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‘Touch and Go’ !

Posted by Big John on September 14, 2015

Who remembers “old money” ? .. You know pounds, shillings and pence or ‘£.s.d’ as it was known.

If you do remember it, you will recall that our pockets and purses were often bulging with a selection of heavy coins …

coins 2

There was a farthing .. a halfpenny .. a penny .. a three penny piece .. a sixpence .. a shilling .. a two shilling piece .. and .. a half crown.

Four farthings made a penny (1d); twelve pence made a shilling (1/-). A half crown was worth two shillings and six pence (2/6) and 20 shillings made a pound; and just to confuse you a little bit more, some items in shops were still priced in ‘guineas’, a guinea being worth twenty-one shillings.

In 1971 life became a little more simple (Well, at least, it did for some people) when decimal currency was introduced, with there being 100 new pence to the pound. However, this still meant that you had a pocket full of change.

Now I have just received a new ‘contactless’ Visa card from my bank with a letter which states .. “With contactless technology there’s no need to carry cash”.

So now my pockets will feel lighter. Great ! .. I just hope that if I’m ever ‘caught short’ I won’t need to …

… “spend a penny” !


3 Responses to “‘Touch and Go’ !”

  1. lin heinz said

    Dear John, what a great article. And what a wealth of memories this brings back. My first trip to your side was in 69, and I discovered that when confronted with comments like “six and four, luv” the easiest thing for two late teen females in jeans and mickey mouse shirts was to smile more or less winsomely, and hold out some small coins, in the hopes no one would explode at us and someone would make change. (it also got us free cheap curry dinners, usually with, for some odd reason, offers of bottles of catsup and chewing gum, and some great tips of what to see in London.-all so harmless then.) Nowadays, the metal “sleeve” thing you are supposed to keep your card in to avoid having your identity stolen is heavier than the coins were. Or does contactless mean no sleeve?

  2. rummuser said

    I didn’t know that you still had to drop a penny anywhere! We had Rupees, Annas and Paise till we went metric in the late fifties of the last century and I still have some of the old coins! We too now use cards widely but carry coins too for small purchases and to pay the autorickshaw fare.

  3. Gabbygeezer said

    Interesting how the U.S. was among the leaders with metric money, and fails miserably to join the rest of the world by officially adopting System International units for most everything else. And we still carry pennies. There’s hope, though. We can buy a liter (litre if you prefer) of Canadian whisky and liters of other kinds of good stuff in bottles. It’s a start.

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