I was listening to the wireless recently and left the room for a moment and when I returned I caught the end of an article about a digital bank which said they had no branches as the were digital, which set me thinking.
Many years ago we used to have a family bakers business which in those days dealt mainly in money, not digital money you understand but old fashioned notes and coins.
This is going to come as a surprise to some of my younger readers but at the end of each days trading we would count the takings and put it in bags which we placed in another small leather bag which was called a night safe wallet. On our way home the night safe wallet was deposited into the bank through a hole in the wall that only customers with a key and an agreement to bank in this fashion would have, the bag being opened in the morning when the bank opened.
Some of the takings would be kept behind in our small safe at the shop to use as a float for the next days business, I’m assuming you’re with me so far, I’m only asking as the concept of moving bags of heavy money around may not be that easy for young people to imagine. Probably most of them are asking, well why didn’t you just do it with your phone?
During the trading week we would travel to the bank during opening hours carrying yet more bags of coins and wads of notes which were deposited for safe keeping in the banks vault. All of this carting of heavy coin was a great substitute for having to be a member of a gym, which may explain why folk in old black and white photos look so much slimmer than their modern counterparts.
I’m glad to say it was a fairly rare occurrence when men in balaclavas, or with stockings over their heads armed with sawn off shotguns would rush into the bank demanding the cash from the vault and then jump into the Mk 2 Jaguar waiting outside for their getaway.
Obviously having to stare down the barrel of a sawn off shotgun would have been a very traumatic experience for the bank manager and his staff, which may have had some bearing on the banks closing branches, especially in the countryside and pushing everyone to on line banking. This is a shame for older folk who still tend to use old fashioned money as the concept of paying by touching ones mobile phone on a terminal is a step too far!
It is quite a strange juxtaposition where the old fashioned bank would protect our money physically by putting bars at the window and latterly at the counter and storing our money in a large safe in the basement.
Whereas the modern digital bank doesn’t actually have our money for safekeeping at all for it only exists in a digital form and is only protected by a young computer programmer writing some code to keep the digital robbers at bay. Not quite as brave as the bank staff of old staring death in the face at the end of a gun barrel.
I’m lucky in that my bank still issues me with a cheque book which I have to admit I use very rarely, however I joined the Friends of Sywell Aerodrome which is a small art deco aerodrome in Northamptonshire and they requested payment by cheque.
How I wonder would younger people dealt with this situation, place their phone in a jiffy bag and head to the post office, if they can still find one that is open as they too are the victims of the digital world in which we live.