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Alfred Grout from Liverpool opened his emporium in a brand new parade in Green Lanes, Palmers Green in 1914. The shop fittings changed little until its closure on 20th April 2002. They included a Gipe cash railway system which connected four sales points at the front of the shop and three at the rear with the cashier's office in the middle. (There were originally twelve assistants.)

The photographs below were taken by John Liffen in May 1991.




This may have been the last wire system still in situ in a shop in Britain. Some lines could still be operated up to the closure. These photographs were taken on the last day. The system went to the East Anglia Transport Museum near Lowestoft but as far as I know is not on display.

"Until its closure in 2002, Grout's in Palmers Green, north London, exhibited similar paraphernalia, including what was probably the last overhead cash railway in the country to survive in situ... Over the counter can be seen the cash railway ('The Gipe' patent), which was last used in 1989." (Morrison, pp.76-77).

Exterior of Grouts

Grout's shop at 397 Green Lanes, Palmers Green, London N13

Propulsion and bunting

The apparatus at a sales point. The bunting is for the Farewell party.

Propulsions at cash office

Lines converging above the cashier's office

Propulsion and carriage

Close-up of the propulsion and car.