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)