I wonder how many of you know what this is?
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.