Pam West British Notes

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December 2016

Whilst on a bus in London recently I sat upstairs where the best view can be obtained and noticed a Rhinoceros hanging up in an alley. I took a picture and whilst on the same bus took a picture of what may be the thinnest house in London, which also happens to house our favourite drinking hole in London - the Port House on the Strand. The reason I noticed these things is due to Roy Spick who with his wife Margaret stayed at our house some 30 years ago and he kindly woke us at about 5.30am with a cup of tea and said he and Margaret who joined us on a short trip into London that we should always look up as generally people only ever looked down and missed an awful lot. Sadly they are now both no longer with us, but, are fondly remembered.
Pete and I decided late in the day to pop into Kingston upon Thames to go to the cinema. I looked online for the times of the car park I normally used during the day, however, it said last entry 7pm, so, I called head office to ask what time it closed and was told 7pm. It did seem illogical that you could enter at 7pm but, then not be able to leave - some website! However, they have now replied to my enquiry and it seems they do close at 7pm and apologised that the website was not clear.


December 2016

TV licensing wrote to me to tell me they had renewed our TV licence by direct debit.  I updated the old aol email address on their site.  I then received an email to my old aol email address to tell me they had updated my details. Doh!

Someone asked me to value their £50 Boulton and Watt with EP03 prefix, unfortunately EP03 does not exist and thus, the first forgery I have seen.  It is pictured on my British Notes facebook page - a page that I will use to update information.

I don't know how many times I have been asked if I am 'ready for Christmas' - it is not like we are preparing for 6 months in a bunker, rather one day of festive feasting, which is enjoyable more for the relaxing, but, who relaxes? Someone shops, cooks, clears up, but, we do get to watch a lot of TV and box sets.  It is a time for sharing yourself with your family and not dependent on how much money you can spend.  Talking of spending - our last list of 2016 does have some notes to drool over whilst you eat your Christmas dinner!

I thought I would let you know I am okay.  I received an email regarding delivery of some banknote lots I had purchased in a Scottish Auction.  After I got up off the floor I worked out it would be cheaper to fly up, stay the night and collect the lots myself - this is not what I actually did, but, a kind collector picked them up for me instead.  I appreciate that things have to be insured (£152.57), but, the post/packing was £128.50 - total £281.07.  I am sure if I told you a parcel would cost you over a £100 to send you would cancel the order - I worry even if it is as much as £12!

I had popped up to Edinburgh to attend the Bank Note Society of Scotland's December meeting (inaugural member).  We sat and watched a 70's film (yes, on a reel), chewed popcorn and had the pleasure of meeting / questioning some retired Bank of Scotland employees.  There were lots of goodies to eat at break time.  I had booked to stay at the Glasshouse Hotel, but, upon my arrival the Duty Manager came to see me and I thought maybe my credit card had not worked.  He advised me that there had been a problem with their booking system and I was double booked.  He had taken the liberty of booking me into the Caledonian, which is a Waldorf Astoria hotel - no problem there.  He also said he would email me a voucher for a complimentary suite.  Subsequently he telephoned me to say he had looked at our website and was very impressed. So, as we say - all's well that ends well. (I am just waiting for the email).


October 2016

Well, the new Bank of England polymer £5 has caused an avalanche of phone calls and emails from members of the public all believing or hoping that their £5 is worth more than face value. One morning we had 5 phone calls before 9am, of course, they did not realise we were still in bed. I was unsurprised to hear from one person (and I am sure there were more) that had called the Bank of England to ask if their £5 was worth more than face and they suggested they call a banknote dealer.  The phone calls have slowed down a bit to around 20 a day!

I popped over to the Dublin coin show on the weekend which was situated within the 'Back to the Past' Genealogy show - alongside the 'over 50's show' - one gentleman came up and asked if I knew where the 'Back to the Past' show was - I nearly said I know the film 'back to the future', but, instead advised him that he was already in the show.  The tannoy announcements were made loudly twice - obviously once for advising and second time to ensure you heard.

I stayed at the Herbert Park hotel and was upgraded to an executive room, luxury from Ebookers.  I still bought my full Irish breakfast at Rolys who serve wonderful coffee.

I am slowly getting to grips with my British Notes page on Facebook - maybe check it out....

