The British have been switching over to more counterfeit-proof bank notes over the last few years, and after a short period of time the old ones are no longer accepted and have to be turned in for new ones.
While a bank branch might show mercy on a non-resident, we decided to take the Tube on another rainy day to the Bank of England, the famous ‘Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.’
There was no wait and we had a friendly chat with the man behind the glass, who cheerfully took our bills (U.K. ‘notes’ or ‘banknotes’) and issued us new somewhat plasticized ones. It totaled £125, well worth the trip.
The ‘round pound’ coins are not exchangeable, so we handed over six pounds toward pancreatic cancer research.
The pounds we’d saved were a poor investment, but it still feels like found money and we had the experience of doing business with the Old Lady.