Pam West British Notes

Back to News & Info

Articles Home Page

Odd Banknote Stories Part One
Odd Banknote Stories Part Two
Letters to Pam
letters to pam

Dear Pam

Further to our little chat about novelty notes and the letter of thanks I had from the gentleman who had the book, I thought you might like to use the following on your site;- The first is an extract from my book "Funny Money" and the second an old newspaper extract from a small Northern Issue Paper about the same. (I haven't included the relevant pictures because I know it's asking for trouble with viruses and the like over the net) Perhaps you might be able to follow the theme of "Different Notes" with information on the "Welsh" and local issue notes including the "Lewes" note and the "Cornish Tin Money". Another piece in my book includes things like the Arnold Schwarzenegger 8 Dollar Bill for his election campaign and the Cadbury 9 Bob note. I am sure many collectors would find these novelties great fun to look at and read about. If you wanted and were too busy to do it yourself, perhaps I could have some fun roughing out a piece for you that you could amend / correct / illustrate and then use on your site?

Funny Money

Modern technology has brought down the cost of colour printing phenomenally and new computer techniques have improved the quality to such an extent that it is relatively easy to make a passable facsimile of modern banknotes.

Printers are now literally making money, but quite legally. This they are doing by re-printing most of the detail off withdrawn banknote issues and the replacing the Queens portrait with that of a well known comedy figure from television. The words ‘Bank Of England’ have also been replaced just to make absolutely certain that these notes are ‘funny money’ and not forgeries.

Illustrated below is a £10 note featuring Rodney Trotter. It quite clearly states the Bank Of Peckham across the note and other details have been altered such as the phrase ‘Chief Cashier’ which has become ‘Chief Dipstick Plonker and Financial Executive Trotters Independent Traders.’ The backs of the notes have similarly been changed according to the television program concerned. There are several notes in the series featuring other comedy characters such as ‘Uncle Albert’,‘Arthur Daley’ ‘Hyacinth Bucket’ and others. These notes are sold by dealers for a laugh but they are making serious sums of money out of them as each note is sold for a couple of pounds. The printer probably gets £1 for each note making this legal forgery very worthwhile and less risky than forging real notes.



         Spoof 9/- note signed Cadbury


The following article was taken from a newspaper back in May 2007.

A SHOPKEEPER whose novelty bank notes were seized by Trading Standards has branded the move as "political correctness gone mad". Blackburn with Darwen Council confiscated hundreds of pounds worth of novelty notes from an un-named store in Blackburn and the Mega Pound Store, Borough Road, Darwen. The five, £10, £20 and £50 'notes' - sold at four for a pound - had the Queen's head replaced with a variety of pictures including Dr Who, David Beckham, Winnie the Pooh to Elvis and the Beatles. Trading standards officers insisted the cash' could be mistaken for real money and was a breach of the law to re-produce bank notes without the permission of the Bank of England. But a spokesman for the Mega Pound Store said there was no way it could be mistaken for real cash and that the funny money' had been popular with children. He said: "It's just funny money. You can easily tell the difference between these novelty notes and real ones. "We bought them in good faith and they were a cracking line. The kids loved them. It's just political correctness gone mad. There's no point arguing because I am not going to get them back. The guy I bought them from can't understand why they are illegal." The shopkeeper at the un-named Blackburn store said he was in the second day of selling the notes when they were seized by Trading Standards. He said: "I understand from the Trading Standards point of view that they could be stuck in the middle of a pile of money and someone could wrongfully think it was real. "We are just trying to forget about it now." Trading standards officers are still investigating the source of the notes and are yet to decide whether to take further action. Councilor John Slater, executive member for citizens and consumer rights, said: "Part of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 makes it a criminal offence to reproduce banknotes in any way, without the written consent of the Bank of England." "These items were clearly intended as novelties and the traders bought them in good faith purely as fun products, not realising they were breaking the law. We have explained the law to them, alerted the police and will destroy the seized notes. I'd urge people not to buy novelty banknotes at all." Inspector Claire Holbrook said anyone who has been offered counterfeit bank notes or anyone who has any information about this matter should contact police on 0845 1 25 35 45.

All the best
Alan Hartley      June 2009



Copyright 2024 Pam West British NotesOur use of cookies