View Full Version : Money in your pocket

victor tango
22nd Jan 2015, 14:24
Just thinking the other day, when we need cash we nip round to the nearest hole in the wall dispenser, and very convenient it is. Then I thought back in the 60's, what did I do.
Well you had to go to the bank and offer a cheque to withdraw an amount paying particular attention to not going overdrawn as this would result in a letter from your manager for you to attend an interview (b****king)
even if its one penny overdrawn.
I suppose those paid in cash eked it out pay day to pay day.

Do you remember what you did?

22nd Jan 2015, 15:02
I suppose those paid in cash eked it out pay day to pay day.

You sat down with her indoors and distibuted money to various tins; electricity, food, clothes, holiday, wifes bingo, etc. The rest you blew down at the pub.

22nd Jan 2015, 15:14
Naw, even simpler. Got paid every two weeks, took the cheque down to the local department store, who was happy to cash it. Then off to the pub ...

As I recall 1 cheque went to rent (and partying), the second cheque went to the car payment (and partying) and twice a year we got an extra cheque (for partying).

22nd Jan 2015, 15:17
One kept some funds at home, in a safe spot, and just went without, when the cash ran out. All too often, there was very little in the bank as well.
I was raised on a dairy farm and a well known local rural quote is; "You've never known real poverty until you've been a dairy farmer".
Even today, with increased wages and salaries, the "experts" reckon that most people would be in dire financial straits, if they went a month without income of any kind.
I know of too many people today who still just live payday to payday.

22nd Jan 2015, 15:22
When I was still single, my assessment of whether I could afford something was whether I had enough 'money in my pocket' (I was paid in cash, though I had a bank account from my student days when it was necessary to translate the grant cheque into 'readies').
When I needed money to buy four road tyres for my newly-acquired car I went to the bank for a loan (which was grudgingly granted, as, although I was earning and being paid, the bank wasn't seeing the cash).

The car was paid for with my 'inheritance' from my deceased grandmother's estate - as I had just had my 21st birthday.
I don't think she would have approved, though my grandfather certainly would have!

joy ride
22nd Jan 2015, 15:43
I would go either to my bank or to a post office to withdraw from my National Savings a/c. The trick was to draw out enough that I did not have to return too often, but it was mighty inconvenient.

Free Cash Machines are life-changingly quick and convenient, but I get very irritated that every time I withdraw cash from one, the same amount is removed from my account, it ain't fair!

22nd Jan 2015, 15:47
Ah - yes! the Post Office bank - gone now.

At one time I had a £10 'cash card' which would return £10 when posted into a slot at a bank - it was retained then posted back to me.

22nd Jan 2015, 15:51
"You've never known real poverty until you've been a dairy farmer".

Still very true in the UK, with dairy farmers going out of business on a daily basis. I live on what was a dairy farm up to the 1970s and when I moved here in 1977 I was surrounded by them and the milk tanker was a regular sight. Now the nearest one is a couple of miles away and most of the land has been given over to either vegetables or daffodils. Of course if dairy farmers were coal miners they'd have demos in the streets in support of them, but your average urban leftie hasn't a clue about the countryside and probably think milks comes out of the ground.

Sorry for the thread drift, OP. Rant over!

22nd Jan 2015, 16:00
Many years ago at the age of 17 I opened my first bank account with Barclays in Southampton [up the Saints], and all went well for a short while. One day I recieved a red letter from the bank stating I was seven and sixpence overdrawn and how did I intend to repay same. I wrote back saying my wages this Thursday would cover it, and also mentioning that when I was in the black did I write to him.

22nd Jan 2015, 16:10
I had a very fair understanding with my bank at that age. From the first to the fifteenth, I banked with them. From the sixteenth until the thirty first, they banked with me.

Seemed to work. Still have the same account at the same branch over 35 years later.

22nd Jan 2015, 16:38
Before cash machines, it was quite a business to draw cash at any other bank branch than the one where your account was held, unless you made a special arrangement. I wanted to draw cash occasionally at a branch nearest to my London office.

