SIR: So Debenhams have gone into liquidation (Chronicle, December 3). I am not at all surprised but I do have memories of this store when it privately traded under the name of Sherriff & Ward.

I am going back now to 80 years ago when, as a boy, at this time of year, my mother took me to meet Santa Claus in his grotto which was generally positioned on the ground floor. He was a bit scary but always gave me a "small" present.

The cash flow system fascinated me. The shop assistant took your money for items purchased, pushed cash and account into a container which then was sucked underground and popped up into the cashier's office. On the return journey the container with change and receipt popped up into a tray on the counter - sometimes missing it - and landing on the floor. Quite amusing to a 10-year-old!

Phil Yates,

Tower Street,