This page is for all my British visitors, who being of age may remember some not so distant Bank of England One Pound notes, " the ole quid note ", that were in circulation during the 1950's through to the late 1980's.  

This is when money had real value and not like it is today, where a couple of ££'s  indeed $$'s  is relatively worthless.  Diminished spending power is an understatement, where loose change...even the odd pound or dollar now resides in that jam-jar in your home.  So that when it has accumulated enough you can cash it all at the bank or go out and spend it in one go, just to end up buying the family a few burgers with it.

To continue with the topic at hand then, below is the old Bank of England series A £1 note that was first issued on the 17th June 1948 and ceased to be legal tender on 28th May 1962.  It was 151mm long by 85mm wide and was basically designed by W. M. Keesey.


Below is a Britannia series C £1 note from around 1970, signed by Jo Page as the chief cashier. At the time this £1 note was in circulation it had real spending power and could buy a bottle of coke, a chocolate bar, fish and chips (fries), a newspaper, a packet of cigarettes and a box matches and still have change !

When decimalization came in during 1971, these Britannia Pound notes remained in circulation but their value was at the new decimal value of 100 pence to the Pound, there was 240 pence to the 'old' Pound before decimalization...losing 140 pence from every British mans pocket on 15th February 1971.

Date first issued 17th March 1960. Last issued 1978 and ceased to be legal tender 31st May 1979

The size of this note was 151mm long by 72mm wide and was designed by Robert Austin, it was also the first Bank of England £1 note to have upon it a portrait of Queen Elizabeth 2nd.  Below is the reverse side of the note showing a picture of Britannia.

In 1975 an imperial gallon of petrol in Britain sold for about £0.40p ( 40 pence ), today... (updated July 14th 2011 )'s around £6.30p this is about sixteen times more, however the pound itself isn't worth sixteen times more...per cé.

The last British £1.00 note design to be in circulation was called the 'Newton' Pound, it made its first appearance around 1978.  Below is the last design of £1.00 note, the series 'D' 'Newton' Pound, with a picture of Sir Isaac Newton on the reverse side.

Date first issued 9th February 1978, Date ceased to be legal tender 11th March 1988.  Size 135mm long by 67mm wide, designed by Harry Eccleston.

With the introduction of the £1.00 coin in 1983, the £1.00 notes days were numbered.

As the value of the pound became less and less, the Bank of England finally withdrew the £1.00 note in 1988.  The £1.00 coin indeed saw the demise of the Pound note, and the 'folding stuff' in the wallet became fewer and fewer it also meant that the pound was now destined to wear the pocket lining out instead !

Diminished spending power did I say earlier? Well in 1982 beer in a British pub was on average sold at 62p a pint, leaving 38p change from one pound.  Whereas today in 2012 you will need £2.38 pence for just ONE pint.


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Page created April 10th 2009.   Updated August 18th 2012