Brockley and the curse of the phantom Co-Op

One of Brockley Central's earliest posts complained about the lack of a free cash machine near to Brockley Station. We believe that, as well as being annoying, it hinders the development of the local economy, because people have less ready cash for impulse purchases in local shops, cafes and bars.

We contacted the industry body responsible for cash machines but received no reply, so our attention drifted to other critical issues, such as soggy newspapers and nature walks.

However, an email from John Morgan reignited the issue for us, when he pointed out that HSBC are currently looking for 200 sites for new cash machines. Fortunately, Brockley Central knows a very nice man at HSBC who agreed to help us by putting Brockley's case to the people in charge.

To their credit, HSBC did agree to analyse Brockley and ran a check on SE4.

Unfortunately, the LINK system which maps coverage of the country told them that Brockley is already served by a free cash machine, thanks to the Co-Op Bank, a mere 250 metres up Brockley Road.

Brockley Central was stunned by this and cursed its stupidity for continuing to slog up to Crofton Park when free money was available on its doorstep. We felt like silly indolent slobs for demanding a new cash machine when a short walk would do the trick. However, we'd never seen the Co-Op and a quick web search didn't turn anything up. Our limited experience of Co-Op supermarkets came in the late 90s, when our local branch still hadn't adopted the use of bar-codes, so perhaps the Co-Op Bank simply hadn't embraced the internet? We rang the Co-Op customer service line - they said the nearest branch was in Lewisham.

Frightened and confused, we sought a second opinion from the one person we could trust:

"What Co-op Bank free machine?" said John Morgan. "The nearest free cashpoint for me is Goldsmith's College."

So, it seems that Brockley is the victim of cruel administrative error, doomed forever to be without a free cash machine unless the LINK system agrees to strike the Co-Op from its map. Meanwhile, the Postal Sorting Office, which seems like an ideal site, remains cashpoint-less.

We have replied to the kind people at HSBC, fallen on their mercy and await their response.

Do YOU know the whereabouts of the phantom Co-Op? Better still, do you know anyone who works for LINK? Please let us know.

16 comments:

Luke said...

Strange you mention this as I was looking online for the nearest Co-op supermarket a few months ago and got the same respsonse - Lewisham.

However, there is a mini Co-op store up by Merritt/Darfield Road. It doesn't seem to be listed anywhere and I'm not sure it's got a cashpoint (I wasn't looking). Its veg selection is rubbish, though.

Perhaps the name of the store is registered under a different identity...

Nevertheless, the fact remains; Brockley 'High Street' needs a cashpoint.

Anonymous said...

The mini Co-op shop on the corner of (I think) Marnock Road and Brockley Road next to Crofton Park Station does indeed have a free cash machine. It's very near to the Barclays one, but I don't really like using street cashpoints late at night so it's handy (open until 11) - but not much use to you down the other end of the road.

Brockley Nick said...

Aha, thanks - but you're quite right, no use at all if you're at Brockley Station. Can't believe it's only 250m away either.

Zeno said...

Tried this...
An oasis of calm to welcome the weary traveller, it's run by Erin, a charming Canadian lady.

Zeno said...

I did some investigating into this.
After a walk of approximately 17 minutes, I discovered the cashpoint secreted away inside the shop. It's much too far from Brockley Station, and rather proves the point. Whilst Brockley has no free cashpoints, Crofton Park has three! (The other two being outside Barclays.) Link must do better!

Zeno said...

The comment above on 'an oasis of calm' was not intended to be a reference to cashpoints, but 'The Broca'.

jez said...

Funny that you couldn't find the Co-op online, cos when I moved to Brockley I checked to find that there was a Co-op within walking distance and found it immediately.

On the other hand, I haven't found myself rushing back, after my first experience there.

Interesting blog, keep it up.

Moira said...

Just to expand the stories about the Co-op. Last year I asked if they would take Brockley Max programmes for customers. At first they said they would, but when I returned to replenish them, the manager told me it was not company policy to display leaflets. Even appealing to his better nature that this was a local, community event run by volunteers had no effect. So much for being co-operative!

Moira said...

Decided to ring the Co-op Customer Services. They'll now accept B Max programmes!

Kate said...

All power to your elbow on this one, a free cashpoint is definitely one of the things that's missing from Brockley.

spincat said...

I live quite near this illusive co-op and, although I haven't gone there in last few months, when I did, the machine was regularly out of order about a third of a time. It is a good 15 minutes walk from Brockley station!

Anonymous said...

Customers of some bank accounts can withdraw cash at the Post Office.

Not ideal of course - only open during office hours & often a queue - but an alternative to the tyranny of the charging machine in Costcutter - until Brockley gets its own much-needed free Link machine

Anonymous said...

you're not got a cash machine cos Brockley's too pikey desipte all your tries to talk it up. Plumstead on the other hand has 3 legit cash machines which don't charge £2 a pop.

Anonymous said...

Good for Plumstead, share the info with your own community like we're trying too. These sort of comments are just boring now.

bob said...

I was charged last time I used the cashpoint at the Crofton Park Co-op cash machine (it was the same sort as the paying Link cash point at the petrol station on Brockley Rd).

A cash point is also something New Cross badly lacks. The Goldsmiths one is always either out of order or has a huge queue of obnoxious students, and you have to pass the intimidating porters to get there, while the Sainsburys three are not pedestrian friendly

Anonymous said...

Still no use to you down the Brockley Station end of the road, but the free cash machine in the Co-op has been removed, permanently according to the staff.

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