Author Topic: Memories of new Bank of England note issues  (Read 659 times)

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Offline Alan71

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Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« on: October 03, 2017, 05:36:01 PM »
What are your memories of new Bank of England note issues?

My first memory is the £1 Series D issue in 1978.  I remember my dad comparing the two versions of the notes with me, and the new one being less wide (and therefore shorter) than the old one.  It was also interesting in that someone was on the back of the new note.  I don’t remember noticing that the notes were completely different designs though.  I wouldn’t have seen any other series C notes at that point.

The departure of the £1 from circulation was also another memory.  My mum got an uncirculated 1984 note from an offer with Clover spread (which I inherited and still have).

June 1990 was a big month.  Not only was the 5p coin going to be reissued as a smaller coin but the £5 note got a makeover as well.  From my perspective, I’d only really known Series D notes and 5p coins in their old size, so as far as I was concerned, they had always looked like that and always would do!  It was a big deal that both were changing.  Records show that they were issued within a day of each other - the 5p on 6 June and the £5 on 7 June.  Not sure how true this is but I do remember it being close together.

I didn’t like either of the new arrivals at the time.  The 5p seemed too small and the £5 was now the size and colour of the old £1.  This must mean a £5 circulation coin would be on its way in a few years, I had decided at the time.

My formative years had coincided with a long period of stability for banknotes.  Series D had lived on for longer than any series before or since.  We suddenly now had notes from different series circulating.  This is actually the “norm” but it wasn’t for me, and it seemed untidy.  It still does.

The other notes that have arrived since, I generally liked.  I liked the clear denomination markers top left of the obverses of the E (Variant) series.  I like the return to one predominant colour that series F and G give.  Apart from Series D, I’ve generally been glad to see the back of the old notes when they are replaced by new series ones.  It was a very long wait for the new £5 and £10 notes and the old ones had out-stayed their welcome by several years.

Once the polymer £20 arrives, I’d like to see another period of stability for banknotes.  A fair few years of just having the one series circulating for the three everyday notes.  Perhaps even until the end of the Queen’s reign.

And that’s another interesting discussion.  The Queen is the first monarch to feature on Bank of England notes.  The situation when a monarch dies or abdicates has therefore never mattered to bank note issues before.  Presumably the Bank of England is prepared for it, just as the Royal Mint is.  Will they just replace the Queen with the next monarch on the existing series in the interim, or do they have an all-new series already prepared?  More likely they will just keep the existing series as it takes several years for a series to be completely replaced.  Interesting times though.


Offline <k>

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 05:58:10 PM »
Coincidentally I got my first Jane Austen tenner today, from the self service till at Lidl. Nicely done, but it will seem rather small until I get used to it.

Being all for coins, I've rarely taken that much notice of my first encounter with new notes. I do remember one MP in the 1970s complaining about the new pound, saying the design looked like something you'd find on a bar of soap. What Isaac Newton has to do with a bar of soap, I don't know. Later I remember noticing the variations of the Newton note, with different colours or shades of colour.

Later, in the 1990s, one of the tabloids compared the new banknote portrait of the Queen to a "Spitting Image" puppet. To be sure, it's neither lifelike nor flattering. I would guess there'll never be another portrait of her, unless the Bank of England does a commemorative one after her death.

Offline malj1

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 11:41:51 PM »
While its not a BOE note King George V featured on the Bradbury notes.

The only image I have to hand is the interesting overprinted note for use in Gallipoli during WW1

(This read: 10/- or 60 silver Piastres and below sixty silver Piastres.)
Malcolm
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Offline <k>

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2017, 11:23:36 AM »
While its not a BOE note King George V featured on the Bradbury notes.

But that means that Alan71's statement is still correct: "The Queen is the first monarch to feature on Bank of England notes."

So how many suppliers had the right to print notes back then, and when did the BoE get a monopoly?

Bradbury - I well remember his book, "Fahrenheit 451" - the temperature at which banknotes burn.

Offline malj1

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2017, 11:51:45 AM »
Due to the outbreak of WW1 the gold coins were withdrawn and the September bank holiday was extended to three days while the treasury had new banknote hastily drawn up and some four million notes printed on postage stamp paper.

Other issues soon followed until 1928 when the BOE took over the issue.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline <k>

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2017, 11:54:55 AM »
So that's why the gold coins disappeared. As English novelist L P Hartley wrote, "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there".

Offline <k>

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2017, 12:00:57 PM »
Prior to WW1, did the different companies print banknotes to the same standards? Did all the five pound notes, for instance, have to have uniform dimensions?

Offline malj1

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2017, 12:24:40 PM »
As far as I know the notes seem to vary in size depending on where and who they were printed by.

I do know that notes were trimmed with scissors removing the blank white margins of the note to save money when posting.

Often too they were cut in half with the halves sent separately in stage-coaches then rejoined again when both halves had reached their destination. This was to prevent highwaymen gaining any advantage.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline <k>

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2017, 01:01:54 PM »
Interesting. Nowadays we don't bother saving money like that. So just Bradbury and the Bank of England were involved with our notes for England and Wales, then? Scotland seems to have been a different matter. Is there a good online reference for the history of British notes? I know your site deals with the Channel Islands.

Offline malj1

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2017, 01:26:43 PM »
See the 10/- note above this is styled UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.

The emergency treasury issue of course covered Scotland too. Later notes changed the title from Ireland to Northern Ireland .

I don't think there is any book on line, the only one is ENGLISH PAPER MONEY now in its 9TH EDITION, Paperback. by VINCENT DUGGLEBY.

Also G L Grant, The Standard Catalogue of Provincial Banks and Banknotes.

Otherwise Pam West as you mentioned previously.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline malj1

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2017, 01:29:30 PM »
Token publishing put out a banknote yearbook this is pretty good too.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline <k>

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Re: Memories of new Bank of England note issues
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2017, 03:51:09 PM »
Thanks for that!