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Locations - Yorkshire

 

Photographs

Bradford: Industrial Museum

Bridlington: Museum at Boyes

Northallerton: Barkers

Sheffield: Co-op

Shops

BARNSLEY. A. Oglesby, 21 Cheapside. "Sale of the high-class fixtures, fittings and trade utensils of the chemist's shop and dental surgery, comprising .. Cooke's patent pneumatic brass punp and tubing, with cash carriers." Barnsley Chronicle, 15 Jun 1907, p. 4

BRADFORD. Busbys (dept. store), Manningham Lane. "The magnificent building that once housed Busby's Department Store, in Manningham Lane, was destroyed by a spectacular fire in 1979... It dominate Manningham Lane for nearly five decades from the 1930s... In 1937 a Power House and Laundry were built which .. drove engines for vacuum suction for both cleaning and the cash tubing... No-one can ever forget that amasing [sic] Lamson-Tube system of transfering cash to and from departments. Telegraph & Argus website

BRADFORD. Co-op, Sunwin House. Sturtevant pneumatic tube system with 8 stations [branch not stated]. (Sturtevant letter of 13/8/29). Pneumatic tube system Posting to rec.arts.tv.coronation-st newsgroup, 19/9/02. Also postings to alt.fan.goons newsgroup, 17/3/04 and 22/11/05 - same shop? - see Reminiscences.

BRADFORD. R.Denby & Son. Still using Rapid Wire system in 1977. Daily Mirror, 21 July 1977, p.20

DONCASTER. Co-op. "In Doncaster cash carriers survived well into the 1950s notably at Morris' wallpaper shop and the Co-op, both its central emporium and all branches. Railway & Canal Historical Society. Occasional Paper No. 14 (rev. 2009)
• "One of the methods reminded me of the way money was paid at Doncaster Co-op via the pneumatic tubes." Jackson Family website

DONCASTER. Co-op, Tickhill. "The Co-Operative Society .. also had a store which is now the Emporium. Here was a butchers, and a drapery department in addition to the general store. In common with most Co-Op stores of the time,  cash was sent in a small cylinder by overhead wire from the counter to a central glass cubicle." Tickhill and District Local History Society website

DONCASTER. Hodgson and Hepworth. Wire? system until refurbishment in mid-1970s. Secret Leeds website.

HALIFAX. Industrial Co-op. Sturtevant pneumatic tube system with 13 stations. Sturtevant letter of 13/8/29

HARROGATE. (A butcher's), Beulah Street. Wire system. Louise Charlton

HARROGATE. D.G.Brown (dept. store), Commercial Street. Cash ball system. Louise Charlton

HARROGATE. Lawsons (children's wear), Commercial Street. Wire system. Louise Charlton

HUDDERSFIELD. Co-op. "During the summer [of 1894] the patent cash railway system was installed in the Drapery Department." Owen Balmforth. The Huddersfield Industrial Society Limited: history of fifty years' progress, 1860-1910, p.145

HUDDERSFIELD. Kayes, King Street. Pneumatic tube system until at least mid-1960s. Lamson engineer used to come in to do repairs and fit new pads to ends of carriers. "Quite a big system." Gordon Kneale Brooke

HUDDERSFIELD. Rushworths, Westgate/John William Street. "It was also at this time [1920] that the Lamson tube system was installed... By the 1920s an improved system with the grand name of the 'Belt Desk Automatic Power Control Pneumatic Tube System' was available, which was designed to complete the transaction in about forty seconds... By 1960 modern technology overtook the Lamson tubes and some of them, mainly on the ground floor, were replaced by Burroughs accounting machines, cycle-billing for the accounts and a micro-filmer to keep records of it all." Gill Rushworth. The story of a department store (Huddersfield: J.D.M. & G. Rushworth, 1999), p. 21. In April 1966 the business was sold to Hurst & Sandler of Leeds.

