Caught by the River

Maggot Vending Machine Appeal

John Andrews | 24th November 2011

dear jeff

please could you put out the following appeal for information on caught by the river

maggot vending machines and you

as part of an ongoing project to plot the whereabouts of ‘rotomatic’ and other brands of maggot vending machines (see caught by the river entry 18/10/07) a current map of which will be published in the next issue of ‘an antidote to indifference’ i would like to appeal to all readers of caught by the river to send me map co-ordinates, addresses, photographs orrumours of maggot vending machines in their neighbourhood. i’m very grateful to the reader who pointed me in the direction of this entry in the greater london industrial archaeology society’s newsletter of june 2002 under the banner ‘closed shops’, “just round the corner in tollington park on the south side of the road stood an old slot machine for the sale of milk which had been adapted for a new use. you could buy live maggots from it for fishing, say in the middle of the night when shops were shut. the maggots were kept cool by the refrigeration system and there was quite a choice of flavours and colours. the machine might still be there. it faced north so was cooling for the maggots.”

however, one maggot vending machine does not make a summer so i need information on more of them. i’m well acquainted with the recent rash of the ‘bag-it with maggit’ range that have spread across the east of the country behind independent petrol stations, what i’m really after is examples that date back further to the 1960’s and beyond. i have anecdotal accounts of them in sheffield and eastbourne and am sure there are others out there.

you can contact me via caught by the river.


john andrews