Author Topic: 5p Drinks Token  (Read 158 times)

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Online Henk

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5p Drinks Token
« on: May 16, 2018, 07:43:21 PM »
Red Plastic, 25 mm diameter
O: TERUGBETALING PER 30 P ----- REMBOURSEMENT PAR 30 P - A2617 - / 5P. / BF 7,5 FB
R: (square with 4 bottles) drinks (incuse)

This token has a value of 7,5 Belgian Francs and also of 5 P(ence). The text (reimbursement for 30 P (= 6 pieces) is both in Dutch and French. Consistent with a belgian origin. 7,5 BF equals € 0,186 at the introduction exchange rate, so a Pound is 20 times as much: € 3,72. This was the approximate value of the British Pound in the years 1968 - 1973. So this must be time span the token could have been used.

I assume this token was used aboard one of the ferries between Belgium and the UK. The cost of these tokens would be 45 BF for six. On the boat presumably UK money only was accepted. So this token could be used for buying drinks on board without exchanging money.

I often used the ferry between Belgium and the UK in the 1980's and 90's but I never used any tokens. As far as I remember payment on board could be made either in Pounds or Francs.

Is anyone familiar with these tokens? Are other values known?

Offline malj1

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Re: 5p Drinks Token
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 01:09:06 AM »
One point, the years 1968 - 1973 centre around the time decimalisation was introduced in the UK in 1971 with the 5p and 10p pieces first appearing in 1968, this may have necessitated a short period of use of tokens at that time?
Malcolm
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: 5p Drinks Token
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 08:48:10 AM »
One point, the years 1968 - 1973 centre around the time decimalisation was introduced in the UK in 1971 with the 5p and 10p pieces first appearing in 1968, this may have necessitated a short period of use of tokens at that time?

... although of all the values that might need that treatment, 5p and 10p are the least likely, as they didn't change size or value.

I would imagine these were intended to make it easier to pay small amounts without having to resort to changing currency.

I took the ferry between the UK and both Belgium and France numerous times in the 1980s and don't remember any tokens, so this must have been a fairly short-lived scheme.

Online Henk

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Re: 5p Drinks Token
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 02:00:58 PM »
The following exchange rates, Belgian Francs equivalent to one Pound, can be found on: http://fxtop.com/en/historical-exchange-rates.php

Year   Average GBP/BEF   
1980   65.443168   
1979   62.197185   
1978   60.334095   
1977   62.522369   
1976   69.759081   
1975   81.421705   
1974   91.033078   
1973   95.419630   
1972   110.118777   
1971   118.681463   
1970   118.945652   
1969   119.804410   
1968   119.488986   
1967   136.447849   
1966   139.154058   
1965   138.761475   
1964   138.887808   
1963   139.607807   
1962   139.693765   
1961   139.693969   
1960   139.968682   

5 P = 7.5 BEF indicates an exchange rate of 150. Allowing a charge of 10% to exchange BEF in GBP this means an exchange rate of 135. However as malj1 remarked decimalisation was in 1971. The first coins with decimal denomination appeared in 1968 with a denomination in New Pence. The New was dropped from the coins from 1982. The word New is absent from the token. So, if we take 1980 as the date of the tokens use, the value in BEF would be about twice that of the value in GBP. A big disadvantage when paying for these tokens in BEF and using them as 5 P. Even in the years 1968 – 1973 with the exchange rate at 120 the disadvantage was a 20%. As it was not advantageous to use these tokens, at the stated exchange rate, they were probably not used much and possibly only for a short period in the early 70’s. Much earlier is not possible because of the decimal Pound value.

But maybe my interpretation is not correct and the tokens were used for some other purpose.

I based my earlier calculation on Euro’s. But this unit was fixed in terms of national currencies only in 1999. Before this date the value of the BEF could have been different in terms of Euro’s.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: 5p Drinks Token
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 02:38:47 PM »
I wouldn't put too much weight on the absence/presence of "new". The official terminology (and therefore coins of the realm) didn't change until 1982, it is true, but there are plenty of tokens denominated just "p" or "pence" from the 1970s. Royal Mail stamps never used any form of "new" but rather changed from "d" to "p" on decimalisation.

Another useful piece of information would be what you could buy with 5p or 7,50 BEF in any given year. If it's not enough for a drink or an awkwardly large amount that would require change, it probably doesn't belong to that year.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: 5p Drinks Token
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 05:36:42 PM »
I suppose they were a deposit for the bottle. Since the tokens would only be reimbursed in quantities of 30 and since 30 beers would have felled even the hardiest UK soccer hooligan, I presume the tokens were not exchanged by individuals, but used by some sort of intermediary, such as coach drivers.

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