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Locations - Northumberland

 

 

Shops

BERWICK. Dunlops, Marygate. "One of those wonderful compressed air operated cash systems." (The North-Eastener Issue 20, Autumn 1999)

BLYTH. Woodcocks. Wire system in 1960s. (Maureen Boscoe)

HEATON. J.T. Parrish, Shields Road. "Magnificent building to open on Friday ... Cash-tubes run from every counter to the counting house, 4,000 feet of solid drawn brass tubes having been installed for this purpose. The cash carriers will travel at 20 miles an hour, and the length of time spent in transferring money from the counter to the cash office will vary from 3 to 10 seconds." Shields Daily News, 29 Mar. 1922, p. 2

HEXHAM. Robbs, Fore Street. "So he [William Robb] acquired property connecting Fore Street and Back Street and built a large, modern store with its own electricity supply and pneumatic cash system." Hexham Courant 16/7/04

HEXHAM. F. Robinson & Sons (department store), Fore Street. Pneumatic tube system. Hexham Courant 4 October, 2002. Length of Rapid wiring and fittings in Northumberland Record Office, NRO730/13

MORPETH. J.Smail & Sons (furnishings and general ironmongers), Bridge Street. "During the 1950s... The note would be placed in the cash carrier along with the purchase details, and I would watch with glee as a rope was pulled to launch the monorail-like brass container along the wires which hung below the ceiling and led to the cashier's office. the 'hutch' - as it was called by the Smail family - sat on a raised platform at the rear, but with a window looking out onto the shop floor. After a minute or two the container would come whizzing back carrying the change... The Lanson [sic] cash carrier has made way for a more modern till system and the hutch has gone. " Northumbrian, June/July 2008, p.41 (with photographs of the shop now).

NEWCASTLE. Bainbridges, 29-37 Market Street. "Ingenious invention by a Newcastle man. This afternon, we had the pleasure of inspecting, upon the premises of Messrs. Bainbridge and Co., drapers, Market Street, Newcastle, the working of the mechanical apparatus which they have recently had put up in connection with the sales' departments of their retail business. Its object is to economise time in the transmission of cash from the customer to the cashier, and it proves itself a most efficient instrument. The plan of the arrangement is this: The cashiers' desk - at which two young ladies operate - is placed in one of the galleries which surround what is known as the French Room, and from this point proceeds a system of solid brass tubes terminating at fourteen stations in the shops fronting to Market Street. The method of working the tubes is simplicity itself. The customers' bill and cash is placed within a small leathers box or 'runner' which fits the tube, a valve is then closed, and a rush of compressed air carries the box up to the cashier's desk. It is released, the receipted bill and the change is replaced within the tube, the valve is closed, and down it goes to the salesman again. The whole time occupied in the operation is not more than a few seconds... The total length of tubing employed is 2,500 feet. The air is compressed by means of one of the Otto Silent Gas engines, which the firm has in use ... It drives a carpet-beating machine; works a tramway ..; works, also, numerous sewing machines.. and turns the 'inders' used for the wool employed in the machine stocking knitting department.
    "The advantages claimed for the Pneumatic Cash Carrier are these: 1. The customer's time is saved; a few seconds only being requisite for the operation, excepting under great pressure of business. 2. The noise of 'Cash here' is avoided. 3. The shop superintendent's time is not taken up .. by his having to act as a supplementary 'cash carrier' himself... 4. Mistakes and disputes as to customers' right change are avoided. Under the old system, a cashboy may usually be seen with the change for three or four customers in his hand, and in a crowded shop, mistakes may occur. The Pneumatic Cash Carrier causes no mistakes, is subject to no break downs, is free from any liability to collisions, and by its noiseless but ceaseless activity, contributes very much to the comfort of customers and the harmonious working of the business.
  "The pneumatic Cash Carrier is the only one in England. It is the invention of our townsman, Mr. John Newton, foreman with Messrs. Henry Walker and Sons, and the apparatus has been fitted under his immediate superintendence." Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 21 Oct. 1886, p. 4
"Ariel Messengers" pneumatic tube system. (A. & J. Airey).
"It is our painful duty to record the death of Mr Emerson Muscahamp Bainbridge, founder, and for many years head of the firm of Messrs Bainbridge and Company... The latest improvements introduced at the Newcastle establishment include two systems of cash railways." (Newcastle Weekly Courant, 27 Feb. 1892)
"The visitor is also invited to see the general offices, with their admirable system of pneumatic cash tubes all converging on a central station, where the cash is received from various departments and the change sent back." (Eye witness's account dated 26 Oct. 1895, reprinted in Bainbridge & Co. Ltd. 1838-1976: the chronicle for Bainbridge)
Joined John Lewis partnership in 1953. "Gas engine powered pneumatic cash tubes" (John Lewis website). Business moved to a new shop in Eldon Square, October 1977.

