Credit and Credit Unions

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Over the years there have been many types of credit available in Rishton, a regular drinker, or shopper, was able to obtain goods without the need for cash.

In a public House, or club the slate was used. Sayings such as "Chalk one up!" were often said. While the pint was being pulled from the pump, it was often heard to "put it on' slate".

The problem with this was when the credit was refused. People became irritated, and often the drinker would never return to the club, to avoid paying the bill, and often could be found starting a new slate in another drinking establishment in the town.

The other type of credit was found in shops.

This was known as a tab, or book. The expression used was "put it in book", or "put it on tab". The tab was also used in pubs as well.

The book was always a little black book, hence the term for the book. The amounts people owed was wrote down, along with the goods purchased.

On Thursday 17 September 1998 A group was trying to establish a credit union to serve Great Harwood and Rishton. A credit union is a financial co-operative, owned and managed by the local community, that enables people to save locally and to borrow at low rates of interest.

There are already more than 600 credit unions in Britain and evidence shows that where they have been established, people often have more money to spend locally. Credit unions give people who may not have access to mainstream financial organisations the chance to save and to borrow.

They felt that by developing a credit union for Great Harwood and Rishton, they could help local traders as well as local residents. They knew from the experiences of other credit unions around the country they could help preserve the livelihoods of local traders - and our local shops and businesses are vital to both Great Harwood and Rishton.

They asked traders to support the establishment of the credit union. They could help by displaying a poster and/or leaflets in their shop, or by getting involved in getting the credit union started.

Chris on 01254-886230 or Barbara on 882486.

BARBARA SHARPLES, Great Harwood & Rishton Credit Union Group, Allsprings Drive, Great Harwood


Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Thursday 17 September 1998.