We came back from the Birmingham coin fair and stopped (as you do) for a coffee at the service station.  There were long queues at the St. Arbucks, so I decided to use the Costa Lotta machine.  I completed all the tasks required, but, taking the paper cup out of the sleeve did not prompt it to make a coffee, so, I started all over again.  Of course it did not work, thus, proving nothing can replace humans when it comes to making a nice cuppa!

I finally went on my birthday treat with Pete - a visit and stay at the Aspinall Foundation Wildlife reserve in Port Lympne, Kent.  The staff had kindly allowed me to change my date due to the fact that on my birthday I was signing forms and reading a twenty two page letting agent contract, so that Glen could rent another property.  Well, we had the last most fantastic day of beautiful weather, which was topped by seeing all these amazing animals and if I tell you I saw not only one, but, three Binturong I know you will be impressed - yes, they do exist.  The silver back gorillas definitely don't like humans looking in and know what is going on.  Rothschild's giraffes, including a four month old, not so wibbly wobbly.  Bit of a Safari and the Dinosaur Forest was fantastic.  The reserve help protect endangered species and have a successful breeding programme, which is a priority for them.  The dining room in the hotel was wall to wall and ceiling full of over two hundred paintings of animals, there was even a complete room painted by Whistler to look like a tent - outstanding.  As you know I am not one for false praise, but, it was terrific.  No flying either!

On the way home on the Friday we visited the town of Tenterden.  We managed to buy some white fivers - there are a few antique centres in the town.  Whilst we sat and waited for our lunch in a lovely restaurant called the Secret Pantry, we sat near the window so that we could keep an eye on our parked car - not one, but, two cars managed to reverse into it, one person saying they were only going slowly!  It is not Paris, where you just gently bump and shove your way into a car park space - it is England.  No damage, but, if this happens when we are watching, what is happening when we are not watching? A small market behind a pub had a terrific fish stall - we dined on lobster when we returned home.

Polymer fivers have been going like hot cakes - I am pleased that our mid prefix (AK) notes were cheaper than those on a certain online auction.  Polymer note collecting has really taken off as has low number collecting. We do now have the new Victoria Cleland Polymer notes AA01 low numbers in stock, listed below and First prefix Cleland £10, £20 and £50's with low numbers.

We have been exceptionally busy with the Valkenburg show, the London World Paper Money show and various auctions.  We had a house guest from Australia and I became a tourist for a day, visiting Windsor Castle, again a fabulous day of weather and history.

September 2016

Where does time go............?

Recently we spent some time in Derby helping Glen, our son to move his worldly goods into a storage bin whilst he awaits the keys to another rental - fingers crossed.  He seems to own more stuff than us! We ended up there on my birthday and the hotel Pete had booked for a romantic break kindly changed my date - I am looking forward to visiting the Aspinall Foundation wildlife reserve and hotel in Lympne, Kent.

We found a terrific Italian restaurant in Derby called Cucina.  I gave them a good review on Trip Advisor, which is really a bad thing as next time they could be too busy to give us a table!  It only takes a few minutes for someone to be kind, just as it also takes a few minutes to do the opposite and the whole world knows.  Social Media, something we should put more positives comments on, especially if we had more time............?

August 2016

I received an email (from a company) asking me if I would like to share what plans I have for the Bank Holiday - I did not even know we had a bank holiday coming up!  We shall be busy preparing our stock for the forthcoming shows.  Let alone working on the 9th edition of English Paper Money.  Times are quite exciting with only a few weeks until we see the new £5 Churchill note.  Followed  a few weeks later with another £5 polymer from the Royal Bank of Scotland.  We will email details of all new notes when we have them in stock.  When the Churchill £5 comes out let us know the prefixes you see.

Just came across that usual faux pas - not saving work done that needs uploading! Just lost this newsletter and list, so, starting again!

Our local post office has been renovated, they've not yet had the air conditioning fitted, so it is hotter inside than out!  Our local bank is now a funeral care shop - not popped in to check them out yet, but, I suppose at least it is not a restaurant/pub of which we have more than enough.

We have a telly in the office and can also watch the Olympics - our Team has done brilliantly.  Well done to them all.  Pete, Glen and I did go to the London Olympics and saw a few sports.  We also went to the closing ceremony of the Paralympics.  I am glad we had that opportunity - I'd love to go to another country to support Team GB, but, Rio was not on cards.