HUDDERSFIELD. Yorkshire Warehouse (household goods and clothes), Cross Church Street. Lamson wire system until mid-1950s. Gordon Kneale Brooke

HULL. Bon Marché, Prospect Street. "A new railway has been established in Hull, which must prove advantageous to all parties concerned. It is the 'Lamson's Cash Railway', which has been adopted by that enterprising and popular establishment known as Bon Marché, in Prospect-street. Though not exactly new in other towns, the invention, which is American, is entirely original to Hull... This, of course, saves time and labour to the poor shop girl or man, also to the customer, and lastly, it prevents the chances of 'genteel purloining'... We commend Messrs Bladon for the adoption of this really interesting and time labour-saving apparatus." Hull Daily Mail, 4 Dec. 1885, p.3

HULL. Boyes, 232-4 Hessle Road. Opened in 1920. "The cash office was a raised-up unit in the centre of the shop. This was to allow the overhead-wire cash system to operate. There were 14 cash-points around the store each with its own numbered cash containers and pulley system for propelling the container up to the cash office, the return journey being mainly by gravity." Boyes stores book

HULL. Co-operative Store. Pneumatic tube system. Photo of cashier's office with 20 terminals in Gerrard, p. 74

HULL. Dewhursts, Endyke Lane. "Dewhurst's was the nearest shop that compares to Boyes... Do you remember the vacuum tube money system they had in the store? When you made a purchase they put your money in a little tube shaped canister, then fired it through tubular piping at high speed and it went whizzing through the store, up walls and along the ceiling, finally ending up in the cash office some distance away. After a minute or so, your change and receipt was returned to you by the same canister and the loud noise 'KERR-CHUNK' as it hit the buffers." This is Your Mail website

HULL. Hammonds, Paragon Square. Opened in 1916. "It was a cause of celebration that Hammond's had .. a system of pneumatic tubes, 'obviating the necessity for the out-of-date cash desks'. Cash was drawn effortlessly up to the counting-house on the first floor and change speedily returned. Thrilling details were provided of the thousands of feet of 'solid drawn brass tubing', bends, sleeves and joints employed in 'one of the largest and most up-to-date plants of its kind in England." John Markham, Hammonds of Hull: a store of good things for family and home. Beverley: Highgate, 2004. p.20
The shop was bombed in May 1941 and rebuilt after the war, reopening on 16 May 1952. "The pneumatic tube system was also not ready for use and, as a temporary measure, cash desks were put in place." Ibid. p.50. In September 1972 it was transferred to House of Fraser.

HULL. Willis's, Carr Lane. "Cashier required for general drapery office; experience of Lamson Cash Railway an asset... Apply General Manager, Willis's, in Carr-lane. Hull Daily Mail, 14 June 1950, p.2

LEEDS. Butlers "C R Butlers furnishings on Low Road in Hunslet had a cash tube system." Warringtonrhino in posting to Secret Leeds, 1/11/14

LEEDS. Cashdisa (drapers), County Arcade. "Cashdisa .. also had a vacuum tube system. Liits in posting to Secret Leeds, 1/11/14

LEEDS. A corset shop, County Arcade. "I used to love the way Auntie Dolly's money was put into a round cylinder and sucked up a pipe to the cash office and then returned with the change." Brendan Sheerin. My life: a coach trip adventure. London: O'Mara, 2011, p.31

LEEDS. Grand Pygmalion, Boar Lane. A department store run by Alexander Monteith of Monteith, Hamilton and Monteith Ltd. built in the 1880s. Cash Ball system. Information from Mrs Proctor.

LEEDS. Hitchins. Tube system."At Hitchins department store in Leeds more than fifty years ago I was fascinated by these. They worked on a suction/vacuum principle." Mary Fisher in posting to DIYbanter.com 3/11/04
• "I can vividly remember, as a small child, the overhead lines running throughout Hitchen's shop, to enable your money to be sent, via a suction tube, to the cashiers' office." Cynthia on Leodis website

LEEDS. Lewis's, Headrow. "Building of Leeds store... There will be miles of tubes for cash carriers." Yorkshire Evening Post, 14 Jan. 1932, p.9
• Pneumatic tube system "including a tube room fifty feet below street level. It was connected by twenty-five miles of pneumatic tubing with the 250 change points in the store, the change returning to the points, it was boasted, at thirty miles an hour."Briggs. Photo.
• "In 1932, at the age of 14, Mrs McNess got a job at Lewis's in the 'Tube Room' counting change and sending it back up to the shop floor." Methleys website
• "Lewis's, Matthias Robinson and Schofields had an ingenious system of pneumatic pipes that took your money down to the cashiers in the bowels of the store. A hand-written slip was put into a canister with the cash, stuck in the pipe and away it went, only to return moments later with any change and the receipt. It never ceased to thrill as it shot back up the pipe with a satisfying thwuck!" This England, Winter 209, p.35

