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What were you doing?

(57 Posts)
Ijustwantpeace2020 Sun 14-Feb-21 16:34:40

What were you doing when decimalisation came in on 15th February 1971? I was 16 and in my first job at Peter Robinson on Oxford Circus. We had special training to get to grips with the “new money”.

missingmarietta Sun 14-Feb-21 19:43:42

My eldest son would have been 7.5 months old so my days would have been filled with looking after him and our house. Very happy days.

I remember that prams and babies were always left outside the shops then. I was once so preoccupied with checking my change after going into the bakers [before I was used to the new money], that I started to walk home without him. I soon dashed back to him though, feeling very embarrassed.

maydonoz Sun 14-Feb-21 19:57:58

I had just done my state final examination in my general nursing training and was probably awaiting the results.
Must say I can't remember any problems dealing with the new currency, wasn't getting much of a salary back then!

Hellogirl1 Sun 14-Feb-21 21:01:51

I was a stay at home mum of 5 children, and I remember being a bit peeved that whereas a shilling had 12 pence to it, the new 5 pence piece only had 5, so the kids penny sweets were then halfpence ones, and we only got 10 instead of 12 for that 5p.

pensionpat Sun 14-Feb-21 23:02:55

I was working as a bank cashier. The records were entirely clerical. At the end of each tax year we had to carry out the annual balance and calculate each customers interest. Then write it in customers’ passbooks. Learning the decimal system wasn’t difficult and we had practice role plays. But the changeover was a huge effort. On Feb 15th we had to balance all the accounts in LSD, then covert every customers individual balance to decimal, then do another balance. The totals had to agree within a certain margin. We worked a lot of overtime.

mokryna Sun 14-Feb-21 23:13:59

I think I was working for the Gas board in the Gas Conversion centre dealing with Customerservice.

GrannyRose15 Sun 14-Feb-21 23:18:13

It was half term and my eldest sister took me shopping just so we could use the new currency - it was very exciting.

GrannyRose15 Sun 14-Feb-21 23:20:36

missingmarietta

My eldest son would have been 7.5 months old so my days would have been filled with looking after him and our house. Very happy days.

I remember that prams and babies were always left outside the shops then. I was once so preoccupied with checking my change after going into the bakers [before I was used to the new money], that I started to walk home without him. I soon dashed back to him though, feeling very embarrassed.

I don't think he'd be the only baby to be left outside a shop. I'm sure my mother did it at least once with each of her five children.

Nicegranny Sun 14-Feb-21 23:26:14

I was at school, my second to last year and sadly being rubbish at math fretted because it made my own personal problems with math and numbers even worse.

absent Mon 15-Feb-21 00:37:52

February 15th was my mother's birthday. My father took us to the Savoy Theatre to see a G & S operetta. I think it was The Mikado.

sharon103 Mon 15-Feb-21 00:54:42

I was 16 years old too. Working as a machinist in a clothing factory and gong out with a gorgeous 17 year old lad that worked near me.
I can't remember the actual change over to decimal coins but I do remember my mum never did cotton on to it.

Kari4 Mon 15-Feb-21 01:22:43

I was working after school in a grocery shop. They made me work on the till because I understood the old/new money conversion!

Nannytopsy Mon 15-Feb-21 04:33:11

Because of the way coins were rounded up and down, 1/2p coins were said to be equivalent to 1d but 1p coins equivalent to 21/2d. My great aunt was convinced she saved 1/2d every time she paid with two 1/2s instead of 1p.

nadateturbe Mon 15-Feb-21 07:17:02

missingmarietta

My eldest son would have been 7.5 months old so my days would have been filled with looking after him and our house. Very happy days.

I remember that prams and babies were always left outside the shops then. I was once so preoccupied with checking my change after going into the bakers [before I was used to the new money], that I started to walk home without him. I soon dashed back to him though, feeling very embarrassed.

I did this too when visiting mum. I wandered home carefree swinging my shopping bag and she said to me " Where's the pram?"

shysal Mon 15-Feb-21 07:40:22

I had recently moved to the village in which my children grew up, DD1 being 13 months old. I remember going into the village Co-op and seeing the cash register with the shiny new coins.

Gagagran Mon 15-Feb-21 07:53:25

Snap BBbevan! I was heavily pregnant too - DS, my first baby was born on 16 March 1971, 12 days late.

I remember everything in the shops had two price labels on - the new decimal price and the old £sd price. For ages after people, especially of my Mum's generation used to ask "how much is that in "old money".

Ashcombe Mon 15-Feb-21 08:01:31

Like Septimia, I was at Teacher Training College (final year) and was about to become engaged to my first DH, prior to spending a year in the USA with him so my head was in the clouds! Some of his colleagues, who were already there, were worried about the change over and wanted to know more about it when we arrived in the summer.

Gingster Mon 15-Feb-21 08:21:50

I was working for a shipping company in London and preparing for our wedding in July. Golden this year! We were buying our first house, so excitement abounded. It must have been difficult for the ‘old-people’ . I don’t think I’d manage well with similar changes now. Still can’t get my head round metric ! 😢

Gymstagran Mon 15-Feb-21 08:26:09

I was working as a computer programmer and was converting programs from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal currency

polyester57 Mon 15-Feb-21 08:29:42

I remember the change vaguely, I was 14 at the time and the only problems I remember was with bus fares going to school the first few days. But can someone enlighten me about guineas? I remember that pre-decimal, some shops (the posher ones?) used to display the prices in guineas. A guinea was a pound and a shilling, do I remember correctly? What was all that about? I don´t live in the UK now, so have noone to ask.

Berylsgranny Mon 15-Feb-21 08:30:32

At college and I do remember everything doubled in price or at least I thought it did. Price of an apple turnover went up to 5 pence (a shilling!) if I remember rightly. wink

Auntieflo Mon 15-Feb-21 08:34:05

I had been married for almost ten years, and had two children, 8 and 4, so quite busy, but soon got to grips with the new money.
Although the prices did go up.

It's the weights and measures that I still haven't got right in my head

BlueSapphire Mon 15-Feb-21 08:43:04

I was living and working in Singapore, and didn't return to the UK till late summer, but I do remember hearing about the new money on the radio. Seemed easy enough to understand to me.
Yes, polyester a guinea was a pound and a shilling, 21 shillings; one of the things we lost post decimalisation.

Froglady Mon 15-Feb-21 08:50:52

I had joined the West Yorkshire Police in the January of that year as a Police Cadet so was learning all about drill, PE, going to college some weekdays, loads of classes at Bishopgarth in Wakefield on the law, etc, etc.
They were good times and I really enjoyed them.

GagaJo Mon 15-Feb-21 09:02:09

At primary school. I remember a lesson on the new money. But given at that age I had never had actual money before anyway, it was just money to me.

B9exchange Mon 15-Feb-21 09:30:36

I had just been dumped by my fiance after three and a half years, and spent much of that year heart broken, with my mother hiding the sleeping tablets from me, so I don't recall much about the changeover!