£50 holiday money

Once, your holiday spending was limited to fifty pounds per person per year. That’s all you could take out of the country. Might be good for a couple of croissants but what about a fortnight in Finland?

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Charles Darwin on paper

Britain’s bonfire of the banknotes continues. Our old £10 notes featuring Charles Darwin have been gradually replaced by ones featuring Jane Austen since September 2017. From today, shops are entitled to refuse to take the Charles Darwin.

The round pound

This coming weekend (October 2017) sees the last days of legality in the UK for the round one-pound coin. Those of us who still haven’t recovered from our pounds disappearing as notes, this seems like dizzyingly rapid change. After all, it was only in 1983 that the round pound arrived, replacing those green pieces of paper.

Green Shield stamps

Green Shield stamps were a promotional scheme. When you bought something at a participating store, you were rewarded with a certain number of the green stamps. You stuck the stamps in little books. Each book contained 1,280 stamps. That’s a lot of licking.

Money in fractions

As news today reveals that the British government recently considered dropping the 1p and 2p coins from circulation, I am reminded that I grew up in a world where money came in half pennies as well as pennies. Money came in fractions.

Selfies

Until cash machines started blossoming during the 1980s, getting your hands on actual cash was a procedure. You’d have to go into the actual bank just to check whether you had any money you could take out.

Paper £5 notes

Bye bye, Elizabeth Fry. Today in England and Wales is the last day on which you can spend your paper £5 notes, the ones which bear her image, in shops. From midnight tonight, those notes where you can glimpse the prison reformer reading to prisoners at Newgate will no longer be legal tender.