Thursday, March 5, 2020

Visiting the ‘Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’

We learned by chance this morning that the British currency we’d retained from our last visit to the U.K. seven or eight years ago was no longer good.

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.

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