LEEDS. Matthias Robinson, Briggate. "I took a Saturday job in Matthias Robinson's in the late 1960's... One day I had to work in the Tube Room, returning the carriers to departments once the cashiers had dealt with them. There was a chair on wooden rails that you had to push back and forward to reach the various numbered tubes." S. Wilson in posting to Leodis: a photographic archive of Leeds website 28/1/13. Photograph of exterior.
• "With those roaring pneumatic tubes whose grey-capped cylinders fetched back your change from some distant basement". Alan Bennett in the Guardian, 1 Apr. 1994, p.7.
• "A Grace Brothers-type store with a lift and a lift-man." This England, Winter 2009, p.35
• [May refer to Robinson's or H.&D.Hart?] "This day .. at 77, Briggate, and Land's Lane, Leeds. Sale of shop fixtures.. Lamson Cash System to all floors." Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 25 July 1933, p.2

LEEDS. Schofields. Pneumatic tube system throughout the store, including quick sale departments. (Hammond). Good photographs of cash office in 1987, when the shop relocated, at Secret Leeds website. Schofield's "did have a nice gentility to it". This England, Winter 2009, p.35

MIDDLESBROUGH. Binns. Cash carrier. Lee

MIDDLESBROUGH. Co-op, Higher Linthorpe Road. "The pneumatic cash carrier, the work of Messrs Sykes and Co., Darlington, is a somewhat novel but most effective and satisfactory method of transmitting cash from the customer into the hands of the general cashier." The building covered 6,573 square feet, divided into four shops. Second floor provided millinery, mantle, drapery and grocery rooms. Northern Echo, 2 Mar. 1899, p.4

MIDDLESBROUGH. John Hendley & Co.(drapers). "Be sure you see the new patent cash railway which was opened by his worshipful [sic] the mayor at John Hendley & Co. .. on Saturday, 1st January." Northern Echo, 11 Feb. 1887, p.1. A stirring account of the opening is given in Middlesbrough Daily Exchange, 3 Mar. 1887.

MIDDLESBROUGH. Wrights, Sussex Street. "Lamson Ball cash carrier system for sale; 10 stations; suitable for small departmental store. On view at and offers to Wright and Co. Ltd., Sussex St., Middlesbrough." Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 16 May 1947, p.3

MIDDLESBROUGH. Wrights Tower House (dept store), corner of Linthorpe Road and Grange Road, where Macdonalds is now. Pneumatic tube system. Ali in posting to uk.people.silversurfers 10/11/03

NORTHALLERTON. Barkers (dept store), 199 High Street. Pneumatic tube system with 16 terminals. Cash office was on second floor: sales floors were ground and first. Dismantled in major refurbishment in mid-1980s. (Claire Jarmain and Barkers). Photographs

REDCAR. Coates and Sidgewicks, High Street. "Coates and Sidgewick's store used a system of overhead cords to transport the cash you paid to the assistant for your goods to send to the cashier in a sealed box connected to the pulley system. The box would then hurtle back across the ceiling of the shop on the cord and the shopper would be given their receipt, which had been despatched by the cashier in the box." Gazette Live (Redcar)

REDCAR. Co-op, Queen Street. "Here I queued for the week's milk tokens, marveling at the way the assistant put the money into a little canister and placed it in a vacuum tube, the change came back the same way." 1950s. Communigate website

RICHMOND. Co-op, Rosemary Lane. "After you'd rattled off the Co-op number and the assistant had printed it on a tear-off slip, this with your money would be placed in a wood and brass cup and screwed into an overhead apliance. A handle attached to it by a strong piece of elastic would be pulled, so releasing the cup which would whizz across the shop, coming to a stop over the cashier's booth. At this point, a white hand would reach up and unscrew the cup, take out the money and slip which would be replaced by one's change, then ..." Audrey Carr. You must remember this: Richmond and thereabouts during the war. (Aztec, 1987) p.24

