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.