Older followers are likely to recognise it first, but I challenge the younger reader to try a guess before reading more.
It’s a wire cash carrier found in many High Street shops in the 1950's. Recently I found myself remembering a Foster Brothers high street shop in Shirley, Birmingham.
A men's and boys outfitters only found in the Birmingham City area in the 1950's. Imagine a large High Street shop like Derbyshires in Formby, or Brynes at Freshfield, both characterised by the presence of different departments.
Fosters had a department for shirts, another for 'off the peg' suits, another for socks and so on. As you went to each department, a shop assistant would be available to help you with the products only available in that section.
The assistant would write out the invoice by hand, take your cash, fold it into the invoice and stuff into a leather pouch. This would be attached to a wire cash carrier, the release mechanism triggered and the pouch would whizz across the shop floor above customers and staff, arriving with a short crashing sound at the cashiers office.
Soon after, the pouch would be returned in a similar manner, the invoice replaced by a receipt acknowledging the transaction. In the meantime the shop assistant would meticulously pack your purchases using a single sheet of brown paper, securing the whole parcel with string fastening.
How times have changed, now 'click and collect' is transforming our High Streets beyond recognition.
To mark the launch of a brand new cycle route, the Sefton Active Travel Team is holding a cycling day to encourage more people to get on their bike and explore the borough.
The new Sefton Circular cycle route covers 24 miles, 20 miles of which is traffic free and is officially launched on Sunday, May 21. Cyclists of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend and complete all or part of the route. On the day there will be three main starting points: Formby Railway Station, Mecycle Café in Ainsdale and the main hub on the day will be Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre. Here participants will be able to access further information about cycling as well as refreshments throughout the day.
Ride registration will take place at 10am at each of the three start points and ride leaders will be on hand to start you off on the route at 10.30am. Riders will then be free to cycle the route in a clockwise direction at their own pace. The theme of the day is participation, and while participants will be encouraged to cycle all 24 miles, people are also invited to ride just a section. The event will be self-led but all riders will receive a map of the route, including turn by turn directions. There will also be directional markers along the way and cycling marshals will be patrolling the route all day.
There are thought to be about 140,000 red squirrels left in the UK.
Researchers are embarking on a new project aimed at helping to safeguard the future of the red squirrel in the UK.
The Nottingham Trent University study is investigating how red squirrels currently utilise and exploit urban environments – so that this information can be used to help better manage these habitats to their advantage.
Formby residents are accustomed to seeing Red Squirrels out and about in gardens or crossing roads from property to property. It's clear that many of our local Squirrel population have learnt to live with their human neighbours.
Nonetheless, this research is to be welcomed, the more we learn about the Squirrels, the more likely they are to survive and thrive. We take their presence for granted rather too much. Their survival is probably an indicator of our own long term chances.
Ask yourself, how much space do I give when I overtake a cyclist?
If it's less than the width of another car, you can be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.
Cycling groups have welcomed the latest Parliamentary Report.
Parliamentary group reports on cycling and the justice system
The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's report on cycling and the justice system was published, with fourteen recommendations to reduce danger and ensure justice.....
There's still a lot to be done by everyone, drivers, cyclists, the Police and Sefton if more of us are to take up cycling regularly. In the meantime, give cyclists more space, we share the roads, not for racing but to get from point A to point B safely.
The excitement of the general election aside, it’s important to remember that there are other important elections coming up – ones that have gone largely under the national radar.
As well as important local elections in Scotland, Wales and much of England, the first ‘metro-mayors’ will be elected. Six new city-region mayors will be elected with wide-ranging powers over the local economy, transport – and in Greater Manchester even some parts of the NHS and welfare.
The name "Easter" (and the German name for it: Ostern) comes from Eostre, the ancient name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring.
The name used in some other European countries is derived from the name of the Hebrew festival called the Passover (French: Pâques, Italian: Pasqua, Spanish: Pascua).
The date of Easter changes each year, it's celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox which this year is today 16 April (note that Easter is celebrated on different dates by the Eastern Orthodox churches)
Egg rolling at the White House
There are many traditions associated with Easter, for instance, exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a traditional custom in many countries.
In the UK before they were replaced by chocolate Easter eggs real eggs were used, in most cases, chicken eggs. The eggs were hard-boiled and dyed in various colours and patterns. The traditionally bright colours represented spring and light. Nowadays not many parents would risk giving a child a hard-boiled egg on Easter Sunday.
But, though I've yet to see it in real life, egg rolling could become my favourite.
It's an older more traditional game, in which real eggs were rolled against one another or down a hill. The owner of the egg that stayed uncracked the longest won. Even today in the north of England, for example in neighbouring Preston, they still carry out the custom of egg rolling. The YouTube video below shows hollow eggs, wrapped in plastic bags, so as not to lose any of the chocolate as the eggs are rolled down slopes to see which goes furthest.
And egg rolling is an annual event at The White House, but due to the lack of a hill, large wooden spoons are used to propel the egg along. Looks like fun.
Perhaps this should be a tradition worth reintroducing here in Formby?
The YouTube video below shows hollow eggs, sometimes wrapped in plastic bags, so as not to lose any of the chocolate as the eggs are rolled down slopes to see which goes furthest.
Enjoy the rest of the Easter Bank Holiday long weekend.