Seeing this pay cart at the MK Museum reminded me that one of my great uncles, a senior accounts clerk, was actually responsible for the payroll in the 1930s. This cart has B.R. painted on the side so it must have been used after nationalization in 1948, although it continues to use LMS livery colour.
Workers were paid only in cash until the transition was made to bank accounts in the last quarter of the 20th century. the pay cart was wheeled over to the bank to pick up the money and taken back under guard of course, where the money was counted out in pounds shillings and pence into each pay packet. Checked, sorted by workshop. All this work would take the betterpart of the morning, then the cart was wheeled throughout the works where the men would sign for their packets. The name, hours worked, rate and total pay was written on each packet, an open brown manilla packet with holes punched through so that the money was visible.
Pay was weekly on Friday and usually before lunchtime at 12:30. Some would go up to the building society to make their mortgage payments (probably about 10/- a week) and others would add to the lunchtime trade in the four pubs and the bottom club.