TV Cream

Photo clippage

Photo clippage special: decimalisation

It’s the new money, you know!

Doris Hare knows best

Doris Hare smiles maternally at a coin-fisted Christopher Ellis during a photo shoot to promote Granny Knows Best, the somewhat over-egged 25-minute PIFfer that did the rounds for a full 12 months before D-day. "Any problems which I may have, which I haven't, are my problems! You and your decimals: you've all been brainwashed!"

"And how many times should I apply this?"

The splendidly-titled Lord Fiske, head of the splendidly-titled Decimal Currency Board, drops into a branch of Woolworths on The Strand on Decimalisation Day (15 February 1971) to make sure all his lovely new stencilled price tags are properly in place. We're not quite sure what he's so pleased to be purchasing from Mrs Chequered-Blouse; a discreet toiletry perhaps?

"And when I point here, I gain an enormous sense of self-importance!"

Here's where David Cameron's been going wrong with his 'big society': he needs a big map with bits of wool on it. Pictured is the headquarters of Operation Check-Point (sic), which was set up to supervise the movement of cheques for pre-decimal clearance. Operation controller Mr Ian Donald wields the small pointed stick; Lord Fiske, together with Mr Bernard Sharp (chairman of the Banks Decimalisation Committee), look on.

Meet ver kids

Ver kids get to grips with the new money. Boys were allowed only to gaze upon the coins to begin with.


In glorious technicolour, the main entrance to Charlton Athletic FC, replete with a cast of early 70s everydayers: an authority figure in a cap; an old man in suit and tie; two bored-looking women; an anoraked chancer in spats; and Raffles, Gentleman Thief.

Barton thinks

Miss Sue Barton, the official Decimal Currency Officer of the Doncaster branch of the National Westminster Bank, pictured on 14 February 1971 practising holding a small piece of card.

Lionel Blair helps a customer adjust his small change

A "Decimal Bureau", newly-installed inside Lewis's of Oxford Street in London, intended to help shoppers (women in headscarves) and others (suited businessmen) not get too florid over their florins.

Don't fancy yours much

Lord Fiske steps out with a pair of "Decimal Pennies": two of the 75 (count 'em) girls (not women) trained to assist customers in London shops (in this instance, Harrods) who might have difficulty with the new money. Take a bow, Sally Annadale (20) and Vivienne Dench (22 - cheer up, love!)

Board, stupid!

More from the Right Honourable Lord Fiske of Decimalia, here attending to a matter of such importance that it can only be addressed at the most senior levels: incorrect signage above a display of Maxi nightdresses. Bust? Let's hope not, you've only just introduced the new currency!



  1. johnnyboy

    February 16, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Wasn’t a happy day for me. I had 1 1/2d to spend but was told whilst walking to the school (no school runs in THOSE days) aged 5 and 3/4s that I couldn’t spend it anymore. No Blackjacks or ‘lucky-bags’ for me then. Boo!

    Still, it’ll all come good in the end, I’m sure.

  2. Steve

    February 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Ver kids get to grips with the new money. Only boys were allowed to handle the coins to begin with’

    Erm… isn’t that a non-boy who’s arm it is?

    Good stuff though, as usual

  3. johnnyboy

    February 17, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Well spotted Steve, a non-boy it is. Also looks like a 50 new pence piece the girl is holding. Did she rob a bank?

  4. TV Cream

    February 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Cheers. This “joke” has now been amended.

  5. Glenn A

    February 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Imagine if we’d kept the old money. £ 2 16 s for a pint of beer come to mind. However, I reckon inflation would have done for anything less than a threepenny bit by now.

  6. SquareEyes71

    February 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    So much for the ‘wooly string’ map in pic 3 and the chaps who look on, what about the suave and smarmy Italian looking bloke to the right?..all he’s thinking about is…(add caption)

  7. johnnyboy

    February 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm


  8. Arthur Nibble

    February 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    30p to get into The Valley in 1971! Ber-limey!

    I’m surprised Pye Records didn’t take advantage of decimalisation and round up the catalogue number of Max’s single to 7N 18000 (or 180.00)!

    By the way, anyone know where I can still see those ‘Decimal Five’ episodes on t’net?

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