Monday, 15 February 2021

Happy 50th Birthday

Happy Birthday today Decimal Currency!   Do you remember the day?  I expect it is one of those days - like the day President JFK got assassinated - that everyone in this country remembers.   I rather think it was a Friday.   Whatever day it was I know I went into Beatties food Department after school with my Deputy - we used to do our food shopping and then go into the cafe for afternoon tea.  Beatties was the 'posh' shop in Wolverhampton, where I lived at the time.   I remember buying three eating apples and being horrified because the  tag said seventy give pence, which sounded an exhorbitant amount.  Now, of course, we are all so accustomed to it that we have completely forgotten pounds, shillings and pence. 

Going back to the cafe my son rang and I told him the story of the day Decimal currency came in.   He was twelve and of course he remembered.   We started talking about Beatties and I asked him if he remembered the shop.   He replied that he did, and the cafe because he once got thrown out of the cafe with his then girl friend for 'snogging' at the table.

I reminded him just how much his school fees had cost and queried whether they had been worth it considering that behaviour.   I remembered when my first boy friend took me into a cafe for afternoon tea.   He and I walked along the pavement, not holding hands.   When he got to the cafe he just turned and walked through the door and over to a table and I followed.   How times have changed.

Alas Beatties is no more - that era has gone for ever - gone the way of pounds, shillings and pence I suppose. 

The coloured stripes don't appear on my poat until I put it up on my blog.   Can anyone tell me what I have done and how I can remove it please? 

29 comments:

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I use my debit card for so many transactions now that I've almost forgotten coins of any description. I remember being in the pub on whatever day it was that decimalisation took place (and a quick bit of maths tells me I was drinking under age). One of the locals was in a bad mood because he'd worked out that his beer had gone up from two shillings and a penny to two shillings and just-over-a-penny (ten and a half new pence) this signified the end of the world as he knew it and he swore that if beer ever went up to half-a-crown a pint he'd never set foot in the pub again, something we occasionally reminded him about as the price steadily rose towards £2 a pint over the ensuing years.

thelma said...

Half a crown pocket money, two shillings and sixpence, much larger than the two shilling piece. Heavy silver coins that made you feel rich! I don't remember decimal day, but nowadays mostly use my card, hardly ever use cash. I remember Beatties, going in there with my stepmothers and the terrible evening dresses they bought...

Joan (Devon) said...

I remember Beatties in Northampton where I used to get lovely stationery and notelets, also remember other things I used to get from there, but I don't remember a cafe.

I also remember when we changed to deciml currency as I was working at the psychiatric hospital in Northampton at the time. To help all the staff, admin. and nursing, understand it there were time slots when we could go to the Education Centre for the Finance Manager to guide us through it. I don't remember it helping, but I bought a decimal currency ready reckoner which did help. It is only recently that I gave the reckoner to my eldest grand-daughter as she was doing something at school about currency, but that was before lockdown.

Rachel Phillips said...

I nearly mentioned the decimal currency change when I wrote about living in the bedsit in London. I remember the day well and I deliberately went into Barclays on Euston Road on the first day to make sure I knew what to write on my cheques! My tube fare from Euston to Oxford Circus doubled. It went from 6d to 5p. All 6d fares disappeared overnight. Your post is very colourful on my Chromebook by the way, but not on my phone.

Derek Faulkner said...

Is your post supposed to be green and red coloured.

the veg artist said...

I was still a Saturday girl in Boots, and we had some training from the manager, but we managed to keep ahead of the customers! Prices went up considerably, for weeks on end, it seemed. Red-green part-post on my desk-top too!

Anonymous said...


I worked in a bank on Decimal day. Needless to say we clerks hadn't had the most thorough training. I remember one landlady came in with her paying in slip half in £.s.d and half in decimal currency. It was a challenging day, as we were supposed to understand the new currency, but quite a humorous day, all told.

Frances SW

Anonymous said...

At last, you’ve turned green, wonderful, welcome to the environmental battle against capitalism and Tory shitbags.

libby said...

Very pretty but unusual post appearance. I was a Saturday girl in a posh cake shop when it happened and remember it well.

Rachel Phillips said...

By the way, it actually happened on a Monday. I also remember that because I wouldn't normally have gone into the bank on a Monday.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The colour on my post is quite accidental - I don't know how it got there and if anhone can tell me how to get rid of it please do.

Gill said...

Beatties has long gone and they are now trying to turn it into posh apartments. From looking at the drawings in the local paper, they are going to knock it down. Did you use to have a Beatties store card. My Mum did and was very proud of it.

Debbie said...

This has brought back a couple of memories. I was 10 at the time and recall a jingle that was used which went " decimalisation; decimalise" - quite jaunty and has been an earworm all day! Also - if memory serves me well... wasn't a very young William Hague used to explain it all? I'm fairly sure he was on the Today Programme at the time doing his stuff.

