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.

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Card imprinters

Ever wondered why the numbers on your credit card are embossed, raised characters rather than just printed on the card? There’s a good reason for that…

Shillings and pence

Around this time of year, it was once traditional on Stir-up Sunday to put a sixpence in your Christmas pudding as you stirred it. Whoever found the coin in their serving would have good luck for the coming year.

Try doing that now. Unless you have a family heirloom Christmas sixpence.

Bank branches

You could recognise them by their solidity. You could trust them with your money because they weren’t going anywhere. The branches the banks built were meant to last for ever. But then they didn’t.