Goodbye Shilling

(The Decimal Day Legacy)

I remember the 1/-
that slash-dash sign
a favourite of mine
time gone
every shop had one
time passed
I know
it breathed its last
50 years ago

the shilling that was
two tanners or
a bob to me and those
as money comes and goes
5p to you now
twelve copper coppers
one dozen pence
twenty to the sixties pound

But then
deemed unsound
and all became
continent bound
sad sight
they turned out the tills
onto and into counters
joined the farthings
and the thrupenny bits
and called it quits
the death of old-time dough
sad to see them go
Gone to memory’s locker
 to tomorrow’s antiques roadshow

Long Days Ago

thrupenny bit

Long Days Ago


L-S-D  (Pounds – Shillings & Pence)  . . . 

Pre-Decimal Currency


Long days and many years ago,
When my world was young,
The cash dispenser was my mum,
The ATM being still unsung.

Copper reigned and Silver sang,
Paper money was rare.
Of Ten Bob notes at Half a Pound
I was largely unaware.

The basis of our currency,
That was the lowly Penny;
Ha’pennies too were everywhere,
Certainly very many.

Farthings then were still extant,
Nine-sixty to the Pound.

A Shilling was a full Twelve Pence –
No longer still around.

The Florin, or the ‘Two-Bob Bit’,
Two Shillings it was then,
Has now become the Tenpence piece,
The word not used again.

Twenty Shillings to the Pound,
A Quid as I  remember;
Two-forty Pence you’d find there were
When one Pound I dismember.

Then there was the Thrupenny Bit,
Twelve-sided nickel-brass;
At eighty to the British Pound,
Weighty cash to amass.

A Bob, a Tanner, Half-a-Crown,
All common currency;
Spend a Penny? – I often did –
In an emergency.

Oh, how times change, devalued now,
Is our British coinage;
The Penny Store is now Poundstore,
Such changes in our language.

All these were common British coins,
Which then weighed down my pocket.
Now all I need to pay my bills
Is plastic in my wallet.


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