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Thread: Maxpax drinks vending machines

  1. #1
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    Default Maxpax drinks vending machines

    I was boiling the kettle to make myself some "snack in a paper cup" thing just now, and it reminded me of those Maxpax drinks vending machines that one used to see quite a bit in the 1980s and 1990s. They were obviously endorsed by Maxwell House, and I often think of them as being the hot drinks equivalent of a Soda Stream drinks maker.

    They were drinks machines which were seen in work places, waiting rooms and elsewhere. If you had 20p (as it was in the mid 1990s), you could put it in a slot in the machine, select "coffee" (Maxwell House of course, hence the "Max" name), tea (PG Tips, I think), hot chocolate (Cadbury's, dare I ask?), tomato soup (Heinz?), and other warm beverages. We had one at our training place after leaving the Madhouse (school to you). The machine where I briefly worked at in the mid 1990s didn't recognise the new shiny 1990s 1p pieces, but could easily accept the old 1971 pennies.

    One got a paper cup (a bit like the ones at children's parties, or even, one that you could find in packs of Persil), at the ready (usually with the Maxpax logo on it), selected, let's say, tea which had a PG logo on it (just like the films in the cinema!) Pressed the relevant button, and some tea granules fell into the cup. Then you added the "warm water" option, making sure you didn't scald yourself in the process - the milk option (I don't think that there was any variation between whole or semi-skimmed, etc), and then the sugar option, where a maximum of two sugars were applied into the cup. One had to use a "Bookie pen" sized wooden lolly stick to stir the cup, making sure your hands don't get scalded before consuming the drink. And there was a waste paper basket next to the machine to put any used empty cups in.

    As well as my training place, I do remember that the waiting room at the local City Hospital circa 1984 also had one for the parents to get a quick drink before being seen - I was to see a specialist on Friday afternoons, and waiting our turn I know there was one in there at the time. I believe that there were also rival companies doing these machines where the coffee was probably Nescafe rather than Maxwell House, and Tetley probably did the tea rather then PG Tips. To be frank, there is not much difference than filling up a kettle from the tap and putting it on for a nice cup of tea, apart from the size and wright of the aforementioned implement that is used in the process.

    Channel 4 ad breaks in the mid 1980s used to advertise Maxpax for the benefit of businesses, factories and non-domestic environments, as seen on some YouTube clips, so it wasn't for the family home. It was always "dial 100 and ask for Freephone Maxpax" in those pre-0800 days, or probably a 01-200 0200 job instead where they would send you a brochure or something to whet one's appetite.

    Did anyone have one of those machines at their place of work? - or even saw them in waiting rooms, offices, and all that? I suppose that the water cooling machine is the 21st century of all that.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    Great thread you've made here George mate - we had one at School .... though ia m unsure if it was a "Max" but it did all the works as you said and other stuff like Soup and Bovril and dilute Orange Pop. Kids being kids went there for Lunch for the Soup etc instead of the Canteen, but often it cwas'nt open due to vandalism or it had run out of supplies - knowing what i know about my first High School (though, yes it does offer good memories in certain aspects like this Machine)

    It was based just going into the CD Rooms if memory serves me correct and in a doorwell at that, like entering a tiny tiny receptio with doors either, like it would be at College I re-collect in the 90s

    Again we still have them in several of my Local-ish Bus Stations - though I'm unsure what make they are ... and at least one does not work and has chains and the like attached to it for Months - which suggests a robbery tried to be commited sadly

    Talking about these Machines though - I'm so glad you mentioned them (as it went out of my Head) and I was going to make a thread on Coffee Times at work (not Church ones) and how people always used to take these of a Morning - even my Gran and Great Auntie did at Home in retirement ..... Coffee at 10am to ghalf past every day without fail and the same at half 2 in the Afternnoon - no matter what had taken place - eg a shopping trip and that Tea/Dinner may be served 40 mins down the line