ROSSINGTON. Co-op. "The Co Op where my grandmother would buy an ounce of salmon paste... When she paid they would put the money in one of those metal cup things and send it on a pulley to the cash office, and then wait for the change to come back." Rosemary Robinson posting to The Villager website 23/2/06

ROTHERHAM. Burton (menswear). "I worked at Burton Tailoring in Rotherham from 1959-64... They had a Lamson Paragon air tube system between the two floors - brass as you say." Nigel Womersle posting to Sheffield Froum, 6/9/06

ROTHERHAM. Co-op. "I was intrigued by the method of payment for goods. The shop assistant placed the money in a small metal cylinder which was attached to an overhead wire, and with a sharp pull on a lever, the missile would shoot off at high speed to a cashier who would deal with the purchase. After a short time the cylinder would shoot back on the wire with the customer's change and a receipt inside." Gervase Phinn. Road to the Dales: the story of a Yorkshire lad. (London: Michael Joseph, 2010) p.196

SCARBOROUGH. Boyes. Cash ball system probably from 1896. Lamson pneumatic tube system installed in 1900 for £848. Photographs

SELBY. Pyke and Mould (grocers), Ousegate. Cash ball system still there in 1960s. (Gordon Kneale Brooke)

SHEFFIELD. John Banner. Pneumatic tube system installed by Sturtevant Engineering Co. There was a double-sided desk for 75 cash stations - photographs in Hammond. "I was always fascinated when our money was put in a little brass cylinder, which then whisked off with a hiss of compressed air, then it would arrive back with the change in it." ("Little Malc" in posting to Sheffield Forum)

SHEFFIELD. Blanchards, Infirmary Road, S6. Cash carrier until 1950s. (Sheila Rimmington). "Had shoots for money" ("Pauline in posting to Sheffield Forum)

SHEFFIELD. Brightside and Carbrook Co-op, Boyland Street, Neepsend/Parkwood Springs, S3. "I remember .. the overhead money transporters. Even though the shop wasn't big compared to shops today, they had a cashier's office (which must have been elevated above the ground floor). There were overhead wires on which were attached 'pods' and the wires could be reached by the shop assistants around the shop to transport cash to and from the cashier via the 'pods'." (Sheila Rimmington in Walk the Ages website) Closed in late 1950s.

SHEFFIELD. Brightside and Carbrook Co-op. City Stores, Exchange Street. Photograph of hosiery department showing pneumatic tube terminal, 1929. Picture Sheffield website

SHEFFIELD. Brightside and Carbrook Co-op. Kirkbridge Road, Attercliffe. "Female assistants wanted... Required to take charge of cash desk; Lamson System in use." Yorkshire Telegraph & Star, 15 Apr. 1918, p. 1

SHEFFIELD. George Binns clothiers, Cambridge Street, S1. "I had to retrieve the money in the tubes when they came down the shoot." (Vera Hopkinson in posting to Sheffield Forum)

SHEFFIELD. Cole Brothers, Church Street. Pneumatic tube system. ("Mags" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 12/9/06)

SHEFFIELD. Co-op, Barber Road. "The Co-op on Barber rd had an overhead money system and the cashier sat in the office looking down into the shop." ("Mags" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 12/9/06)

SHEFFIELD. Co-op, Bents Green. "It was the canister hanging on a wire system, with a cord hanging down that fired the canister over to the cashiers." ("Cliffhanger" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 6/9/06)

SHEFFIELD. Co-op, Chesterfield Road/Meersbrook Park Road. "Brass tube system" - see Reminiscences

SHEFFIELD. Co-op, Greenhill village, S8. Cash carrier around 1956. ("Albatross" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 7/9/05)

SHEFFIELD. Co-op, Hickmott Road. "Small Co-op near Hickmott Road had the railway variety with three tracks. They went to the corner of the shop where a female cashier sat on what looked more like an elevated platform with a veranda. She overlooked everything and could have thrown customers their change a lot quicker." ("PeterW" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 6/9/06)

SHEFFIELD. Co-op, Wynard Road.  I do remember the 'money tube' system. The Cooperative at the top of Wynyard Road had one as well. As a child I found it fascinating." Rowlf in posting to Sheffield Forum, 21/8/11

