Sunday, April 22, 2007

Decimal Currency

The other night on Who Wants to be a Millionaire (the English edition) they said 1968 was the year decimal currency came to England. My wife disagreed, and in the end we looked it up. Turns out that British decimal currency was begun in 1968, but typical of the Brits, it took them about four years to go the whole hog. New Zealand, by contrast, switched to decimal currency overnight. I can remember we had to stand in long queues at the banks changing our money from pounds, shillings and pence, and the bloke in front of me in the queue had terrible blackheads on his neck. How’s that for a strange memory to associate with decimal currency?
I had to go through a decimal currency change twice, once in New Zealand, and then again later on when the Brits finally switched over completely, I was living in London. The NZ version was handled in a far superior way to the British one, I feel. The latter struggled to find a way to deal with the Penny, because they wanted to keep the Pound, whereas NZ decided to make the old ten shilling note the new dollar, and things were much easier to deal with.
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