Author Topic: How common were UK £20 (and £10) notes in 1970?  (Read 320 times)

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Offline Alan71

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How common were UK £20 (and £10) notes in 1970?
« on: October 01, 2017, 11:59:59 PM »
This came from <k>’s UK banknote topics, when I looked into the dates that every denomination of each series of notes from Series D onwards were first issued.

In 1964, Bank of England £10 notes were re-introduced after a long break following the Second World War (updated to Series D in 1975).

In 1970, £20 notes were re-introduced after a similar hiatus, which also saw the debut of the Series D notes.  Decimalisation of the the coinage was in process but the note issue was unrelated.

We currently have the £50 as the highest banknote in circulation.  They are so rare that, if I do see one, I automatically assume something dodgy or illegal is going on as it must indicate a high amount of cash being used.

£20 in 1970 is worth about (or over) £200 now, am I about right?  And £10 then is £100.  Someone else can do the more accurate maths.  Even 10 Shilling notes or 50p coins then would be around £8.50 in today’s money (or so I’ve read, anyway).

As we hardly see the £50 note now (and admittedly, that’s partly because of card and electronic transactions), how rare was a £20 note in 1970?  Would the majority of people not used nor even seen them?  I’m assuming most could get by on £5 and £1 notes for everyday use, and possibly the odd £10.  And even wage packets wouldn’t have been enough to require £20 notes, would they?

In 1970 there weren’t cash machines.  You’d have to go into your bank and ask for cash from your account, and you’d surely most likely ask for £5 and £1 notes, and perhaps tenners.

Indeed, was it too early for such a note, or did the Bank foresee the high inflation rates of the 1970s and get in early?

I know there’s also that “thing” about all money having to be matched by a Bank of England note (or something).  Was that the reason for such a note at that point?

When did £20 notes become more common?  When inflation hit home later on in the 1970s?

No idea when I first encountered them.  Possibly the early 80s but unsure.  I was too young to be using many notes in the 1970s anyway.

Offline <k>

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Re: How common were UK £20 (and £10) notes in 1970?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 12:30:10 AM »
In 1970 my pocket money was 7 shillings and sixpence, and that was way more than enough to keep me in sweets for the week.  :D  So 10 and 20 pound notes in 1970 - forget it! Probably didn't see much of them until the second half of the 1970s, when I became a student. How common were they? How commonly did you see them would be a better question, but it partly depends on how rich you were. Children are by definition mostly not rich.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: How common were UK £20 (and £10) notes in 1970?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 01:29:03 AM »
To calculate the value of historic amounts in current terms, see this site. IMHO any stats before around 1880 should be considered with extreme care.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Alan71

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Re: How common were UK £20 (and £10) notes in 1970?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 02:01:54 AM »
To calculate the value of historic amounts in current terms, see this site. IMHO any stats before around 1880 should be considered with extreme care.
That says “In 2016, the relative value of £20   0s   0d from 1970 ranges from £253.00 to £693.80”.  That’s an extraordinarily high banknote!  I said £200 so I was out by £53.

Offline malj1

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Re: How common were UK £20 (and £10) notes in 1970?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 02:45:09 AM »
I visited the UK in 1971 and in those days we carried travellers cheques which we cashed at various times during our stay. We were given £10 and £20 notes in exchange and thought nothing of it and were unaware of scarcity or otherwise of these notes, certainly they were readily accepted wherever we spent them!

According to my records I still have one £20 note from this time but apparently it must have gone missing in a robbery back in 1984. I do still have a 1975 issue £10 from a later visit in 1977.
Malcolm
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: How common were UK £20 (and £10) notes in 1970?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 11:01:13 AM »
My first visit to the UK was in 1967. Like Malj1, I was carrying travellers cheques of denominations £10 and £20. I would receive notes with a maximum denomination of £10. These were accepted by large stores and banks only, so I would usually ask for fivers when cashing a cheque. Keep in mind that a bed and breakfast room cost between 8 and 12 shillings at the time. I spent an average of around a pound a day.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.