Bee kind


When will our coins change? For seventy years they have had the Queen’s head but although we do not know when the new King’s head will appear I am sure that it will not be long. Believe it or not there have been five different portraits of the Queen used for our coins over these years. I remember the one when she was a young Queen with ribbons at the back.

When I was a little girl, I saved pennies from my pocket money. I still have a tin of them. They are big and blackened with age. They are heavy compared with our modern coins. The oldest one is thin and shiny with age; it is dated 1863 with a portrait of Queen Victoria. She is facing to the left. Did you know that the monarchs alternate in the way they face?

After Victoria came Edward Vll and he faced to the right. George V faced to the left then Edward Vlll would have faced to the right but there are no coins of him in my tin because he abdicated. George Vl faces left and the late queen to the right. So, I had five different kings and queens on my coins as legal tender in my purse. Most people these days have only ever had the portrait of the Queen.

Our stamps will soon change too and, more gradually, so will our red post boxes. We are used to seeing the Queen’s initials on the boxes but soon we will be seeing C lll R.

Lately I have seen the tops of the round post boxes decorated with little stitched models depicting current events. There have been Christmas and Olympic ones, and toppers for the Queen’s Jubilee. I do not know how they started but I first noticed them in 2020 during the pandemic. Sometimes they are collecting for charity and sometimes simply connect with passers-by. Last week I went to Ellesmere and there was a black top on the pillar box in the main street. A sad reminder that our Queen has died.

Recently I was driving in a country lane, it was so narrow I seemed to be driving through people’s gardens. I came across a box decorated with insects and flowers. It looked as if it had been made for a round top but this one was attached to a rectangular top with string. The bees were on wire and really seemed to be flying into the flowers.

What I liked best was that there was a notice, in between a bee and a dragonfly, and it said simply ‘Bee kind’. A message for our times.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

It says 'Bee kind'


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