No sooner do I suggest that Summer might be over when it comes back!  Just in time for us to have a barbeque.  One of the reasons for remaining at home in July and August is the sporadic weather, which makes gardening a pleasure and the chance to have a barbeque.

How do you know when a watermelon is ripe?  When it explodes in the kitchen.  So, no we did not eat watermelon at our barbeque.

We saw the play 'The Bank Robbery that goes wrong', a follow up to the 'Play that goes wrong'.  It was very funny, I only wished they had been stealing money rather than a diamond!

So, with all this time available being at home, my latest newsletter is Guernsey and Jersey.  All new stock, not yet on the website. 

Unbelievable that our next fair is only 3 weeks away - the London Coin Fair on Saturday 3rd September at the Holiday Inn, Coram Street, Bloomsbury, followed a week later with the Birmingham Coin Fair on Sunday 11th September at the Birmingham Motorcycle Museum.

Well it almost looks like Summer is over.  We planted an Acer tree where one of our Silver Birch trees lived, although only a small plant now, I hope in twenty years time it will be at least 15 ft tall.  Talking of feet and inches, the other day on a current TV show they mentioned the length of something in feet, well, we are meant to be fully metricated and measurements surely should be in metres, which is taught in schools, not that I would know them anyway! I know we buy litres of diesel for our car, drive in mph and have miles on the road, though I am aware that to change absolutely everything would cost a great deal of money and take a very long time. 

July 2016

Having some wonderful weather and enjoyed working in the garden.  Photos of my leaf cutting bee is at the end of the newsletter with his Chimney pot home.

Went to the Bank of England the other day, the main entrance door guards in their traditional smart pink suits were on holiday, so, other security guards were on duty.  I said I had some notes to change and he asked to have a 'Butcher's', well, you could have knocked me down with a feather!  Coming from Hackney, as I do, I understood perfectly well what he meant and presumed he might not have said the same thing to a 'Tourist'?  A butcher's hook, shortened to butchers - cockney rhyming slang for look.  Not often do we hear the old rhyming slang, even in London.

Our bees are back!  I am so pleased to see them.  As we sit in the garden having a cup of tea, of course, in between the rain and sun, our little bees are bringing their leaf cuttings into our chimney pots of sempervivum and building their indoor nests.  We cannot tell if they are exactly the same bees as last year or their children (beelets? (larvae/pupa)), but, happy to see them buzzing around.

Peter has been adding Jersey stock to the website.  I am a bit of a hoarder.  I think I just like owning the notes, although happy to see them go to good homes, so, my boxes behind me in the cupboard expand whilst I purchase, then I have the good fortune to look into them and find all the new material. Now I have to do something with it!

Recently added stock includes some of our low serials, so, if you are seeking a specific number (under 100), let us know and we will see what we have.  In fact recently two new customers have asked for their number and we have been able to supply at least 6 notes to each of them.

Later this year we will have a plethora of new Polymer Notes in the UK - The Bank of England £5 depicting Churchill and The Bank of Scotland new polymer note with Sir Walter Scott, both in September, (Pudsey polymer charity notes were the pre-cursor), followed by The Royal Bank of Scotland with Nan Shepherd on the £5 note possibly November.

This afternoon we watched Andy Murray win at Wimbledon, though, prior to his win, Gordon Reid also won the individual wheelchair Tennis and during the same tournament won the doubles too.  I have really enjoyed the matches I have seen this year. Not so much the grunting, more the tennis.

We are also pleased to announce that our book 'Isle of Man Paper Money' won IBNS Book of the Year. Our third winner!

Just been abroad to see my sister. I hired a car (won't say the name), it is very frustrating to try to open a car when you have been given the wrong key!  Anyway, upon our arrival a couple of hours later at her house, she looked at my back and said are you bleeding?  It seems the plastic bag on the seat had melted the red colour onto my cream T shirt.  Managed to get it 99% of it out.

June 2016

So much to do and so little time!  We like to have new material for the IBNS show in London on September 30th / October 1st and it does take quite a long time to get it all ready.  However, in the meantime, new White Notes in stock, but, not yet on the website listed here. If anything is of interest, please email or phone.

We went to a wedding reception recently.  Of course at our age you expect the groom to be young, however, at 64 our friend found love and is settling down with his new wife.  Ain't life grand! (not my saying).

