one in the furnishing department, which is under another roof." Northampton Mercury, 10 Jul. 1886, p.9

OAKHAM, Rutland. G.George. Gipe system. The shop closed in the late 1990s. When Lamsons stopped leasing systems, the shop bought it for a nominal sum (J. Liffen). Now in Rutland Museum but not on show. Shop is now Book World. H.Boynton

OAKHAM, Rutland. Allens (drapers). Cash carrier. H.Boynton

OLDBURY, Worcs. Co-op. "Before the Second World War .. I was fascinated by the network of wires criss-crossing the shop and the metal containers, containing money and bills whizzing along to the cashier before returning to the counters with change and receipts." Membership matters: newsletter for Midlands Co-op members, Sept. 2006, p.6

SHREWSBURY, Salop. Morris (bakery/grocers). Wire system in 1930s-50s. M. Goodall

SOLIHULL, Warks. Wrensons, Shirley. "Wasn't it at Wrenson's that they used cash flasks that whizzed round on wires?" Neil Varley posting to Solihull Online

TENBURY, Worcs. Gaius Smiths. "Gaius Smith's was always a stop in the morning to buy a couple of hot bread rolls from the bakery... The overhead cash system was a delight and I remember that the 'head man' ws happy to show you how it worked." Teme Valley Times, Summer 2009, p.14

WALLINGFORD, Berks. Field Hawkins and Ponking. "The shop assistants at Field Hawkins and Ponking, the drapers in Wallingford, where your money whizzed in a little container on a wire across the shop to the cashier and back with your change." Desmond Fitzgerald. Many parts: the life and travels of a soldier, engineer and arbitrator in Africa and beyond. (London: Radcliffe, 2007) p. 77

WELLINGTON, Salop. McClures (outfitters and drapers), Duke Street.. Overhead wire system. Wellington News Online. Photograph from mid-1950s showing several Rapid Wire propulsions in John Powell and Michael A.Vanns. North Telford: Wellington, Oakengates and surrounding areas (Stroud: Chalford, 1995). Facsimile of shop at Blists Hill Museum


starBROMSGROVE, Worcs. Museum, 26 Birmingham Road. One line of Dart Cash system from Harry Cooper, WILLENHALL in reconstruction of Brighton & Co. shoe shop.

starHEREFORDSHIRE. Museum on the Move. "Send the money on a journey along the cash railway in our Victorian shop." Herefordshire Museums website


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