TV Cream

Bric-a-Brac: N is for...

Nat West Piggy Bank Savings Scheme

Woody, Sir Nathaniel... er, the restSomeone, somewhere must have decided the mid-’80s economic boom wasn’t booming quite enough, because seemingly overnight, children who had previously limited their financial affairs to a Post Office savings book at the very most were encouraged to open proper, gown-up bank accounts and hand over their hard-earned car washing revenue. Perhaps the most insidious, beating the Anglia Top Savers’ Club and even the Midland Griffin Savers’ Scheme (free dictionary!) was this weird combination of the Banking Song from Mary Poppins and Franklin Mint promotion. All the hapless youngster was required to do – at least initially – was deposit a pound in Nat West’s vault. “For that,” explained the avuncular announcer, “your child gets Woody!” Quite. This was, of course, a porcelain piggy bank – wearing a nappy, oddly enough – the first of five increasingly aspirational porcine moneyholders (hang on, isn’t the money meant to be in the bank?) culminating in Sir Nathaniel Westminster (a joke shamelessly nicked off Lenny Henry). On top of that, you got stickers, some kind of half-arsed ‘activity pack’ and, best of all, a ‘wobberly wall chart’. If that wasn’t enough, said family of porkers cavorted round a pink-hued local branch in the TV ads, singing a cod-operatic paean to the Action Bank. “Pigaro!” Indeed.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Adrian

    August 11, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Still quite sort after on Ebay, apparently..

  2. Applemask

    August 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Major collector’s market. if you still have one in mint, particularly Nathaniel, you’re rich. I had an account in the later stages of the scheme; broke the Woody and got as far as Annabel (chipped) before they switched to “World Savers” because avarice wasn’t cool anymore, environmentalism was.

  3. Superkav

    September 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    There’s quite an effort going on to bring these back now. In the current climate it’s a good idea for kids to get used to the idea of saving their money so getting another member of the family when you achieve a milestone amount is a great incentive.

    if I remember rightly the first one was free when you opened the account and the others arrived with each £25 quid that was saved… brilliant idea.

    Join the group here, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=155602832175 or got to facebook and search bring Back the Natwest piggy banks

  4. Richard Davies

    August 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    One of my cousins managed to collect the full set, don’t know what condition they are in.

    There was a limited edition 6th pig in the range, which I understand is collectable, & some of the early ones were made by another company, so are worth a bit more.

  5. johnnyboy

    August 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Just saw a set being auctioned off on the TV prog “Cash in the Attic” this morning. Went for £50 (looks like there were 5, not 6 in the set).

  6. Applemask

    June 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    The mysterious “sixth pig” is Cousin Wesley, who was introduced in a limited run of 5000 in 1998 for reasons beyond the realm of normal human understanding.

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