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When did we stop using farthings?

(40 Posts)
Auntieflo Fri 07-Feb-20 12:21:42

Just that really.
I have been knitting for a GGC, and looked for some buttons in a charity shop. Bought 8 on a card for 40p.

When I looked at them last night, I was astonished to see that they must be really old. I know the card was yellowed, but the lovely handwriting on it says
1/7 per doz. ( 1 shilling & 7d)
or 1 3/4 each. ( 1 penny 3 farthings)
I think that's just lovely, and am going to keep them and use different ones for my knitting.

Witzend Fri 07-Feb-20 12:30:11

I remember being able to buy farthing chews as a child, but when they went out I don’t know. Mr Google will, though!

I also remember school mental arithmetic - what is the cost of a dozen articles at 2 3/4d? (Twopence three-farthings)
It was easy when you knew how, even for me!

Rainwashed Fri 07-Feb-20 12:54:21

Just googled it , they ceased minting in 1956 but were demonetised at the end of 1960. I thought it would be about then, as I was born in 1955 and don’t remember them (although had heard of them )
but DH who is 3 years older does remember them.
You have given me an idea about old buttons, I have a jar full that were my mother’s, I could take some to a charity shop.

Fennel Fri 07-Feb-20 13:11:50

I used to play Monopoly with my friends and we used farthings instead of whatever the currency was on the game.

Fennel Fri 07-Feb-20 13:13:40

ps that would be late 40s early 50s. So still plenty around then.

Gymstagran Fri 07-Feb-20 13:22:19

I remember having to balance bulk milk purchases to the farthing in 1968 and they were not legal currency then. After that computers were introduced and only balanced to the nearest shilling, to the horror of the accountants.

boheminan Fri 07-Feb-20 13:29:48

I remember the night before farthings ceased to be legal tender as my Big Brother and I searched through the house, looking for any farthings and between us we managed to scrape together 12 (3d) and got 3d worth of chips at the local fish'n'chip shop - the owners were furious, Big Brother threw the money down on the counter and we legged it...

Auntieflo Fri 07-Feb-20 22:20:51

Love that Bohemian. 😊

JenniferEccles Fri 07-Feb-20 22:29:09

I bet those chips tasted wonderful!

Grammaretto Fri 07-Feb-20 22:33:18

I have a tin box somewhere where I put interesting and old coins. It won't be worth much, except to me, but it is interesting to look at them occasionally. All the old kings and queens heads. There are farthings and halfpennies in there and sixpences and shillings.
One of our DC was heading to France recently and I said " I have a load of francs you can have!" ..... I know, I know.
A senior moment.

annsixty Fri 07-Feb-20 23:09:32

I thiught it was much earlier than that, the mind plays tricks as we age.
Was it a wren on the face?

Chestnut Fri 07-Feb-20 23:29:29

Yes it was a wren and I remember them. I have a few still as my parents kept some old coins. I remember farthings with fondness because they are so 1950s!

annodomini Fri 07-Feb-20 23:42:14

I remember seeing farthings, but they seemed to be kept mainly as curiosities. I never used one and don't think that even in Woollies, anything was priced in farthings. I'm astonished to see one dated 1955 (when I was 15) as I thought they were out of circulation when I was very much younger.

LullyDully Sat 08-Feb-20 08:27:17

I was a young child in 1955 a definitely remember a farthing. 4 sweets for a penny. Those stripey , chewy ones wrapped in waxy paper.

Gaunt47 Sat 08-Feb-20 08:47:01

Absolutely - Fruit Salads and Black Jacks were four for a penny. In the hot weather it was difficult to get that waxy paper off smile

lemongrove Sat 08-Feb-20 09:32:21

Thanks Rainwashed for googling, I had guessed it was about then but wasn’t sure.I remember spending them on sweeties,
Adults never minded off loading their farthings to little sticky hands who were grateful for them grin.
They were always happy to offload ha’pennies too.

Auntieflo Sat 08-Feb-20 09:41:55

Thanks for the picture Chestnut.
I used to have a copper money box, that my dad had made. It only had a slot on the top, so if you wanted to empty it, you had to put on a wide bladed knife and wiggle it around. So you had to work for your pennies.

I kept all my old Victoria bun pennies, threepenny bits, farthings etc in there. I have now given it to DS2, in the hope that he keeps it for nostalgia's sake.

Davidhs Sat 08-Feb-20 09:47:17

I well remember buying sweets with farthings in the 50s but they didn’t last long after then.
I also remember having to solve maths calculations at junior school involving £ s d to the nearest 1/4d all long hand. These days with calculators all the kids have to worry about is getting the decimal point in the right place.

Paperbackwriter Sat 08-Feb-20 10:12:48

Gaunt47 I have a pack of fruit salads and blackjacks in my car as we speak! And it's still sometimes quite hard to get the paper off.

MawB Sat 08-Feb-20 10:15:42

The farthing never circulated as freely as the halfpenny; minting ceased in 1956 and farthings were demonetised at the end of 1960. The halfpenny survived until decimalisation, ceasing to be legal tender from 31 July 1969.

pamdixon Sat 08-Feb-20 10:15:57

I was born in '46. Certainly remember using farthings (and I've still got loads of bun pennies somewhere - used to save them!).

teabagwoman Sat 08-Feb-20 10:38:42

I was born in 1946 too and remember going to a church service, with the Brownies (would it be Thinking Day) and we were all expected to take the farthings that we had saved.

Growing0ldDisgracefully Sat 08-Feb-20 10:48:02

A recent visit to the Royal Mint has sparked off an interest in coins in our house and I bought a complete set of pre decimal coins for my husband for Christmas, which included a farthing. Set off memories of learning 12 times tables at school and then we had to explain to our son how money was worked out in 'the olden days', as he puts it! BTW, I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the Mint, fascinating to learn how coins are made, and see money in quantities requiring forklift trucks to move it about!

JackyB Sat 08-Feb-20 10:56:51

I remember farthings - buying as many sweets as you could at the village shop. Black Jack's, sherbert dabs and penny chocolate bat's (which the cat loved).

My father was a sales assistant in the haberdashery department of a local shop in the 30s, though and even then he said they rather gave out a card of pins than a farthing change, so it never was going to last.

Coconut Sat 08-Feb-20 10:59:49

I’ve bought some beautiful buttons on the Wish website, really cheap and really unusual too ....