Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Here's a question for you - when did Britain first
adopt decimal currency?  February 15th 1971 you
say?  Well, you're right, though you're not complete-
ly right, as the Florin (two bob bit) was actually our
first decimal coin, and it was introduced in 1849.

I learned that from the above little book, dug out
of a box in my attic the other day.  It was published
in 1969, and no doubt my father purchased it then -
or perhaps in 1970/'71.  To think it's been lying up
in the loft for all this time is rather amazing.

I-SPY was a great series of little booklets, and
I remember buying a couple in Blackpool in 1973
or '74 (I think it was '74 in fact), which I've still got
somewhere.  Did you ever have any of these little
booklets?  Let's hear all about them then.


John Pitt said...

Never had / seen these I Spy books, but I have to admit, there have been times when I have had the two-bob bits!

Kid said...

I've still got a few - plus examples of other old British currency.

John Pitt said...

Last time I had them, I had eaten a dodgy curry!

paul Mcscotty said...

I have never seen these books either but I do remember as a kid (9 or 10) collecting coins. I was lucky as my Mum and Dad took my brother and myself overseas in the 1960s so I manged to pick up French, Italian Swiss etc money (not that common back in the day). I recall wanting to find an old UK 1 penny piece dated 1933 as I thought it was worth a fortune (I must have read that somewhere) and my dad and myself would always search through his coins just in case there was one in amongst them that always seems fun and exciting but obviously my Dad knew it wasn’t there. I gave up on coins pretty quickly for the wonderful world of stamp collecting but not wanting to be a virgin all my life I swapped that hobby for comics little knowing that would condemn me to a world of celibacy and ridicule 

Kid said...

Aren't all curries dodgy, JP? They are with my digestive tract.


Coins, stamps and comics - the only one missing from your CV is train-spotting, PM. I've also collected a limited number of coins, notes, and stamps, but ones following a particular theme, not just any old ones. Don't give up hope - you may yet lose your virginity before you die. No hope for me, alas. (Joke!)

Phil S said...

I arrived in the U.K. in 1970 and everyone was already moving over to decimal though you could still use the old coins. But I still know how to count pre decimal. You just sort of get used to doing the maths backwards so to speak. Adding up the small change first then the big bills. The big old coppers were really good for magic tricks!
I suspect the hapenny is now long gone..

Colin Jones said...

I was just about to turn five on D-Day so I don't remember the old imperial system but my father tried to explain it to me...240 pennies in a pound, guineas, crowns, farthings, florins, shillings...leave it aahhht, guv'nor. But that 50 New Pence piece reminds me of when us kids would go hunting for coins in the local pub car-park that people might have dropped. In those days the 50p piece was the biggest coin available and you hit the jackpot if you found one...which was rare but I recall finding a 50p on at least one occasion. That would be like finding a tenner nowadays !!

Kid said...

Long gone, PS, but I have some in my collection. I dig out my old coins and notes sometimes and just look at them - remembering.


50p was a whole ten bob, CJ, so you're right - to a kid, that was like winning the Lottery. Hard to believe it was introduced in 1968.

LeicesterJim said...

Saw a similar coin presentation pack in the Post Office yesterday when I was queuing up to buy stamps. A snip at £130.

Philip Guest said...

This takes me back...I was a member of the I-Spy Club back in the '70s.

Big Chief I-Spy had a daily feature in the Daily Mail or Express (can't remember which), with a coded message.

Kid said...

£130? They can keep it, LJ. The ones I already have will do me.


Still got your I-Spy badge, PG? They're probably collectable now.

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