A special card had to be completed at your bank, specifying which branch the arrangement was to be made with, your account details, the maximum daily withdrawal limit, and with a sample signature. This was sent to the chosen branch, who kept it with other customers' cards in a file behind their counter. The system was then that on presenting your cheque made out to "cash" at the arranged branch counter, you said "I have an arrangement" to the clerk. Who then referred to the card file, verified the cheque, and paid the money over. Clumsy and inconvenient for both their staff and other customers, especially at busy times, but regular use made it possible to cut corners. I established a rapport with one or two of the bank clerks, who on recognising me if I got on their queue, would skip the rigmarole after the first few occasions.

The card machines and cards have brought their own problems, but neverthless they are pretty universally convenient, compared with the old system of grudging resistance to letting you have access to your own money!

Shaggy Sheep Driver
22nd Jan 2015, 16:44
Early in my career I was involved with the first generation cash dispensers installed by Midland Bank. I worked for Burroughs back then and those machines (the RT 1100 - RT for Remote Teller) were based on the company's TC500 terminal computer.

The TC500 seems to have found its way into almost every branch of every UK bank in the seventies. It was an odd machine with no core memory, and programs were executed directly off the disk. The machine code was even stranger with part of the instruction code indicating where on the disk the next instruction was to be found; thus it was common practice to create a loop without the use of a jump instruction. The TC500 was used by Burroughs as the basis for its foray into the design and development of cash dispensers, the RT (remote teller) series, initially for Midland Bank but later for export, particularly to the States and Europe. They were the first “holes in the wall” to use returnable magnetically encoded cards – at least in the UK. Barclays and Lloyds used paper vouchers like cheques with punched holes in which were retained after use, and NatWest used plastic cards that were retained and returned to the customer in the post! So concerned for security and the possibility of fraud was Midland that the RT1100 used a proprietary “secure card property” (SCP) which made each card unique and made it virtually impossible to duplicate a card. Unfortunately, it was so secure that it was also almost impossible to read the SCP consistently and the card was often retained without even giving the customer their £10 cash. I was recently reminded of the “dimple routine” which made a small dimple in the card to indicate how many times the card had been used. The card was retained after 20 uses and a new card issued.

The RT1100s were not on line, but were stand-alone machines. They dispensed a fixed amount of £10 at a time in a plastic clip, and printed a debit slip for each transaction which the bank staff would retrieve from the machine daily and 'post' on the TC500. As a backup in case the printer failed, the customer's magnetic card was stamped under a roll of carbonised paper while it was inside the machine, to record the embossed account number of each card fed in.

I remember the chaos one Monday morning at a rural branch of Midland where the fanfold pin-feed debit slip stationary had jammed so all the transactions were printed on top of each other on one debit slip. And the bank staff had forgotten to replace the roll of carbonised paper which had run out!

I think they sent letters out to all their customers asking if they had used the cash diapenser that weekend. I wonder how many honest replies they got!

22nd Jan 2015, 16:48
Remember when you needed foreign currency, or {gasp} traveller's cheques when you travelled overseas?

I recall being somewhere in Los Angeles when we were trying to pay for something but we were just short of the total. Would you take a Canadian $20, one of the adults asked? Of course, the clerk said and applied a rubber stamp to the $20 and entered the ID details. I always wondered what his accounting people, or the bank thought about that $20.

22nd Jan 2015, 16:52
Has an Hofficer in HM's Air Force you were supposed to be able to cash a£10 cheque at any bank on production of your Form 1250 (ID card). This seemed to work most times. When I went overseas on extended leave I arranged with my bank for them to send a letter to an overseas bank where I could withdraw my UK funds. That was even more useful because the cheque would take about two weeks to clear. I didn't pay for half my leave until I came back.

Looking at the above with people writing yours details. This used to happen with the old white £5 note. This was enormous, about the size of an Apple tablet and would have a whole host of names on it: Winston Churchill, Mussolini, Adolf hitler.

22nd Jan 2015, 16:52
I also spent part of my early career with Burroughs in Birmingham in the late 70's. Not in the Banking division but flogging L5 and L9 mag stripe computers/accounting machines.
Moved onto the B80 and B800 "proper" computers later on - I remember that the biggest fixed disk drive was about the size of a modern US style fridge, weighed about 250 lbs, cost several £000 and had the HUGE capacity (wait for it) of 36.2 megabytes.
Happy days - well not actually - I hated sales and got out as soon as I could afford to.

