Wednesday, 5 September 2018

You Paid HOW Much?

I'm old. I know I am old - because when I see things labelled '50p', I sometimes think "How much? That's ten bob! I'm not paying that!"  And my family smile to themselves, and point out that this is the 21st Century and we have had decimal coinage for almost 50 years.
Well that's true - but I had a great fondness for the old £.s.d. system. 
I loved the twelve sided thrupn'y bits, and the huge half-crowns. 

If you say "Do you remember 1001?" to almost anyone over 60, they are likely to sing this jingle...
That was in the days before owning a Vax, or hiring the Rug Doctor.
Black Jacks and Fruit Salad sweets were four for one big shiny round penny. That's 960 for £1 - almost a 1000! I stopped eating them aged 9, when one pulled my filling out!

There was a bloke on Dereham Market who would sell you a pair of 'American Tan' orangey/brown tights for one-and-thrupence [1/3 = 1 shilling and 3 pence] A group of us bought 8 pairs for ten bob, and then dyed them black in my Mum's potato saucepan, so we could wear them for Girl's Brigade. They came out alarmingly blotchy [and it took ages to clean the pan] 
What's brought on this reminiscence about getting my money's worth? 
I came home from M&S and announced I had treated myself to something- I'd spent ten bob on a very small piece of fruit. 
My OH laughed at me, but he agreed that I did find enormous pleasure in eating my beautiful ripe juicy purple fig, as I sat in the sunshine in the garden.
We may have lost the tanner[sixpence] the florin [two shillings] and the half-crown [2/6] - but at least I still have my very own Bob!


  1. Not yet 60 but I remember the jingle and I also not uncommonly convert prices back to £.s.d when weighing up the price of something. As you have a Romford connection, when I was a child on market days there was always a chap calling out “Half a crown your ironing board covers, all standard size”. He used to stand outside Stones which became Debenhams.

  2. Can it really be 50 years? I remember teaching the changeover.....

  3. Yes Philip - I remember the ironing board cover man [and my thrifty mother muttering that she covered hers with an old sheet!] I also remember my aunt buying her tights on Romford Market, marked 'slight seconds' - and she sent me a pair, which had THREE legs!

  4. I really like the old pre-decimal coins, they were so big!! Mmmmm, figs are delicious! Can't wait till mine grows larger and the figs actually ripen!

  5. I have a couple of old cookbooks that belonged to my mother, from the early 1950s, with the price marked as 2/- and 2/6.


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