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.


coin banner

To Titillate The Tourists



To be beside the sea
That is our nation’s fashion;
It’s obviously the place
For promulgating passion.

But how do seaside shoppers
Decide just what to buy?
Are they tempted by advertisements?
I often wonder why.

Well, once upon a summer,
On a hot and sunny day,
On holiday in Devon,
On a stroll around the bay.

I came across this advert
Along the promenade;
I must admit initially
I thought I’d have it barred.

A touch of seaside whimsy
That’s OK and I’m all for it,
But such immodest come-ons,
Who’d have ever thought it!

To titillate the tourists,
Well, such ads are all around.

But on a seafront shop
I didn’t think it right;
I even thought that something
Was wrong with my eyesight.

I don’t know why it was
I was so overcome,
With thoughts of indignation
I really was struck dumb.

It was just a bit of fun,
Why was I so upset?
But when little George cried ‘Look Dad’
I broke out in a sweat.

“That’s what you and mum wore
When I spied you yesterday.
Can Sue and me have one each,
Like you?”, I heard him say.



‘Nicker’ is Cockney Slang for One Pound.  The OED says it’s origin is unknown, but suggests it could be originally horse racing slang.  The term … has …  London associations … and dates from the early 20th Century (it explains that terrible old joke: ‘Why can’t a one-legged woman change a pound note? Because she’s only got half a (k)nicker!’ and which nobody seems to know the origin of).