(off course all of this could be completely erroneous memory syndrome!!)

Heather said...

I can remember the day well, and the fact that due to the new reckoning everything seemed to have risen in price!
I am sorry I can't help with the problem of the stripes, but they do look quite festive. Perhaps celebrating the 50th anniversary of decimalisation?

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Pat,

We had certainly recalled that 1971 was the year of the introduction of decimal currency but had forgotten the precise date. It does seem incredible that a half century has passed since then.Only a few days ago we were talking about this very event.

We were recalling how and when certain items came into our possession igniting many memories of people and places. Upon turning a china elephant upside down [as one does], stamped on its foot was 'Foreign' and 11/3d. Good value? An heirloom? Only time can tell.

We are near luddites when it comes to the inner workings of computers so we cannot be of assistance with the coloured stripes. We did think them to be very effective, drawing a distinction between 'writing' and 'telephoning' ....rather like the real and imaginary worlds in which we live these days.

CharlotteP said...

Your green and red blog looks rather good! Don't worry about it.
I was 11 on 'D' day, but remember it well, and the way prices shot up afterwards, with prices in old pennies suddenly becoming new ones.

Tom Stephenson said...

When I lived in Canterbury in 1971, a pair of very old ladies ran a small bakery. They could not cope with decimal currency. Sometimes you won, sometimes you lost, but no locals ever caused a fuss.

Red said...

My wife left the UK in 1953. She is still in shillings and pence!

wherethejourneytakesme2 said...

Beatties came to Huddersfield when they built our covered shopping centre in the late nineties. They only lasted a few years and were taken over by House of Fraser. My daughter got a part time job there for a while after Uni and they had to call all the staff by their surname Miss/Mrs/Mr So and So. She worked on what she called 'Pen Island' - an island counter selling beautiful fountain pens. She bought me a silver and gold Waterman pen in a box as a gift before she left and it is my favourite pen for writing in my journal so much nicer than using biro.
I remember the first item I bought with the decimal currency was a bag of plain flour from our local convenience store.

The Weaver of Grass said...



Thanks for the memories of Decimal Day. Sorry about the colour

DUTA said...

It never happened to me, but I suppose you have to go back to the editor where you have the letter A and a pen near it, for choosing and eliminating background color of text. Good Luck!( I don't know about the red stripes but the green color can probably get eliminated).

Joanne Noragon said...

I remember when you changed to decimal currency.

Cro Magnon said...

The number 12 could be divided by 2, 3, 4, and 6. The number 10 can only be divided by 2, and 5. I rather liked 12.

Bea said...

What an interesting change. I'm only 51 this year, so have no recollection of the old monetary system. I recall German DM going to the euro. That was a trip, but I quickly got used to it.

Librarian said...

Like Duta says, you need to go back to editing your post if you want to change the colour etc.

Never having lived in the UK, and being "only" 52, I can't remember the switch to decimal currency you experienced. But like Bea, I remember the change from German DM to euros very well. Not exactly the same, but still making quite an impact.

A Smaller Life said...

Oh I remember it very well.

My Dad headed the accounts department for a large company and was charged with doing a half day course for the all employees to teach them all about it. He practised it daily with his large flip chart on me and my brother for two weeks in the run up to Decimal Day as it was called. We were answering all the questions correctly after the first week ... but still we had to sit through it. By the time it came around we were absolutely coin perfect and knew the coinage inside out. I can still revert back to pounds shillings and pence from modern money to this day.

Everyone seems to be avoiding your question on how to get rid of your stripes ... I guess none of us know the answer. Hopefully when you start a new blog post it will be back to normal, but if it isn't check all your Settings, you may have just touched something by mistake.

Mary said...

I remember the changeover. Still have two of the commemorative blue packets with the "new" coins stashed away.

Anonymous said...

Ah Beatties in Wolverhampton, lovely childhood memories from the 70s. I remember the deli counter in the food department downstairs overseen by a polish man,and I used to salivate over the slices of game pie on display. Mom and Dad were not 'Well off' but used to have my winter coat from there and occasionally dresses. Very sad to hear of its demise. Jane xxx

JanF said...

I , too , have happy memories of Beatties. Sometimes we would stop in there on the way home from school, one bus to central Wolverhampton and then another out to our suburb ( Penn). Loved walking around the cosmetic section, the hat department and also looking at the clothes. I still own my Pedigree walking doll, a black boy, which was a Christmas gift in 1952. I wanted a black doll as we were just starting to have an influx of folks from Jamaica and Trinidad, they were quite exotic. Sam was the only such doll left and he had to be taken out of the window display when Mum bought him.