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Some moolah for ya sky rocket?

June 14, 2011

This post could be construed as slightly off topic. Granted, it’s not about how digital technology can be used as a tool for social change. Nor is it about the power of the web to connect, mobilise or empower local people to help shape their environment. But you could say it’s innovative and holds local relevance – generating collective belonging, providing cultural references, etc etc. Plus, it provided some amusement to two of my colleagues and me this lunchtime.

Nine of my colleagues and I take part in a local reading programme to read with children in a large multi-ethnic school in Bow, the heart of the East End of London – historically Cockney territory. While we tend to avoid the jellied eels on our walk back to the office from school, today I needed to get cash out and so stopped at one of the only free cash points down Roman Road.

On inserting my card I was greeted with a screen asking me to choose my language. Unfortunately I wasn’t offered Bengali – which would be useful for many of the local residents – but rather English or Cockney. Being the inquisitive researcher, I opted for Cockney and was delighted to be taken on a whistle-stop tour of Cockney banking.

Of course, I couldn’t go without taking some screen shots throughout my transaction, so I thought I’d share them here as an example of a local service meeting the needs (of sorts) of local residents through technology, while making the most mundane of transactions a little bit more exciting for everyone/me.

(And if anyone can tell me why £15 is a Commodore, £24 is Pony and £40 Double Top, I’d be more than grateful to know.)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2011 5:45 pm

    Unusual to find a bit of fun in a service normally so serious and strait-laced.

    Oh and £40 = “double top” is a darts reference 20 is at the top (12 O’clock) on a darts board with the double 20 in the outer scoring ring.

    A commodore is £15 …. or Three Times a Lady – Hence “Commodore” a witty convoluted reference to the Commodores song.

    Origin of a “Pony” is lost in the mists of time

    • June 16, 2011 11:35 am

      Hi Richard

      Thanks for sharing. I particularly like the commodore explanation.

      As for Pony, it seems the origin of this is fuzzy. Three potential origins given here are:

      Pony, slang for 25 pounds, is derived from the typical price one had to pay for a small horse. In those times, however, a sum of 25 pounds would have been an unusually high price for a pony.

      Another suggestion was that an Indian banknote, which was worth 25 rupees, featured a pony. Another theory behind the origin of the word pony as slang for a sum of 25 pounds was that it was derived from the Latin phrase legem pone which meant the payment of a sum of money, cash down, etc.

  2. June 23, 2011 9:59 am

    Wonderful post – and hats off to the staff at the bank for being human and having a sense of fun!

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