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#991580 - 15th Nov 2015 5:29pm Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 453
Loc: Cheshire
Apologies if weíve covered this subject before, but Iíve been trying to recall how the coin-in-the-slot meters worked in our houses in the old days - in my case, the mid-1950s.

I well remember that you had to put a shilling in the electricity meter to get a set amount of time. Once the money ran out, your lights went off, along with your radio (no telly in those days).

But I canít remember how it worked for gas. Was there a similar coin-in-the-slot system?

Also, when the leccy man came periodically to empty the meter, piling up the shillings on the table and counting them, there was more often than not a bonanza for the family in the form of a 'rebate' - he gave you so many shillings back. But how come you got money back if it was a pay-as-you-go system?

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#991581 - 15th Nov 2015 5:41pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
Dilly Offline

Wiki Addict

Registered: 17th Jul 2011
Posts: 7560
Loc: wallasey
Yes same method for gas. My mums rebate always had a certain amount of filed half pennies in it. It was always my job to file them on the doorstep smile . We also had a tv that had a slot meter, bit of a bummer when the money ran out in the middle of Corrie frown

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#991582 - 15th Nov 2015 5:47pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: Dilly]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#991583 - 15th Nov 2015 5:50pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
cools Offline
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Registered: 16th Aug 2013
Posts: 1560
Loc: Wirral
Yes I well remember those days too. As you say Yoller big day for the family, a bit of spare cash we'd get a few pennies for sweets. Anything that would fit went in those meters ,washers as you say Dilly filed down coins , foreign coins the lot. If i remember right he would always wear a long black or blue overcoat and we would all stand around while he put all the junk in one pile and shillings in other and then wait with bated breath to see how much was left over..Happy days

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#991585 - 15th Nov 2015 6:01pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
Dilly Offline

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Registered: 17th Jul 2011
Posts: 7560
Loc: wallasey
I still have that meter on Berts link, Ste must have taken the pics when I was out. It's just hanging on the workshop wall if anyone collects this sort of stuff they are welcome to pick it up, I just hate to see stuff like this go the tip.

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#991586 - 15th Nov 2015 6:03pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 453
Loc: Cheshire
Thanks for the link back to the 2010 postings, Bert. I had a feeling the subject had come up before (I even contributed to it!) and it was covered in depth at that time.

The only reason I brought it up again is that, while I can see how electricity could easily be switched on and off, how could the meter safely cut off the gas and switch it on again?

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#991611 - 15th Nov 2015 7:30pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#991624 - 15th Nov 2015 8:32pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
casper Online   content
Forum Addict

Registered: 13th May 2012
Posts: 1230
Loc: wallasey
I remember the gas meter was under our stairs right next to an open hatchway to the cellar you had to open a little door at the side of the stairs and crawl in put the money in and turn the key it always reminded me of winding up a clockwork toy up, might be wrong here but I am sure the gas meter was pennies and the electric meter was shillings, anyway it used to scare me as it was dark and the wind would be howling under the cellar and my siblings used to scare the crap out of me.

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#991627 - 15th Nov 2015 8:58pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 453
Loc: Cheshire
Thanks for the technical explanation, Bert. It obviously wasn't dangerous at all - just a valve mechanism.

Any ideas on why we got a rebate after the gasman had counted up the shillings?

As I said, if it was a pay-as-you-go system, surely all the money would have been used in buying the gas.

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#991628 - 15th Nov 2015 9:16pm Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
Salmon Online   content
Forum Addict

Registered: 8th Oct 2011
Posts: 1707
Loc: Wallasey
I remember those days but not sure why we always got money back. Perhaps it was based on use, i.e. the more you used the cheaper it became but you still paid up front.Just like now, different tariffs.
You may recall the old joke about the electric meter : I am glad you dropped in Bob, I was just going out.

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#991653 - 16th Nov 2015 6:15am Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: Salmon]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
We got a rebate because we were paying above the price of the gas. The meter was made to take Shilling coins and pre set to allow a certain amount of gas through for a Shilling.
For example, the amount of gas that we got for a Shilling was only 10d worth, putting a Shilling in also allowed for the gas price rises.
It would only be when the price of gas went up above the Shilling would they have to come out and regulate the machine, either by allowing less gas through for the shilling or replacing the machine slot to take larger coins.

As and when the gas prices went up, the rebates became smaller.

Thinking about it, the Shilling must have been at one time the most minted coin, the majority of them must have been in meters.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#991666 - 16th Nov 2015 9:55am Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
casper Online   content
Forum Addict

Registered: 13th May 2012
Posts: 1230
Loc: wallasey
Just done some checking on the internet and gas meters did indeed take pennies certainly up until the 50s and maybe even the 60s, so my mind is still working ok crazy .

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#991670 - 16th Nov 2015 10:36am Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


What happened in the following scenario.... gas fire going in one room and gas stove going in the kitchen. Shilling runs out, gas supply shuts off. (With me so far ??) Shilling put into meter and gas flows once again. Mrs Fanackapan relights stove and continues making supper. BUT what was to stop the (now unlit) gas fire from asphyxiating dearest Tiddles in the living room and then blowing half the street up? Was it just that folk then were more alert to going round and checking everything once they had fed the meter? Looking back, it seemed a recipe for disaster!

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#991672 - 16th Nov 2015 10:54am Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
Dilly Offline

Wiki Addict

Registered: 17th Jul 2011
Posts: 7560
Loc: wallasey
True and before natural gas it was much more toxic and I think a bit more volatile.

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#991673 - 16th Nov 2015 11:44am Re: Coin-in-the slot leccy and gas meters [Re: yoller]
philmch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 27th Dec 2007
Posts: 324
Loc: Wirral
Back in the early 70s, one of my friends had a coin in the slot rental television. I remember going round their house to watch Ace Of Wands and the set went off in the middle. He got 50p off his mum, fed it in the side and it came back on.

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