London's Most Unusual Cash Points

By Zoe Craig Last edited 25 months ago
London's Most Unusual Cash Points

Cash points hardly warrant our attention unless they're broken. There are some fine and unusual London examples of ATMs, however, that deserve a closer look.

Brixton Pounds in Market Row. Photo by brixtonpound.

1. The local one

Head to Market Row in Brixton Village for a cash point that dispenses the local currency: the Brixton Pound (B£).

The B£ cash point in Market Row. Photo by brixtonpound.

B£ notes can be spent in more than 300 independent businesses in Brixton.

It's designed to keep money in the area, encourage people to support local, independent businesses, and build community connections in Brixton. When it opened in 2014, it was the first local currency ATM in the UK.

2. The historic one

The Barclays in Enfield was the site of the world's first ATM.

The bank manager of Barclays on Enfield High Street tries out the world's first cash machine with Reg Varney (in the golf cap). Image courtesy of Barclays

'The world's first cash machine was installed here' with the strapline 'lives made much easier', is on a blue plaque that marks this historical spot. Alas, there is no longer a cash machine here, but the bank's still in operation.

3. The chatty ones

Talking cash points are the future, in a world where we're living longer but our eyesight fails to keep up.

Thankfully, for blind and partially sighted people, London hosts an increasing number of talking cashpoints since the arrival of the first, in 2013... once again in that enterprising branch of Barclays in Enfield.

4. The cheap ones

Are you a fan of the fiver? Then you'll love East Croydon station's ATM, which only dispenses five pound notes.

New fiver. Photo by James Beard.

(The East Croydon anomaly is apparently part of a network of fiver-only machines introduced in 2010... Do you know of any more machines dedicated to divvying out Winstons? Let us know in the comments below.)

5. The Cockney ones

Head to Commercial Street in Spitalfields where you'll be asked to present your bladder (of lard), enter your Huckleberry (Finn), and whether you want to top up your dog (and bone), or just get sausage (and mash).

Welcome to London's Cockney cashpoint, brainchild of Ron Delnevo at the Bank Machine Company. Several have been spotted around the east end of town; in Walthamstow, Barnet, and Mile End...

6. The upcycled ones

Around town, many old telephone boxes, now obsolete in the face of ubiquitous smartphones, are being recycled into cash points.

Cash machine phone box by our own Matt Brown.

It makes a lot of sense; they're usually in just the right place for an ATM, and they're a useful size. Also, lots of people assume they're phone boxes, so there don't tend to be queues.

7. The Cosmopolitan Ones

Bored of plain old Sterling? Then ¡vamos! to one of the 70-odd cash points in London now dispensing euros.

As the writers of Curiocity point out, many of these are in obvious locations (hello, St Pancras International), but kudos goes to the outliers: Tooting Broadway, the furthest south, and Amersham the furthest west.

8. The Futuristic Ones

Since the arrival of the UK's first bitcoin ATM inside a café on Shoreditch's Kingsland Road (where else?) in 2014, there's been a proliferation of cryptocurrency 'cash' points.

Offer up your sterling, and in return you get a code for the equivalent amount of bitcoin... There are now around 25 bitcoin ATMs in London.

Have we missed any other unusual London cash points? Let us know in the comments below.

Last Updated 13 December 2016