Meter Man (1957)

Champion, Dad’s got a smile on his face a mile wide, so he must have got a good rebate.

These were the times when you had to put a coin in the meter for to get your gas or electricity to work in the house. The meters in these times took either threepenny bits (11/2 new pence) or tanners (21/2 new pence) or if your parents were feeling flush, they would put in a bob (5 new pence).

Every so often the meter man came to empty them out and if you had a good lot of money in you would qualify for a rebate. Sometimes it was coppers, other times, especially in the winter, it would be a good bit. When the man turned up when we were there our eyes were like organ stops watching him count out the money, pile of pennies, threepences, tanners and shillings. It looked like millions to us.

Anyway, once counted the meter man would look in his little book he carried, enter and take away some numbers, then pass out the refund. Champion, Dad’s got a smile on his face a mile wide, so he must have got a good rebate.  Now a good rebate means a couple of pennies for me for sweets.

First stop on the list is old Harmon’s corner shop and that’s it – Four Black Jacks for a penny and two Dainty’s for a penny each. Does not sound a lot, but to us it was paradise and the world was our oyster, as the saying goes. It never took much to please us in those days.

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