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Up-to-Date Store, Coolamon NSW

Coolamon is a town of about 1,500 inhabitants, located 40 km north-west of Wagga Wagga. The Up-to-Date Store was built in 1909 and leased to Nadin, Iverach and Denoon by the owner, Nicholas Mutton. It was divided into several departments including grocery, ironmongery, crockery, drapery, mercery, millinery and footwear. In 1932 Iverach relocated his business and the building took on various uses from fruit vendor to roller-skating rink. In 1987 Mutton & Co sold it to Robert and Margaret Miles who conducted a second-hand and antiques business. The Coolamon Shire Council purchased it in 1997 and it is now a cultural facility and museum.

The Lamson cash ball system is claimed to be the only one still in situ in the world. It has two sets of tracks connecting three stations with the cash office. (Part of the system is missing.) Although it has fewer stations than the one at Beamish, the runs of track are much longer. I photographed it in September 2004, as reported in the Wagga Daily Advertiser.

Shop exterior
The exterior of the shop on the corner of Cowabbie and Loughnan Streets
Shop interior
The interior, looking from the entrance towards the cash office. The two sets of tracks can be seen. The right-hand set serves the counter on the right and both then turn 90 degrees to go through the partition into the other half of the shop.
A station with lift
The station on the right with one ball in the lift and one in the storage rail.
Lift close-up
A close-up of the lift.
Drop station
The drop station, where balls for that station drop from the track.

Drop station close-up
The upper and lower tracks at the station, with Lamson's name and elaborate decoration. (Photo from Coolamon Shire Council)
Receiving baskets
The receiving baskets in the cash office.
Cash ball
One of the cash balls disassembled.