Mansfield Co-op, Payment Method, & Clock.

Does anyone recall the old method of payment at the store, this was a pneumatic compressed air tube system which made a lot of noise as the container containing ones money sped along through the tubes to the office upstairs, (I think), and then returned to the counter on the ground floor.

The container was opened and the receipts and change if any, were passed to the customer. Was this better than todays contactless method of paying? As a very young lad it was far more fun that’s for sure!

Were there any more large local shops which used this method?

The pictured clock was visible from Berry Hill Road when the building was completed (mid / late fifties)?, not to sure on the exact date.

Editors Note  We have added the photo found in ‘Mansfield’s Co-operative Advance 1864 -1950’

Comments about this page

  • Checked online, plenty of material (inc pics) on the building/s old and new. Didn’t see anything to suggest (or prove) that the premises enjoyed ‘listed building status’. Could have missed something however. Yes a worthy Mansfield landmark indeed, forever remembered.

    By Steeve Cee (23/07/2022)
  • Does this building have listed status?
    It should have.

    By Derek Smitheman (23/07/2022)
  • My mum and dad worked at PA Woods department store on Westgate which used the compressed air tube system for payment. My dad worked in the shop and sometimes I was allowed to put the canister with money in the pipe to be “sucked up” to the cash office upstairs. My mum’s office was next door to the cash office and I remember hearing the noise of the canisters going along the pipes. It was fun to guess which pipe they would come out of and the office staff rushing to put the change in and send it back again. There were a row of pipes from different departments.
    I also spent many a happy hour riding on the shop’s rocking horse in the children’s clothes department. The shop closed when I was about 8 years old I think, and both my parents lost their jobs at the same time.

    By Catherine Clay ( Taylor) (09/06/2022)
  • Hi Steve,
    Yes, you’re right about the clock in the picture, the building was remodelled in the 1960’s and the domed clock was replaced by the square tower that we see today. I think they may have moved the position too, on the photo above it’s on Queen’s Street, the previous one looks like it was over the main entrance on Stockwell Gate.
    This wasn’t the original clock though, the first Coop store was built on Stockwell Gate in 1865, this had a much smaller clock, however the store was destroyed by fire in 1918 and was replaced in 1922 by the building I think you remember with a much grander clock tower.
    Photos of all three Coop stores can be found in the book Picture the Past, Mansfield.
    I remember the old compressed air tube system, fascinating to a child, the money went in the cylinder which then whooshed up the tube and clattered along the overhead pipes. I don’t remember any other shops in the area using this system, only the Coop.

    By Jenny Wright (15/05/2021)
  • Photo appreciated, I’m sure the clock I was referring to is the then new one (as the picture shows.) I believe that this replaced the original clock which was of the old fashioned domed variety. I will try to find a pic of the old one - if one exists of course. Thanks!

    By Steeve. C. (04/11/2017)
  • Yet more nostalgia story’s about the “Co-op” and yes can remember the  payment when one really handled any monies in those days. How times have changed for the “Co-op” even the building also, and the pub the “Queens Head ” now gone also. How times have changed since those “Co-op” days, can’t help what the  Rochdale Pioneers would think of it all. Lets not forget the “Co-op” divi, with those white receipts you were given after your purchase, mothers kept them to make sure the correct amount divi came their way, I’m sure that’s another story for the Old Mansfield Area people to add their comments .

    By G.Burton former Woodus lad (01/11/2017)

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