From the Archive: Decimal Day 50 years on!

On this day in 1971 Britain officially switched to decimal currency – there had been a 4-year publicity campaign and a gradual introduction of some of the new coinage so as not to overwhelm the public with huge change all in one go. 

You’d think that such a momentous change from a system that had been used for hundreds of years would be mentioned in the Cathedral records – but only in passing: a reference in the last Chapter Act meeting before Decimal Day (as it was called) in an entry relating to staff salaries, and after an extra entry showing a conversion from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal, a seamless transition to using decimal notation of monetary amounts in financial records after that date (albeit with an empty column where the shillings would have been!) – such as this listing for the Bells Repair Fund (HCA 7108/6).

 Image of an accounts book, it is a white lined page covered in blue handwritten script which is almost illegible in places. On the right hand side of the page are columns of numbers and prices

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