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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”.

Conan Mon 15-Feb-21 18:22:38

I was 16 and working in a coal merchants office. Spent a lot of time explaining to old people this new system. Actually they were the age I am now, and I don't consider myself old, but of course to a 16 year old in 1971........ 🙄

seacliff Mon 15-Feb-21 18:20:05

I was working in my first job in the city of London. We had some training beforehand and I just remember thinking the new coins were like toy money. I still miss half a crowns. If I got one as a treat from my Uncle I felt rich.

JackyB Mon 15-Feb-21 18:13:16

I wrote a long post on this thread but I've gone through it again twice and can't find it. So here we go again. (I hope there aren't 2 threads on the subject and I'm inadvertently posting the same thing twice...)

I was a Saturday girl in a department store so I missed out on the training that the rest of the staff had as that was on quieter days during the week.

I didn't have any trouble with it. I was doing A level maths and this was simple arithmetic.

However, I left the country for good in 1973 when decimal currency was still relatively new, so I still think of it as "new money" and have to look carefully at the coins as if I were a foreigner.

It's the same here, though. I still think of Euros as "new money" although we changed from the Deutschmark 20 years ago. I still have to check change carefully as the 2 €c and 5 €c are easily confused.

mrshat Mon 15-Feb-21 16:49:29

Working! We had been given training on the 'new money' as had dealings with finance.

Grandma70s Mon 15-Feb-21 10:53:10

I was pregnant with first child. As I have said on another thread, my mother was very insulted by media comments that the change was going to be very difficult for pensioners (she was one), poor old things with their feeble brains. Needless to say she was quite able to cope!

annodomini Mon 15-Feb-21 10:42:30

Living in a rented cottage in Devon, after returning from Kenya in the middle of winter. My H had a temporary job in a school and I was 7 months pregnant. On that memorable day I was in Exeter buying nappies in Debenhams, I think, and that was the first cheque I wrote in decimal currency.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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 ! 😢

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.

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".

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.

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?"

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.