Banned on the Run, Day 118 – Crocheting & Cash Handling

Day 118 Tuesday 6/10/20 Coolamon, wet cool

The Up to Date Store Museum, Coolamon

Rain plops on the roof and a magpie chortles.

It rains all morning, not heavy just enough to make us stay indoors. When The Prado’s return raving after a visit to the ‘Up to Date Store’ we wander over for a look around and see what the fuss is about. This old shop is large and once stocked most of the needs of a busy sheep and wheat community. It is now a museum holding family collections and connected to the RSL museum next door.

Of all the displays there are two unique standouts: the Lamson Cash Railway System and the Mavis Furner collection. The Lamson Cash Railway System is the only one of its type in the world and before you say “Yeah, yeah…” this one is quite different from other old cash systems. The cash payment would be put in a ball and hoisted (like flag raising) by the salesperson to a tiny railway suspended near the ceiling. The ball would then travel by gravity to the office in the rear where the clerk would then put the change in the ball, hoist it up to a second railway ‘track’ for it to roll back across the shop to the sales person. And it still works.

Mavis Furner was a local woman who was inspired by an Italian hand crocheted dress. Mavis who had been crocheting doilies, thought “Why not?” And set to work. There are over 200 exquisite high fashion pieces in the Mavis Furner Collection and I couldn’t get a photo off to my sister in law quick enough. Sadly, I doubt that I inspired her as she asked me if I realised how much that amount of wool would cost these days!

The black cash ball can be seen resting below the string netting
Four railway tracks cross the ceiling
The cash ball will arrive in the shoe, the clerk will then hoist the change
Part of the Mavis Furner collection

I’m in the bathrooms and two teenage girls are in the showers. One is outlining a nightmare she had last night. “It was the same as the one I had in quarantine.”

Is this the new normal? I wonder.

Victorian cases rose to 15 today causing concern as to when restrictions will be lifted. Over happy hour we ponder the logistics of returning home as the Prado van is stored elsewhere. We don’t know what going home will entail and whether we’ll be able to see anyone anyway but at least Woody can get his hearing problem attended to.

As it’s Elle’s 70th birthday on Friday and she loves Italian food with a passion we’ll go to Griffith to celebrate. The Prado’s will then head for the Murray for a few more days after we head homewards.

Accom: $20.00

Travelling Kms: 0


5 thoughts on “Banned on the Run, Day 118 – Crocheting & Cash Handling

  1. That crochet is incredible, especially how well she was able to shape the pieces. A couple of those wouldn’t be out of place at something like the Melbourne Cup races – if we ever get to have spectators there again…..


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