22nd Jan 2015, 17:02
In the late 1980s I travelled to Australia - with travellers' cheques and US dollars as backup.

Prior to that (early to mid 1980s) I carried the currency of the destination country together with USD as 'security'.

22nd Jan 2015, 17:17
I opened an account with Barclays in the early 70s after some anti-apartheid demonstrators outside the local branch tried to prevent people from using the branch as Barclays 'supported apartheid in South Africa'. On the strength of that, I pushed through them and went to open an account.

They had cash machines with vouchers like this ........ you got a little packet of them and each one allowed a withdrawal of £10.


I also recall that, perhaps later, my cheque book had a place in the back where the bank would stamp and note each cheque encashment that was made.

These days, I keep as little as possible in the bank and use cash wherever possible.

wings folded
22nd Jan 2015, 17:33
Why does the thread title bring the voice of Harold Wilson to the forefront of the wobbly memory?

22nd Jan 2015, 17:40
Did you have to remind us of that, WF?

I believe it was a speech that Wislon made in 1967 after disastrously devaluing the pound, and he assured us that 'the pound in your pocket is worth the same'.

22nd Jan 2015, 17:41

wings folded
22nd Jan 2015, 17:59
Cape, G CPTN,

Seems like 2015 renewal subscriptions to the irony/sarcasm/sense of humour assimilation service have not gone through. A bank glitch?

22nd Jan 2015, 18:03
Yes, on the 19th November 1967, the UK pound was devalued by 14.3% against a basket of world currencies, in the case of the USD from $2.80 to $2.40. Harold Wilson as PM assured us all that "This does not mean that the pound in your bank, or your pocket, or your purse, has been devalued".

Well, as far as those of us who had money in the bank, or our pocket, or our purse, it DID mean that we had in real terms lost 14.3% of its value.
We were not expert economists like Mr Wilson, so we saw the raw reality rather more clearly than him ...

22nd Jan 2015, 18:22
My Brother was hitch-hiking his way around Europe in 1971 when Trickie Dickie effectively devalued the dollar, wiping out about 6% of his savings.

That event also led to the de-dollarisation of airline tariffs and the implementation of pre-devaluation frozen exchange rates and Currency Adjustment Factors. The FCU (Fare construction unit) was born ... !!!

22nd Jan 2015, 18:46
the UK pound was devalued by 14.3% against a basket of world currencies

I was posted to Malaysia just after the devaluation so the modest amount of money I took with me was worth 14.3% more when I exchanged it for Malaysian dollars. Unfortunately the chaps returning to UK saw their savings
reduced by that amount when converted back into sterling.
I recall that whenever, on the odd occasion I went overdrawn, the letter from the Bank always arrived on a Sat. morning, so I had all w/e to worry about it. B:mad:s!

victor tango
22nd Jan 2015, 18:57
Terrific responses on this thread.
Looking at HW video (scary...didnt look like he was using autocue but speaking from memory?)
Anyway shame he hadnt heard of the cure all that we have now;


So obvious.....you run out of money, go and print some more.
Makes you a bit cross when you think Dad might have been telling you porkies saying "you work hard for an honest days pay etc":rolleyes:

22nd Jan 2015, 19:12

22nd Jan 2015, 20:56
So obvious.....you run out of money, go and print some more.

Somebody I knew tried that. He got six years inside.

23rd Jan 2015, 00:20
Goudie - I was in Singapore when the devaluation happened, and as an impecunious PO I hadn't any money to take out with me. We had a shock when all of a sudden our pay suddenly only got us $6 something to the £ instead of $8. I think they eventually bumped the LOA up, but we were still worse off.

The first cash machines I remember were around 1979. Didnt have a digital display but a succession of messages which were on some sort of drum or disc which rotated as you pushed the various buttons.

23rd Jan 2015, 01:25
With a group of school friends looking for fun. In Soho we decided to visit a strip club and paid a pound each at the door. What the hell, I thought, it is a once-in-a-life experience, and I am not alone.

