Monday, 10 September 2012

New £5, £10 and £20 notes

In a few days, the Bank of England will start issuing fresh £5, £10 and £20 notes, with the new Chief Cashier Chris Salmon's signature on them.

You can see Chris signing his name in my report on last November's new £50, the first note featuring his signature.

Incidentally, you'll see he's left handed like the previous Cashier, Andrew Bailey.

Chris Salmon's job goes back to 1694, when the Bank of England was founded and the first Chief Cashier, John Kendrick, was appointed.

In the early years, cashiers had to write out the notes entirely and sign them by hand. Even after notes were fully printed, from 1855, the signature had to be added by hand.

But here's an interesting £5 note, from 1871, up for sale at Spinks:

It shows the name of the then Chief Cashier, George Forbes, after the practice of printing the signature itself had started in the previous year:

So, luckily for Chris Salmon, he doesn't have to sign all of the millions of notes which are to be put into circulation with his name on them.

Old notes, with Andrew Bailey's name of them will still be valid, of course.

If you're worried about counterfeits, here's a tour of our banknotes, to help you check the key features.

And, just for good measure, here's my guide to spotting fake £1 coins.

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