    Though also on reflection - I can recall on Grange hill in Series 12 at Helen's Work Placement that Mr Aldridge declared it was "Coffee Time" hence the Canteen serrved it I would guess in a morning but I am not sure about the Afternoons (like in my Work Experience at Asda in the late 90s, the Cafe for Workers dwindled off by half 1) and nothing was avaliable to purchase (though of course it was free anyway - even to me) in my role there

    As well Helen was seen (I am unsure if was in the same Work Placement) watering Hector (possbly a Yukka Plant/Tree) and someone asking her to fetch the Coffees and poor Helen struggled through the doors with-about 4 plastic little cups

    I do feel though that the Coffee Machines have died, and though in Library's/Colleges they condem Food and Drink's near Computers obviously for good reasoning as I can testify to loosing a Keyboard that way), but I feel that Coffee and Tea now are taken on the go in most work places - either through nipping to Greggs or having a "Resident Kettle" as was so in Factory's in thje 80s, with equal resident Buiscuit Tin. these trends have died and to me this is so so sad, but thankfuly a few remain - like 10 years back when my Grandma was constantly in Hospital, I would go off on a stroll try to find a Shop/Machine etc and they still existed and still do in ad-hock places i'm sure George mate

    Congrats to you on making a wonderful thread and inspiring me to reply here

    80sChav

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    We had vending machines on each floor when i worked for a cable company in the head office in the late 90s/early 2000s. For some reason I found the vegetable soup quite addictive, despite being not very nice.

    Those machines went when they updated the cafe level.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    The Max Pax machines were a manual version of your typical drinks, vending machines

    Whereas more expensive makes of vending machines were automatic, Max Pax machines dropped the cup, after you insert your money & pull the tab & then you move it to the 'tap' to fill with hot water

    Do you really believe the other side without provocation would launch so many ICBM's, subs and ships knowing that we would have no option to launch as well? It would break our MAD Treaty (Mutually Assured Destruction) not to mention the end of the world as we know it.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    I remember my college had a machine like a Maxpax one, & also had Bovril & lemon tes among the usual drinks.

    The first place I worked at had a more automated machine, but seemed to work on the same principal.

    The tomato soup for some reason never seemed to dissolve properly, leaving most of the powder at the bottom of the cup & hot slightly tomato flovoured water on top. Even stirring didn't help much.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard1978 View Post
    I remember my college had a machine like a Maxpax one, & also had Bovril & lemon tes among the usual drinks.


    The tomato soup for some reason never seemed to dissolve properly, leaving most of the powder at the bottom of the cup & hot slightly tomato flovoured water on top. Even stirring didn't help much.
    The good old days; soup powder not dissolving with hot water on it lol

    I remember the tea selection was mostly powdered tea, though some did have teabags

    Do you really believe the other side without provocation would launch so many ICBM's, subs and ships knowing that we would have no option to launch as well? It would break our MAD Treaty (Mutually Assured Destruction) not to mention the end of the world as we know it.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    They had one at my local swimming pool, hot chicken soup was always the drink of choice....and a bar six from the chocolate vendor
    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    Leisure centres were places near the entrance where they had drinks machines - probably not Maxpax but another company. When we had swimming lessons someone used to get soup from the machine before going back on the minibus to school, and the bus almost stunk of chicken soup. Chocolate machines are more prominent - even my school had one.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines

    They still have hot drinks vending machines in Toolstation. The drinks are free for customers and include vegetable soup and lemon tea.

    I suspect that hot drinks vending machines have declined because our tastes for coffee have moved more upmarket over the past 20 or so years. There's still some demand for Nescafe original and the traditional English cuppa by builders and other blue collar workers who tend to be unsophisticated with their tastes.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Maxpax drinks vending machines



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Max Pax.jpg  

    Do you really believe the other side without provocation would launch so many ICBM's, subs and ships knowing that we would have no option to launch as well? It would break our MAD Treaty (Mutually Assured Destruction) not to mention the end of the world as we know it.


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