We had a wonderful time in Canada.  Met up with the Vancouver IBNS chapter. Drank Millennia year old water from the Glacial Icefields of Banff, sat regally in the Rocky Mountaineer with spectacular views and had a great time.  Coming back via Las Vegas, saw two Magic shows and met up with life member No.38 of the IBNS, Beate Rauch.  No sooner were we back home than I was off to the very last Memphis show which is moving to Kansas City next year.

So now trying to catch up with all the new stock!  All items listed here are not on the website yet.  If anything is of interest, just email or phone.

Our next show is York 15/16 July.  Glen will be with us on his Birthday - 16th July.  What more can he ask than working with his mum and dad at a show!

May 2016

We finally went on our big holiday to Canada and Vegas.  From Toronto to Vancouver, via the Rockie Mountains and a short trip on the Rocky Mountaineer Train.  We bought some banknotes, met dealers, visited with the Vancouver chapter of the IBNS and in Vegas caught up with IBNS Life member Number 38, Beate Rauch and her husband, Hans.  We had a lovely time, but, living out of a suitcase reminds you of how hectic it all is. I feel like I could do with a holiday.

Previously unlisted Discovery Provincial Bank of Ireland

Before I fly off to Memphis I wanted to let you know about some fantastic Irish £1 & £5 notes discovered in a loft, passed down from Grandfather to father to son.

Printed in 1926 by Perkins Bacon & Co. Ltd, hidden away for 90 years, these notes are unissued remainders.  They have been punch cancelled in order to prevent anyone from spending them at the time. The £1 note was issued in 1922 starting with prefix B and finished with prefix J in 1927, however, the £5 note was never issued and is not in Pick or Paper Money of Ireland.

Provincial Bank of Ireland New Discovery

£1 prefix H dated 1st September 1926 and J prefix dated 1st December 1926

£1 No prefix or serials dated 1st December 1926, all with blue reverse   Pick P345bu

£1 no prefix unc £80                             £1 H or J prefix unc £110


£5 dated 5th October 1926   serial or no serials, all with green reverse    Pick  P346bu (allocated by pam)

£5 no serial unc £140                           £5 with serials unc £180

We did finally see 'The play that goes wrong' and it was rip roaringly funny. The following day we saw 'Bastille Day' with Idris Elba and yes, I could see him playing the part of a Bond 007.  Peter has finished putting up the fence and became a hospital DIY statistic with a large and nasty splinter in his little finger, which now has a stitch in it. The NHS does a great job and he was home within two hours.

I am looking forward to the Memphis show.  I will be in Memphis, Pete will be at the London Coin Fair - seems reasonable to me.


April 2016

Pete and I attended Valkenburg and had a good show.  I bought quite a lot of new material and met collectors who had made the trip from as far as America! 

When the Clydesdale Bank issued £20 notes in 2015 with Debbie Crosbie signature, it was reported in the press that this was the first time for a female signatory on Scottish notes, however, the Bank Note Society of Scotland reported in their very interesting online Banknote Buzz issue 6 that the National Bank of Scotland in 1917 nominated nineteen female clerks to sign on behalf of the Accountant due to lack of manpower during wartime. Now the hunt is on!

The trees in our road are blossoming, it sometimes feels like summer, but, of course, we still have cold and rain.  We were working on the fence in the garden yesterday - well, I was a goffer.  Job not finished yet!

Went to see the play entitled: The play that goes Wrong and we turned up two days early, so, instead went to the Cinema and watched 'Eye in the Sky' - a tense thriller, which I was not going to see.  It certainly makes you think.

Turner has been chosen to appear on the Bank of England £20 note in 2018.  I wonder if the Bank will ask for public opinion on someone to replace Boulton and Watt on the £50 - or will Nelson be at the top of their list (Nelson's column)?  Anyway, Mark Carney unveiled the information regarding Turner in Margate at the Turner Contemporary show.  Turner was often to be found painting in Margate.  In fact last year?...Pete and I saw the film with Timothy Spall portraying Turner and were surpised that the film was not in the running for any awards.  I suppose some of the scenes were a bit rude, but, realistic for the time.

We are seeking information on Pre-First World War I Nairnes.  Please forward value, date and prefix.  We shall be working on English Paper Money 9th edition this year.

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