‘Toytown money’: how Exactly We reported reactions to the launch of the original #1 Money in 1983

Nother, echoing sentiment north of the boundary, even requested for the aid to be extended to sporrans. From today, the peer worries may be raised. A1 coin will be available throughout the United Kingdom.

Although there have been many criticisms concerning the size of the coin – marginally smaller than a 5p piece – there is no doubt that in some quarters there are a ready market. Not only have gasoline and power boards, but who supply coin-operated meters, been calling out for this coin for years, but so have the producers of cigarette vending machines.

There is also a move towards replacing traditional labour intensive staff canteens with food vending machines in factories and offices, something that will be aided by the coming of the new coin.

But currency in Britain hasn’t been regarded purely from a pragmatic point of view. It has for long been a symbol of the nation’s inherent worth, of the potency of the nation. It is a pity, in this respect, that such a coin ought to be released under the first Prime Minister lately to stop the slide in our domestic affairs, to stem inflation, and to foster real growth.

As a symbol the coin –    worth no more than the eightieth of this old gold alloy – reflects longer about what has happened in the recent past than the place where Britain stands today.

#1 coin gets ‘What’s that?’ Response

News report, Friday April 22 1983

The new gold-coloured #1 coin had a mixed reception, which range from outright disapproval to moderate enthusiasm, as it went into circulation yesterday.

Some described it as “funny money”, “toytown money” and “Mickey Mouse” money. However, it found assistance from British Rail, London Transport and the vending machines industry.

Branches of several banks reported that a sell-out before lunchtime. But stocks will shortly be replenished, as over 200 million have already been minted and manufacturing will continue eight million a week.

At the National Westminster Bank at Upper Street, Islington, I was the first customer to ask for the coins in 9.40am.

Other customers showed little interest in the money, but that I was soon to discover myself deep into conversation with the newsagent the bus conductor and assistants in West End stores since they caught their first glimpse of the coin which will gradually replace the green pound note.

Just going to say that I hadn’t given him enough for the 3 papers I was purchasing, the newsagent laughed loudly as he felt that the burden of the new #1.

“I might have known you didn’t expect to get these for 20p,” he explained, “but frankly that is what if felt like before I took a closer look.   “I shall continue to keep this one for a souvenir. I can see it is going to cause a great deal of confusion.”

Then on to the bus. I passed my pound coin, which was immediately put to the conductor’s luggage along with also a 20p ticket delivered.

I tapped that the conductor’s arm and pointed out that I’d given him1.   He dug deep into his bag and pulled out a couple of change such as the glinting Number1.   I asked him exactly what he thought of that. “It’s going to earn a great deal of problem,” he said.

When I hailed a taxi to come back to the office, the motorist reaction when I gave him of the newest coins was “Does this come from outer space – it’s got ET on it.”

The coin has the inscription “Decus et Tutamen”, meaning that an ornament and a safeguard, and was used in the 17th century to deter coin “clippers” from filing small parts of silver from coins to produce their own money.

Another more serious reaction was that of a fruitseller, Mrs Dorothy Brook, who said: “They seem like this golden foil-covered money which children receive at Christmas.”

Money things

Letter to the Editor, Thursday April 21 1983

SIR – The re-introduction of the1 coin has focused attention on our currency and about exactly what a mess it really is. So as to achieve a logical method according to color, size, shape, and weight, It’s suggested that we need to:

Stage out that the now-useless halfpenny coin; keep the current 1 penny and two pence coins; pose a new copper-coloured seven-sided 5 pence coin somewhat larger and heavier than the two pence: phase out the current 5 pence and 10 pence and 20 pence coins.

We ought to introduce: a fresh silver-coloured, round 10 pence coin of the dimensions and weight since the current 5 pence coin; a new, silver-coloured 20 pence coin of the same dimensions and weight since the current 10 pence coin; a fresh #2 note.

This would offer a color, form, dimensions and weight related coinage as follows: aluminium – 1 penny, 2 pence round and 5 pence seven-sided: silver – 10 pence, 20 pence round and 50 pence seven-sided: golden – #1 round. This coinage will be supported by means of a note dilemma of #2, #5, #10, #20, and50. #2 round and Number5 seven-sided gold-coloured coins may also be re-introduced later if desirable.

Weighty things

London Day by Day column (Peterborough), Thursday April 21 1983

Among those very happy about the coming of the new #1 coin would be, I hear the Post Office.

It’s discovered that #100,000 worth of fresh coins weighs about a ton. Since it manages some #60,000,000,000 in money every year there has needed to be a massive review of storage.

Not only has more space needed to be found, but some strongroom flooring have needed to be strengthened.