Cash is King!

A closeup of a chess board game with emphasis on the white King playing piece surrounded by piles of coins on the same board in the foreground and the remaining white chess pieces in the background.
Written by Martin Brock,

Each one of us has a life away from work. My colleague Lyn recently wrote about her fortune to be able to attend a Taylor Swift concert whilst looking at the impact of ticket scams (you can read the full article here).

I am heavily involved with the Lions Club in my local town. My co-workers probably feel involvement by proxy, as for the past couple of years, I have been Chair of the organising committee for Knaresborough’s annual bed race. Every year since 1966 (covid-excepted), the town has held the event on the second Saturday in June. What started as a training exercise for local services teams has morphed into a spectacle that shuts down the town for the day. Tens of thousands of visitors will descend on the town for a spectacular procession of 90 fancy-dressed ‘beds’ (these days more a metal frame on wheels than an old hospital bed) followed by a 2.4 mile run around that town that finishes with a swim through the river.

3 images from the Knaresborough Bed Race from 2024 with various particants crossing the River Nid and running around the course cheered on by onlookers and supporters

I had some interesting conversations with local retailers on the back of this year’s event as it seems that the volume of visitors has caused Wi-Fi networks and several mobile networks to drop out for a while, such was the demand for data. We had additional signal boosters in place but had also put please on social media for people to bring cash and had also arranged with the town’s banking hub to open to give people access to money. However, with many people now totally reliant on contactless payments and never carrying money, the message did not always cut through and some were unable to make any purchases on the day.

The aim of the event is not to inconvenience, but to provide a great community day out whilst raising money for charity, so this issue will be taken to our post-event wash-up meeting. Ingrained habits will be harder to overcome so we will have to push harder to remind people to tuck an emergency note at the back of their wallet, but the issue also highlights the importance of having access to cash if needed. Knaresborough has no individual bank branches these days and I am pragmatic enough to realise that this will have been due to a drop in usage making them unviable to keep open. The Post Office has also closed temporarily as it relocates, meaning that we are fortunate to have access to the banking hub for any physical transactions required. After all, the old adage remains that ‘Cash Is King’, even for some if it is only for one day in the year.

To view the full gallery of Bed Race images click here.

Martin Brock

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