Clumsily down a flight of dark stairs to a curtain at the bottom and a small desk where three suited men asked for another ten shillings to get in! I felt dirty and used and out-of-pocket, and wishing I had never agreed to go in in the first place! :ugh:

23rd Jan 2015, 01:38
Yeah but as a teenager the mileage you got from that visit Mr stix, the mileage....:E

23rd Jan 2015, 02:39
Don't tell me!? ... the strippers only took off the important pieces of clothing, if you placed MORE money in their garters!! :)
Oh, the dreadful memories of constantly being ripped off! - and not by teller machines, either!! :\

23rd Jan 2015, 11:57
Used a cheque guarantee card, valid at any bank, most shops, etc.

Re Wilson and the pound in your pocket, what a weasel.

Followed in '92 by John Major and Norman Lamont with the ERM debacle. Incompetents.

Foreign travel, used Traveller's cheques.


23rd Jan 2015, 12:14
Remember when you needed foreign currency, or {gasp} traveller's cheques when you travelled overseas?What's changed? On a recent trip to Germany I was astonished that the supermarket wouldn't accept any form of plastic from me. Only certain German debit cards. Strewth!

23rd Jan 2015, 12:20
I had the same problem in Denmark - restaurant only accepted Danish cards.

23rd Jan 2015, 12:39
Choxolate & axefurabz

Had this problem in Canada in 1977. Gas station with a sign saying it would accept Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Diners, etc in fact only accepted Canadian issued cards.

23rd Jan 2015, 12:48
I was surprised in 1982 to find that Denmark hadn't introduced 'cards' (other than Diners or Amex at posh places) but they gave cashback at supermarket tills against cheques.

Likewise no cards accepted at German filling stations, so cash was needed.

23rd Jan 2015, 12:53
Same problem in Juneau British Columbia in 2006, wouldn`t give me any dollars against my visa debit card in a Wells Fargo bank. :ugh:

23rd Jan 2015, 13:08
Juneau, British Columbia?


Q: Hey quick, what's the capital of Alaska?
A: Juneau, I have no idea. Maybe the wife knows, give me a minute and I'll go and Alaska!

23rd Jan 2015, 13:16
wouldn`t give me any dollars against my visa debit card in a Wells Fargo bank.No wonder their stage coaches were
robbed so much back in the old West.

Buggers wouldn't give cash advances
on outlaws' cards.


23rd Jan 2015, 13:22
Mike, their stagecoaches soon gave sizeable cash advances upon sighting an outlaws .... gun. :)

23rd Jan 2015, 13:31
When I became a "Junior Magician" one shouted out "Sir! 124!" the Flight Commander handed over 9 pounds 16 shillings and sixpence and one saluted and headed off to the NAAFI to change it into beer and cigarettes. At 1/10d a pint and 2/- for 20 Embassy it bought a lot of beer and fags. Thursday night was a big night for the Landord at the Rose & Crown.

Then they gave us a pay rise - to 10 pounds two shillings. At the first pay parade we were handed a crisp new ten pound note. That's when the trouble began. The NAAFI didn't carry that much float in the till, nor did the Rose & Crown. We were working during week-day banking hours and banks didn't open on Saturdays. Although a ten pound note had a nominal value of a hundred pints, in the real world it bought one nothing at all in 1967. After the howls of complaint from the masses, Pay Accounts relented and paid us with a fiver and five one-pound notes the following week.

23rd Jan 2015, 21:17
My bank paying in book having run out of pages I took a slip from the back of the chequebook to my bank along with a DVLA refund. Shock horror. What had happened to the branch since my last visit? Hardly any staff to be seen but a battery of machines seem to have taken over. Luckily a helpful young man appeared at my elbow and gave a demonstration on how to work it. The cheque and slip were put in the same slot, there was an electro-mechanical 'clunk' and then to my amazement a printed sheet showing a photograph of both emerged, acting as a receipt. I was told the floor of the bank had to be reinforced as each of the German made machines weighted one and a half tons. No bank staff have been laid off (so far, at least). Hmmmm.