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Woman discovers 90-year-old Barclays cheque in her loft in Greenhithe


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When contractors knocked at Liz Edgar's door offering to carry out some insulation work, little did she know it would lead to the discovery of a little piece of history.

Liz was asked to clear her loft space by the local authority so they could carry out the work, and while doing so she stumbled upon an almost 90-year-old cheque hidden in the deepest cranny of her Victorian terrace house in Greenhithe.

Liz talking about her find

The grandmother-of-four discovered the cheque - which is dated January 1, 1932 - in her home in Charles Street in, what looks like, pristine condition.

She said: "Dartford council knocked on my door and said they were doing loft insulation for free and asked if I would like that.

"They said the loft would have to be cleared so I cleared it. I hadn't noticed the cheque before then - it was right at the end near my water tank."

The 67-year-old said she was trying to reach the furthest part of her loft when she discovered a small plastic packet.

She said: "I went to a corner where I had never been before and lo and behold there it was.

"It is quite a beautiful thing. I thought it was so interesting. It is just so pretty."

Liz Edgar found the almost 90-year-old cheque in her loft in Charles Street
Liz Edgar found the almost 90-year-old cheque in her loft in Charles Street

Liz was so happy with her find that, wanting to preserve it as part of the history of the house, she has had the cheque mounted and put on her wall.

It is made out to the British Medical Association for three guineas which would have been three pounds and three shillings. It was registered to the Barclays bank in Dartford and has a stamp to say it was paid in on January 20.

In today's money, it would be the equivalent of £231.

According to The National Archives, in the 1930s that amount of money could buy you nine days of a skilled tradesman but was not enough for a horse or cow.

Almost 90 years later you would be able to buy a hover board segway or a refurbished Amazon Kindle Oasis, but still would not be able to afford a horse.

Liz with her mounted cheque
Liz with her mounted cheque

It is signed by Graham Robertson who, Liz has discovered through some research, was born around the same time her house was built in 1895 and was from South Darenth.

At the time, the NHS had not yet been created so it is likely Mr Robertson may have been paying for a medical bill.

In 1932, George V was the reigning monarch, Labour's Ramsay MacDonald was the Prime Minister under a coalition and the United Kingdom was experiencing a great depression.

By the end of the decade more than 20% of the workforce was unemployed, wages were cut by 10% , taxes rose and in 1931 the pound was de-valued by 25%.

Seven days after the cheque was dated, the Archbishop of Canterbury forbid Church remarriage of divorcees. Later in the year, physicist James Chadwick discovered the neutron and Great Britain and Northern Ireland competed in the LA Olympics winning four gold medals.

The BBC had not even begun its own regular TV broadcasting when the cheque was written as that did not happen until August of that year.

She has now had it mounted on her wall
She has now had it mounted on her wall

The discovery comes after Gillian Mardel from Medway found old newspaper cuttings from September 1973 featuring the popular Weddings Album under the floorboards in the mother's house in Gillingham.

Another Medway couple who were clearing out the loft of their new home in Rainham also found a 1950s TV.

Have you found anything interesting in your loft? Contact KentOnline's sister publication by emailing dartford@thekmgroup.co.uk

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