NEWCASTLE. Co-op. "The method of sending the money from point A to point B was quite ingenious and is no longer seen in any commercial enterprise in the world. The central point was a cashier's cage with an overhead wire and a capsule with a clip on the bottom of it running to every counter. The assistant clipped the note and cash sale docket and money and sent them along the wires by catapult to the cashier. The change was then shot back to the counter concerned. In the Grocery department there were twenty or thirty wires. Later there was a tube system and this was considered to be the 'be all and end all'." Colin Williamson in: The store: a co-operative phenomenon. (Newcastle Printmakers Workshop, 1988), p. 51

NEWCASTLE. Dene Motor [Cycle?] Co., Haymarket. "I worked as a cashier at the Dene Motor Co., Haymarket, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the Lamson cash ball system was in operation there until the shop closed, about 1972. The system was then dismantled and donated to the Beamish Open Air Museum. (Daily Mirror, 5 Aug. 1977, p.20)

NEWCASTLE. John Farnon, Nun Street/Newgate Street. "After 30 years' association with John Fernon Limited, Lamson are proud to have ben chosen again to provide an airtube system in the new extensions... Lamson Engineering Company Limited, Hythe Road, London, N.W.10. A member of the Lamson Industries Group." Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 21 Oct. 1964, p. 7
"Farnon’s .. was renowned for its internal mailing system when staff put credit slips in a container, then you’d watch them shoot off up in a pipe to land elsewhere in the store." Chronicle Live website

NEWCASTLE. Fenwicks, Northumberland Street. "A statistics dissecting machine was linked to the pneumatic tube system installed in all departments except quick-sales on the ground floor; those were dealt with by decentralized cash units." (Pound, Reginald. The Fenwick Story. Newcastle: Fenwick, 1972)

NEWCASTLE. Freeman Hardy & Willis. "Many customers who need only 1p change will not wait for it to come back from the cashiers on the Lamson tube. We have collected these odd pence - and here's £11 for your Appeal." Daily Mirror, 7 Jan. 1976, p.20

NEWCASTLE. John Milling, Grainger Street. "John Milling and Co. beg to announce that they have introduced the new American cash railway throughout the premises... The invention is unique in its simplicity and makes it an utter impossibility for any mistake to be made in the transit... It will be found worthy of inspection, for which there will be no charge." Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 7 Jan. 1887. p. 1

NEWCASTLE. J.T. Parrish, Shields Road, Byker. Store opened in 1921. "Apparently J T Parrish closed in 1984. I have dim memories of it from the 1960s. It had this Heath Robinson contraption, whereby the assistant would place an old-fashioned receipt or whatever (much larger than they are nowadays) into a metal canister, put a lid on it,  then place the canister beneath an overhead system of tubes. The canister would be sucked into the opening in the tube and be whisked off to another department." World of Coins Forum. Photograph of exterior

NEWCASTLE. "Shop at the top of Northumberland Street". Cash Ball system. (Beamish Museum) Possibly Graftons?

NEWCASTLE. Henry Walker & Son, 55 Westgate Road. "Walker & Son were Hardware manufacturers and inventors of the pneumatic cash transit system used extensively in early department stores." (Newcastle Arts Centre website)

NEWCASTLE. Isaac Walton, Grainger Street. "Congratulations to a modern store with a modern Lamson system for cash and credit control with the utmost security. Lamson Engineering Company Ltd." Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 6 May 1964, p. 12

NORTH SHIELDS. Atkinsons, Bedford Street. Wire system. "As you watched you could see the lady take your money out and then you tries to guess which returning container held your change." (North Shields Library Club website)

NORTH SHIELDS. Co-op, Bedford Street. Wire system. (Liz Kelly)

NORTH SHIELDS. Hill Carters (dept. store). Pneumatic tubes. (North Shields Library Club website)

WALLSEND. Wallsend Industrial Co-operative Society, corner of High Street and Carville Road. "Assistants at the Co-op did not use cash registers. Instead, a system of overhead wires and canisters carried money to and from the cashier's office. Jean and Ken Smith. Wallsend reflections (Newcastle: Tyne Bridge, 2005) p.44. Photograph of exterior on p.43.

WHITLEY BAY. Ryles. "Lady cashier wanted with experience in cash tube work. Apply Ryle Ltd., 84 Park View, Whitley Bay." Shields Daily News, 6 July 1949, p. 10