The Never-Never

Photo:Receipt card

Receipt card

JLP Archive Collection

Photo:Stamped payment details

Stamped payment details

JLP Archive Collection

Photo:Notice of final payment received

Notice of final payment received

JLP Archive Collection

1930s Hire Agreement

By Jo Spence

In the 1930s, if you wanted to purchase goods but couldn't afford to buy them outright, there was the option of a hire-purchase agreement also known as the  never-never.  Credit cards didn't exist.  Neither did standing orders or direct debits.

You were given a receipt book
You made a deposit and agreed to pay a monthly amount for the rest  (this usually included any interest.)  You were given a receipt  book which was stamped each time you made a payment.  The final amount was signed off over a postage stamp and then a notice was issued saying that the item was yours.  Until then the store still held an interest in the goods and could repossess them if payments lapsed.

These photographs are of a Trewin Brothers Receipt Card.  The customer purchased a wireless set (radio) for £28.10.6d on 13.9.1930.  A £1 deposit was paid followed by £1.1.0d per month.  This was "due to be paid punctually on the 13th of each month."  The final payment and notice of completion was made on 27.7.1931.  In this case the customer made a large final payment and ceased the agreement early.

This page was added by Joe Editor on 21/04/2008.