MOST of us rely on our bank cards to pay for shopping and entertainment, and with the introduction of contactless payments it is easier than ever to get by without having to worry about having some money in your pocket.

But there are still occasions when we need to use the old fashioned stuff, often in small, independent businesses which do not have the technology required for card payments.

Hawes is one such market town which has been struggling due to a lack of readily available cash for customers after HSBC closed its high street bank in November last year.

This just left Barclays Bank for residents and visitors to withdraw cash for free at any time of day or night – apart from on the occasions when the machine was out of order.

Then it was left to the Post Office and a mini supermarket to provide a cash withdrawal service, but with both businesses closing by 6pm, there was no way of getting money until the following day.

In December last year, there were reports of pub-goers desperately trying to find a way of getting more cash out in order to buy fish and chips after a couple of pints.

Sadly, these particular customers failed in their quest to get their take-away, and Dales councillor John Blackie decided enough was enough.

He pushed for HSBC to provide a stand-alone cash machine, and after months of wrangling has succeeded in securing one.

He emphasised the importance of having readily-available cash in a rural community such as Hawes.

He said: “We were taken aback by the demand for cash last November, and recognise how important it is to to fuel the local economy.”