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  1. #1
    Question submitted via Daily Express newspaper
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    Does anybody know about keys to this old money box?

    When sorting out my late mother?s personal effects recently I came across an old money box made of brass in the shape of a small leather-bound book. The words ?Ideal Bank, Birmingham? are embossed on the front.

    I seem to remember it was mine when I was a child, and I would love to give it to one of my own grandchildren. The problem is that it has no key. Does the Ideal Bank still exist? The manufacturer of these money boxes probably went out of business years ago, but do you think anyone could help me find a key?

    Jane

  2. #2
    Financial Journalist
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    These old book-shaped moneyboxes were issued by many banks and building societies and as far as I know most never had keys – or at least the keys were not given to the child savers to whom the moneyboxes were issued. The idea was that the child would drop in their pocket money – either coins pushed into the slot or rolled up notes inserted through a little hole - and then take the moneybox into a branch where the cashier would unlock it, and add the sum saved to the child’s account where it would earn interest.

    Ideal Bank became part of Barclays in 1957. The maker of these moneyboxes was Pearson-Page-Jewsbury. of Birmingham. I don’t know how you could track down an old key and I suspect your best bet is to consult a locksmith. Sorry not to be more help.

  3. #3
    Question submitted via Daily Express newspaper
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    If I remember right, my money box had a simple one latch locking movement which was located at the left hand side of the keyhole. This could be overcome by inserting a thin penknife blade in the keyhole and pressing it left. If the latch is stiff a thin screwdriver can be used when the cover over the keyhole is moved by about a quarter of a turn. Whilst oil could be used if the mechanism is stiff I remember that the money box did actually have a hole for the insertion of 1 and ten shilling notes.

    If the person did not want to damage the money box I possibly have a key that might fit.

    JM

  4. #4
    Question submitted via Daily Express newspaper
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    My late father worked at PPJ, as Pearson Page Jewsbury were known in Birmingham, for some years prior to the slump in the 1930's, when the firm closed down.

    Then, during the War years, he worked at Parkinson Cowan, and after the War, when PPJ set up again, he went back there and stayed until he died in February 1962.

    He was the last hand engraver of brass working in the Midlands, and in
    about 1960 the Birmingham Post (our sort of equivalent of The Times)
    ran a half-page spread about him and said only two other hand engravers
    were still alive, but retired, and living in the Black Country (Dudley, Halesowen area).

    Also my Godmother's twin brother, who grew up with my Dad and my Mom, was Works Manager for many years and then became a Director of the
    company. He and my Dad were the 'brains' behind the annual Pantomine
    etc.

    Now I recall my Dad had a box with various keys in it, including very
    small 'savings box' type of keys, but of course, not knowing just what
    they fitted, I eventually disposed of them. So, if they may have related to the savings boxes in question, then I have to say I am very, very sorry I threw them out.

    I had a similar savings box, issued by Birmingham Municipal Bank,
    and when it was getting full we always had to take it to the Bank for
    them to open it.


    Dorothy Holland

  5. #5
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    Thanks to both of you for your comments and offers of help.

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