Thursday, 10 September 2009

Looking Back - American Express Comes To Britain

On this day in 1963, American Express, one of the world's largest banking houses, opened a credit card service in Britain.
Holders of the cards were able to use them at nearly 3,000 hotels, restaurants, shops and hire-car agencies in this country and at more than 83,000 establishments abroad. The cards could also be used to obtain travel tickets.
Britain had hitherto been slow to embrace credit cards and the move by American Express was seen to be bound to boost the idea of using them.
Previously, American Express card holders had been able to use their cards in this country, but only if they could settle their accounts in dollars.
There was an annual fee of £3 12s, but supplementary cards could be obtained at half price for immediate family members. families could also apply for cards and issue them to members of staff. Customers could use the card for goods on credit, American Express then issued a monthly statement which covered all outstanding charges on the account.
The Bank of England sanctioned the scheme on condition users did not spend more than £75 on any one item purchased abroad.
Credit cards had been available in Britain since 1951 when Donald McCullough launched Finders Services after a trip to the United States. It merged with another company, Credit Card Services, to become Diner's Club in 1962.

Famous London Pubs - Hand And Shears

Today we take our final look at famous London pubs. The Hand and Shears pub is a delightful example of an early nineteenth century alehouse. The pub has four bar areas, one snug is so small it can hold only about eight customers.
A 12th century alehouse stood here, in the precincts of St Bartholomew's Prior. In August 1133, the first cloth fair was held at Smith Field nearby. Tailors and drapers came from all over the country to ply their trade. By Tudor times the Cloth Fair had taken on an official role for Merchant Tailors, whose officers would check cloth with a yard stick. Offenders caught giving short measure, were brought to the alehouse and their case heard in a court upstairs. The guilty were put in stocks or whipped.
Eventually the alehouse was officially adopted by the Merchant Tailors of London and was allowed to display the guilds sign, the 'hand and shears'. The Lord Mayor opened the fair from the steps of the pub. The last one was held in 1855. Poet John Betjeman who lived nearby was a regular.

Reproduced by kind permission of

If Women Ruled The World


You're In The Army Now

To ensure perfect aim, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
The object of war is not to die for your country, but make the enemy die for his.
Murphy's Law of Combat: Never forget that your weapon was manufactured by the lowest bidder!
They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance..... General John Sedgwick (1813-1864), last words.
When the pin is pulled, Mr Grenade is not our friend.

Church Bulletin

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and the community.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Wednesday, the Ladies Liturgy Society will meet. Mrs Jones will sing 'Put Me In My Little Bed' accompanied by the pastor.