Decimalisation Day

Off-topic discussions, musings and chat
User avatar
blackprince
Posts: 783
Joined: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 2:10 pm

Decimalisation Day

Post by blackprince »

Its 50 years since Decimalisation Day -15th Feb 1971.
It was the day when we finally got rid of our idiosyncratic British coinage system of pounds shillings and pence in favour of the decimal system . The old system had some things going for it – generations of schoolkids had to be good at maths to handle sums involving 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings to the pound. Another thing was it was guaranteed to confuse foreign visitors. Not to mention oddities - like the half-crown coin and guineas (when you were buying a coat in Lewis’s).

We were supposed to call the newly minted coins “new pennies” – that didn’t last long before it simply became became the “pee”.
In the run up to D day dual price tags had been used for a while with the price in LSD uppermost. On D-Day that changed and the decimal price was supposed to be used.

My main memory of the day was going to Kirkgate market with a mate of mine to buy some flowers for his girlfriend ( he must have forgotten on Valentine’s day!). I decided to buy some fruit from a stall and was a bit amused to see customers and stall holders alike doing all their reckoning in old fashioned LSD and only converting the final bill to decimal with the help of a calculator. Old habits die hard!
I expect there was some kerfuffle in the pubs that night over the price of a pint and a packet of crisps.
Anybody else have any recollections of “D Day” ?

User avatar
buffaloskinner
Posts: 1356
Joined: Sun 01 Apr, 2007 6:02 pm
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by buffaloskinner »

Luckily for me I was working in Cyprus and missed it all, by the time I returned to England in 1973 most of the creases had been ironed out.
If you have a 1971 2p and it says New Pence on the rear then its worth about £300. If it says Two Pence then its worth 2p.
Is this the end of the story ...or the beginning of a legend?

TABBYCAT
Posts: 287
Joined: Mon 02 Apr, 2007 6:55 pm

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by TABBYCAT »

I know exactly where and when I received the new coinage in my change and that was in a newsagents owned and run by former Leeds United and Irish international David Cochrane. His shop was near to the corner of Greenmount Street and Lodge Lane in Beeston. I bought a magazine or some such thing and I remember him handing me the new coinage and explaining what it was and its worth, in the lovely soft Irish brogue he had.
Most of us lads only went there because we had a crush on his daughter who oddly enough I still see in Beeston occasionally, walking her dog.

Funny what brings these things to mind.

jma
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri 05 Aug, 2016 3:38 pm

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by jma »

I've always thought that decimalisation helped fuel the runaway inflation of the 1970s.

There's an old saying "Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" and people stopped looking after their pennies, even though they were worth over twice as much.

Overnight, many people stopped paying with the exact amount and simply paid with a note and waited for the change. Prior to decimalisation, shops bagged up their change and paid in into the bank. Since decimalisation, shops have increasingly obtained change from the bank to return to customers.

Then, some shops made some outrageous conversions. At our chip shop, "once" which had been a shilling for a fish and sixpence for chips - 1/6d (7½P) was suddenly 16p.

They would have been better keeping the value of the penny unchanged and making the quid = 100d ie what had been £1-00 would have been £2-40 and that would have helped keep prices down.

User avatar
tilly
Posts: 2092
Joined: Mon 11 Jan, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by tilly »

What about the half pence a waste of time. lots were thrown away.
No matter were i end my days im an Hunslet lad with Hunslet ways.

Hel66
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun 07 Feb, 2021 11:09 am

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by Hel66 »

tilly wrote:
Sun 14 Feb, 2021 11:02 pm
What about the half pence a waste of time. lots were thrown away.

Oooo Tilly...I never threw mine away...could get me 4 Blackjacks or 4 Fruitsalad chews in the 1970's!!! :D

User avatar
blackprince
Posts: 783
Joined: Tue 04 Sep, 2007 2:10 pm

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by blackprince »

I agree with you JMA. It was no coincidence that decimalisation was followed by sky-high inflation in a couple of years. ( Inflation rose from about 6% pre decimalisation to a peak of 26.5% in 1975., and mortgage interest rates were over15%)
I also agree that we should have made our new pound equal to the old 10shillings. This is effectively what Australia did when they replaced the Aus pound with 2 Aus dollars.
It used to be said that the statue of the Black Prince had been placed in City Square , near the station, pointing South to tell all the southerners who've just got off the train to b****r off back down south!

User avatar
tilly
Posts: 2092
Joined: Mon 11 Jan, 2010 2:32 pm

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by tilly »

Hel66 wrote:
Mon 15 Feb, 2021 12:20 am
tilly wrote:
Sun 14 Feb, 2021 11:02 pm
What about the half pence a waste of time. lots were thrown away.

Oooo Tilly...I never threw mine away...could get me 4 Blackjacks or 4 Fruitsalad chews in the 1970's!!! :D
Hi Hel66 The reason i say this is when i used my detector i used to find many of them i think too many to be called losses.
No matter were i end my days im an Hunslet lad with Hunslet ways.

User avatar
tyke bhoy
Posts: 2298
Joined: Wed 21 Feb, 2007 4:48 am
Location: Leeds/Wakefield
Contact:

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by tyke bhoy »

I think the idea behind the new half pence was it was the same value as the old penny and like the x.99 is a marketing ploy to suggest a bargain which the extra half p or penny would notch up yo the next penny or pound respectively. As others pointed out 70s inflation soon did for any use other than the sweet shop.
living a stones throw from the Leeds MDC border at Lofthousehttp://tykebhoy.wordpress.com/

volvojack
Posts: 1454
Joined: Tue 26 Jan, 2016 11:57 am

Re: Decimalisation Day

Post by volvojack »

I had a Fruit anb Veg business in Morley Market and both Friday and Saturday we were very busy. Some customers said "Don't understand this Funny money", and i felt sorry for some old ladies who just held out their purse for you to take the amount. They must have been taken on many times.Still don't understand why the social clubs and meeting places for the elderdid not have sessions to help them understand.
Box of Swan Vestas matches 4d. New price 4p. (nearly a shilling)
This was the case with many things. Got rid of the Threpenny Piece(funny shape) and brought in two odd shaped coins. 20P. 50P.
It was Goodby to "Clods, Tanners,Bobs, Deaners,Tosheroons.Half a Doller, Quid, Nickers plus many more.

Read yesterday that some 50 pence pieces can be worth up to £50.000.

Post Reply