Ian (ringbark) wrote,

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Decimalisation 35 years on

In February 1971 I was nearly ten, and I remember the kerfuffle about it all. The Scaffold (Lily the Pink, Three Blind Jellyfish) sang songs about it on a BBC promo called "Decimal Five" and even though it pushed the Magic Roundabout off the air, it was cool. I can still remember some of the songs:

Feem toon:
Decimalisation, decimalise!
Decimalisation will change your lives!
Decimalisation, decimalise!
Decimalisation, Decimal Five!

Basic song:
One pound is a hundred new pennies
A hundred new pence make a pound.

Changeover song:
Use your old pennies in sixpenny lots!
Use your old pennies in sixpenny lots!

Change song:
Give more, and get change! (do what you've always done)
repeat ad lib

The Sergeant-Major voice: Introducing the new penny! It is smaller and lighter than the old penny, but worth more than twice as much.

The shopkeeper:
That's 31 1/2 new pence. A pound, thank you. That's 31 1/2 new pence and (counting out change) and a half's 32, and one's 33, and two's 35, and five's 40 and ten makes it 50, and fifty's a pound. Thank you.

I also remember newspaper headlines on 15/2/1971 saying things like "D-Day" and "Point of no return". And in 1968, we bought a set of the first decimal coins in a pack. with the new 5p and 10p (bob and florin) that were dated 1968 and could be used straight away, and also a 1/2 p, a 1p and a 2p, which had the Queen on them but were post-dated 1971. I wanted to know what would happen if she died before 1971. As it turned out, she didn't.
Tags: history
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