British Co-op tokens denominated in milk

Started by africancoins, December 13, 2009, 12:54:50 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

africancoins

Here are a few British Co-op tokens I pictured recently. The "1 Pint" pieces likely mean that a pint of milk had been paid for by the purchase of the token and then the token would be exchanged for the milk. The 3d and 6d would perhaps be more likely to be an amount that could be spent with the co-op rather than (as with some others) a means of keep track of the amount that had been spent with the co-op using normal money. The first two are flat on the reverse, the other two have the design the same on obverse and reverse.

Likely most of you have heard of some of these places. I do have a few from much smaller places. There are many from smaller towns, even villages. Many types/places are very seldom seen - but demand is not particularly great. The pieces shown are fairly common. Ynysybwl, by the way, is in Wales - for this particular location there quite a lot of different denominations, shapes and sizes often seen.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

UK Decimal +

Those having Pint or Half-Pint denominations were indeed 'Milk Checks' (or 'Cheques'?) and I remember using them.   We were members of the 'Parkstone and Bournemouth Co-operative Society' and our membership number was '11671'.   When shopping at the Co-op, we would give '11671' and around Christmas time would get a bonus payment based on what we had spent.   If using a Co-op in another town, the code was 'P & B 11671'.   This was before the days of computers.

Milk checks were left out in the morning with the empty milk bottles to give the order for the current day.   If there was a price rise, a different design of token (perhaps from a previous period) would be issued, but the old ones could be used with the additional cost left out as cash.

"Mummy, what are milk bottles?"

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

translateltd

Milk tokens were widely used in NZ too, probably until the late 1980s, by which time they had become cheap-looking plastic items instead of the previous rather cheap-looking metal ones.  Lots of different varieties and designs over the decades, and a keen cataloguer by the name of Carter, based in Queensland, Australia, put together a listing of all New Zealand types of which he was aware a couple of years ago.



Afrasi

In Germany I do not remember such tokens. Remembring goes back to about 1964 in a town near the Dutch border.
Born at Hanover I was astonished to see in that rural area the milk man coming with his horse coach. And he went on until the eighties, when he died. He was a down-settled Sinti (gipsy) and could this way follow his blood in loving his horses and all the children, being always on the road in fresh air. Those were the days ...

Here is my only British milk token - from Africa of course.  ;)


andyg

My brother recently had new windows fitted - under the kitchen windowsill was found this.

Not sure of the date - 50's / 60's ?
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Figleaf

Co-op token. My guess is fourties, maybe older. Generally, the co-op tokens are for milk, bread or dividend. Those for milk and bread could be given to the poor, who were supposed to spend it on beer if you'd give them real money (like Andy Capp!). The co-ops were a socialist idea, hence the care for the poor.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

andyg

Quote from: Figleaf on September 16, 2012, 12:02:56 AM
Co-op token. My guess is fourties, maybe older. Generally, the co-op tokens are for milk, bread or dividend. Those for milk and bread could be given to the poor, who were supposed to spend it on beer if you'd give them real money (like Andy Capp!). The co-ops were a socialist idea, hence the care for the poor.

Peter

My father in the 60's when he worked paying people their unemployment benefit gave out two milk tokens with every payment - but they were paper not plastic. 

Not sure how these plastic ones would have worked - presumably you bought them from the co-op in advance then left them outside for the milkman?
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Figleaf

Canadian milk tokens were left out for the milkman, but my guess is that was in rural areas. You'd probably have to be more careful in towns and cities. You could of course make a standard arrangement with the milkman and leave your tokens under an upside down flower pot or on a high window sill.

I don't think they are plastic, but rather the same material as the 30s bus tokens. Celluloid, maybe?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

malj1

My understanding of these was leaving them outside in the empty milk bottle in lieu of cash so less liable to be stolen. Also speeded up deliveries as no change had to be given.

I agree with Andy that they probably date - 50's / 60's, some societies still used prepayment tokens into the 1990's, these were purchased by members from their local society.  Difficult to tell from the image but I get the impression a more modern hard plastic than the prewar softer celluloid type.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Prosit

Maybe it is Bakelite

i.e.

polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride

Dale

malj1

Bakelite is indeed a hard plastic but I meant something newer that allows light to pass through when you hold it to the light, see this police one, this glows red if you hold it over a lamp.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

andyg

Speaking to my mum today it seems they used these in the 50's.

You would pre pay for your milk from the co-op by buying tokens.  You would then leave outside the required amount of tokens for however many pints you wanted.

As for comments of theft - it's not so much like central London here as you would imagine ;)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

malj1

And I remember Central London [actually Peckham where I spent several summer school holidays with an aunt] as a much different place in the 1950's too, quite safe to leave the tokens out with the bottles then.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

andyg

Quote from: malj1 on September 18, 2012, 12:17:53 AM
And I remember Central London [actually Peckham where I spent several summer school holidays with an aunt] as a much different place in the 1950's too, quite safe to leave the tokens out with the bottles then.

An interesting point I only just thought of, but these tokens would only have been worth the same amount as the milk left on the doorstep.  Why pinch the tokens when you could wait and pinch the milk....
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

malj1

Quote from: andyg on September 18, 2012, 12:23:35 AM
  Why pinch the tokens when you could wait and pinch the milk....

That did happen but very rarely, the blackbirds too would peck the foil cap and take just a sip or two!
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.