Wednesday 11 May 2011

Pretty pennies

 courtesy 'The Artist' 1967

Here’s a rather neat little ad for Winsor & Newton oil paints from one of my 1967 copies of ‘The Artist’.  I love the bold, simple graphics, and those flowers plus the combination of purple and orange could only really have originally come from that era.  I can just imagine them on dress material, wallpaper designs, sofa fabric, etc.

I’m reliably informed that the coins here are: half a crown, a threepenny bit and three pennies.  I remember the threepenny bit and the pennies – being just a nipper at the time of decimalisation these were probably the only old coins I'd ever needed to handle in order to buy packets of Spangles and sweet cigarettes (what an idea! But it seemed so cool to my undeveloped mind to be seen sucking on a confectionary ciggy!).  I also recall those cute little silver sixpences on which I nearly choked several times after they’d been hidden in the Christmas pudding. They were probably the same ones that turned up later underneath my pillow in exchange for bloodstained molars. (What on earth does the tooth fairy do with all those gruesome little teeth?  She must be a closet goth…)

But then it all went decimal and I didn’t ever have to fully learn the complex mathematics of the previous currency: that there were 12d in a shilling, 20 shillings in a pound, and that half a crown was two shillings and sixpence - never mind tanners, guineas and florins….

I’m relieved we don’t have to use that complicated coinage any more.  I miss the Spangles, though.


  1. You loved some Spangles and Candy cigarettes didn't you?

    Believe it or hasn't been that long since I've seen 'em in some of rural the stores I work.

  2. Oh I think I must be... obsessed... by them! But they're just so representative of growing up in '70s Britain, these sweets are lodged deep in my psyche and were frequently lodged deep in my teeth too (I blame them for all my dental fillings.

    That's amazing that you've seen them in your rural stores too - I miss 'em!


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