Cash­ing in with the rise of the ma­chines

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Nuts & Bolts -

There was a time that when you wanted money you went into a bank, wrote a cheque, handed it to the cashier and, in re­turn, they gave you a wad of cash (yes, we know that’s a long time ago). How times have changed. An in­ter­est­ing lit­tle snip­pet of in­for­ma­tion reached us last week from LINK, the UK’s cash ma­chine net­work, re­veal­ing that the num­ber of ATMs in the UK reached 70,180 in July, sur­pass­ing 70,000 for the first time.

That means there are now a ridicu­lous num­ber of hole-inthe-wall ma­chines across the coun­try.

And the to­tal amount with­drawn from these in July 2015 in­creased by 4% com­pared with July 2014 (£11.3 bil­lion up from £10.9bn).

Dur­ing 2014 (Jan­uary to De­cem­ber), these ATMs, of which more than 50,000 are free to use, were used 2.8 bil­lion times to with­draw £189bn.

John How­ells, chief ex­ec­u­tive of LINK, said: “De­spite cards, con­tact­less pay­ments and dig­i­tal pay­ments be­com­ing ever more pop­u­lar, our latest fig­ures show that cash still has a very im­por­tant place in our purses and wal­lets.

“In fact, 47 mil­lion UK adults, or 92% of us, used a cash ma­chine in the UK last year.”

Yet while the na­tional fig­ure seems enor­mous if you ac­tu­ally think about it there are a fair num­ber of ATMs in and around Ash­ford town cen­tre.

We can think of at least half a dozen in the High Street and Lower High Street and then if you add in those in­side banks and those si­t­u­ated at out of town su­per­mar­kets we must have around 20.

Be­ware wasps! The Wye­vale Gar­den Cen­tre bases in Willes­bor­ough and Ham­street are warn­ing that swarms of wasps will be be­sieg­ing the UK this month.

Wasp con­trol prod­ucts peaked last week, they say, with in­creased sales of 180% year-on-year.

The high num­ber of wasps is to do with this year’s weather ap­par­ently.

With tem­per­a­tures ris­ing again this week, the stripped lit­tle crit­ters are set to be hov­er­ing about over the next few days.

And Ken­tish Ex­press news editor, Alastair Irvine, was him­self a wasp vic­tim last month.

He was driv­ing up the M20 to Lon­don, mind­ing his own busi­ness with the win­dow down be­cause it was a hot day (one of the few we have had this sum­mer).

His arm was rest­ing on the car door when sud­denly he felt a sharp prick on his fore­arm.

He looked down to see a wasp smugly sit­ting there.

His arm started to swell. So when he ar­rived in Charl­ton, his des­ti­na­tion, he found a help­ful chemist who sold him some an­ti­his­tamine cream and within min­utes the swelling re­ceded.

Now this was the third time in his long life that he’s suf­fered a wasp sting.

The worst was when he was mow­ing the lawn with an old-fash­ioned cylin­der mower and one was flung to­wards him, went into his mouth and stung in­side his lower lip (stop laugh­ing at the back please). The wasp died, he sur­vived. Please see next week’s Nuts and Bolts for Alastair Irvine’s riv­et­ing dog bite sto­ries!

Our news editor is also pleased to hear that The Pheonix pub in Tufton Street is re­open­ing af­ter a two-year clo­sure.

He used to fre­quent this es­tab­lish­ment oc­ca­sion­ally to watch tele­vised football games and was al­ways guar­an­teed a warm welcome.

Since The Phoenix closed down he’s been go­ing to The John Wal­lis in the High Street to see the odd game but soon will have a choice – and as we all know, life is all about choices.

A while back we men­tioned the Ken­tish Ex­press’ an­nual in-house sun­flower grow­ing con­test, where our ed­i­to­rial and advertising staff were com­pet­ing to grow the first sun­flower that ac­tu­ally flow­ered.

Well this year’s con­test turned into a bit of a dis­as­ter.

The seeds all sprouted soon af­ter plant­ing and the sun­flow­ers grew well, ini­tially.

But then it all went wrong and we ended up with strag­gly stalks with tiny buds, none of which flow­ered.

So if any­one knows the se­cret for grow­ing in­door sun­flow­ers in pots, please let us know so next year’s bat­tle is more pro­duc­tive.

And talk­ing of com­pe­ti­tions, it’s hard to be­lieve the KE Big Quiz at the Stour Cen­tre in Ash­ford is just over a month away.

Apart from rais­ing a lot of money for char­ity, the event – this year cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary – is also a lot of fun for the teams who take part, many of whom turn up year af­ter year to com­pete.

The Ken­tish Ex­press will, as usual, have a team tak­ing part, so if you want to take us on then get to­gether a team of up to eight brains and en­ter.

To do that visit www. km­bigquiz.co.uk

There are now more than 70,000 ATMs in the UK ac­cord­ing to LINK, the cash ma­chine net­work; be pre­pared for an in­crease in wasps this month

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