SHEFFIELD. Sheffield & Ecclesall Co-op, The Arcade, Ecclesall Road. "Female clerk wanted for cash station... One used to Lamson's Cash Carrier System preferred." Sheffield Evening Telegraph, 5 Apr. 1916, p.1
• "The cash system was made by a company called 'Lamson', and at its heyday was supposed to have been the biggest system outside London. I was employed there as the instore engineer, our many branches had the wire system, just known as 'cash carriers'." Ernie Wild in posting to Sheffield Forum."When I started there in 1979 the cash carriers were no longer in use, although the equipment was still in place." Ernie Wild

SHEFFIELD. Sheffield & Ecclesall Co-op, Carterknowle Road S12. Wire system. (Ernie Wild) Photographs

SHEFFIELD. Sheffield & Ecclesall Co-op, Crosspool S10. Wire system. (Colin Woodhead)

SHEFFIELD. Sheffield & Ecclesall Co-op, Ecclesall Road. "They had one of those overhead wire systems by which you paid your money at the counter, the assistant put it in a small container, pulled a lever and it shot off to the cashier's box which was sited high up in the corner of the shop. She overlooked everything. A couple of seconds later the container arrived back with your change and a receipt." PeterW posting to Sheffield Forum, 26/11/06

SHEFFIELD. Sheffield & Ecclesall Co-op, Holly Thorpe Rise. "Quite a few of the Co-ops in the various districts had cash railway systems. The S & E Co-op at Holly Thorpe Rise (Lees Hall Avenue) for one." ("Falls" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 6/9/06)

SHEFFIELD. Laceys, West Bar, S3. "Had shoots for money too" (Pauline in posting to Sheffield Forum)

SHEFFIELD. Toy shop, London Road, Heeley Bottom. "I'm sure there was an overhead wire system in a toy shop in London Road, Heeley Bottom... This would have been around 1967." ("Henrypond" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 6/9/06)

SHEFFIELD. Tuckwoods (luxury food - amongst other things?), Fargate. "There used to be a shop in Fargate called Tuckwoods. Long gone - approximately where M & S are now. I seem to remember that they had a cash centre system (railway type) that was a little different. You entered the shop through a sort of covered arcade with counters on both sides. At the end was the main shopping area. A large hall with balconies, lots of wrought iron and a glass roof. The cash centre was in the middle of the main hall and the 'rail tracks' radiated out. Seem to think the center was a two-level affair. The low level served the main floor while the high level was for the departments on the balcony. It did the usual trick, like passing through holes in walls, etc. ("Falls" in posting to Sheffield Forum, 6/9/06)

SHEFFIELD. Woolworths, Haymarket. "When I was a kid, Woolworths in The Haymarket where the now closed British Home Stores is, had an overhead cash wire system." (Nigel Womersle in posting to Sheffield Forum, 11/9/06)

TICKHILL. Co-op. "The Co-Operative Society (the 'Co-Op') also had a store which is now the Emporium. Here was a butchers, and a drapery department in addition to the general store. In common with most Co-Op stores of the time, cash was sent in a small cylinder by overhead wire from the counter to a central glass cubicle. Here, the value of the purchase was credited to the customer’s 'Co-Op number' for eventual calculation of the 'dividend'. Tickhill Local History Society website

YORK. Co-op. "Young lady .. wanted for Cash Office, Pneumatic Tube System. Apply .. to the Secretary, York Co-operative Society, Ltd., 22 Railway Street, York." Yorkshire Evening Post, 19 Apr. 1940, p.4

YORK. Stuff Warehouse, Davygate. "The proprietor of the Stuff Warehouse, Davygate, York, has recently erected a 'Castle Cash Railway' on his premises." Yorkshire Herald, 7 Mar. 1895, p.3

Museums

starBRADFORD. Industrial Museum. One run of a Rapid Wire system with two propulsions on display in the gift shop. The maker's plate reads "Lamson Engineering Co Ltd, Hythe Road, London NW10". Originally from a china shop in Seven Sisters (David Holt).

starBRIDLINGTON. Boyes dept. store. Museum on 3rd floor with a reconstruction of a cash ball system. The track is made up of three steel rods welded to rings. There is one lift which looks original. There are also a section of an original rail and a ball in a glass case, a pneumatic tube carrier (stamped 19D), and photographs of a tube system and Rapid Wire system on display.

 

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