Buy a slice of history: Coin-operated parking meters for sale

1:35 pm on 26 September 2020

Rifling for coins to pay for parking was once a way of life. But after 30 years in action, Blenheim's coin-operated Duncan 'lollipop' meters were replaced with digital screens and sent to a metal yard to be fed through a shredder.

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Most buyers intend the meters to be set up in "man caves". Photo: LDR / Chloe Ranford

But before the meters are chopped up for scrap, Trillo Metals is giving people the chance to bring home the unique "keepsake" or "memorabilia" items for $40 a meter.

Co-owner Craig Trillo said about a dozen meters had been sold so far, mainly to women looking to spice up their son's, son-in-law's or husband's "man cave".

One woman had travelled from Nelson to buy a lollipop meter. Some had even bought more than one, he said.

Craig Trillo, seller of parking meters in Blenheim

Craig Trillo says there is plenty of interest in the parking meters. Photo: LDR / Chloe Ranford

This did not include the 21 meters purchased by the Ashburton District Council earlier this year for $3150 to replace its own damaged meter stock, or to use for parts.

Those that didn't find a home before mid- to late-October would be fed through a shredder and sent over to India.

Pay-by-plate meters have been gradually rolled out in Blenheim and Picton since June 2019, after old age and vandalism pushed Blenheim's lollipop meters to breaking point. The final meter was removed in June.

Pay-by-plate meters were rolled out in Marlborough in June last year.

Pay-by-plate meters have been rolled out in Marlborough since June last year. Photo: Chloe Ranford/ LDR

'Surprisingly top heavy'

A statement on the council's website said the lollipop meters were in "varying condition". Some had heads but no pole to stand on, while others had two heads and a pole.

"It will be a first-in, first-served system," it said. "It also pays to note that the meters are surprisingly top heavy ... If you wish to stand these up in your garden or man cave, the base will need to be concreted in or weighted down."

The council waived parking fees in town centres during the coronavirus lockdown. It later agreed in May to roll out two-hour free parking in Blenheim and Picton, but decided this month to move to one-hour free parking from 1 October.

Meters can be bought from Trillo Metals on 03 578 0340.

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