Where’s London’s oldest…cash machine location?…

PICTURE: Matt Brown (Licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Recently listed at Grade II by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, a Barclays Bank in the northern London suburb of Enfield was the first in the world to be fitted with an automatic teller machine or ATM as we know them.

The prototype machine was devised by John Shepherd-Barron, managing director at banknote manufacturer De La Rue and required the customer to insert a special paper voucher punched with dots corresponding to their four digit PIN (the PIN featured four digits because Shepherd-Barron, who had initially proposed using six, heeded the words of wife after she told him she couldn’t recall more than four).

The bank, located at 20 The Town, was selected for a range of reasons, including that it has good pavement access, high windows and was close to Barclays head office. 

The ATM was officially opened on 27th June, 1967, by Barclays deputy chairman Sir Thomas Bland while actor and comedian Reg Varney made the first £10 withdrawal.

The red brick bank where the machine was located was built in 1897 and designed by William Gilbee Scott in a style architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described as “exuberant Flemish Renaissance”.

PICTURE: Matt Brown (Licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Barclays celebrated the 50th anniversary of the installation in 2017 with the installation of a plaque and by turning one of the existing cash machines at the Enfield branch gold.


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