Ahead of its release into the nation’s tills, wallets and bank accounts on 13 September, the New Fiver is going on a UK-wide tour and will be on display at Southend-on-Sea’s Adventure Island on Thursday 18 August.
The New Fiver is the first Bank of England note to be printed on polymer, a thin flexible plastic and will feature the instantly recognisable face of Sir Winston Churchill. The New Fiver Roadshow arrives at Adventure Island on 18August and from 11am visitors will be able to see and touch the distinctive new notes, learn how they are made, and find out why they are better than the previous ‘Lady Godiva’.
Designed to be cleaner, safer and stronger, the polymer banknotes feature innovative new security features which make them even harder to counterfeit. The current £5 note features the face of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, who will be replaced by the man many regard as the greatest Briton. Explaining the choice of Sir Winston Churchill, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England said:
“The New Fiver will commemorate the achievements of the only Prime Minister to win the Nobel Prize for literature and one of the greatest statesmen of all time. As he himself said, ‘a nation that forgets its past has no future’. Our banknotes are repositories of the United Kingdom’s collective memory and like Churchill; our new polymer notes will stand the test of time.”
Sharp-eyed history buffs will note that the time on the Elizabeth Tower (AKA Big Ben) of the Houses of Parliament is at 3pm. This is a reference to the time that Churchill delivered his famous “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” speech in the House of Commons on 13th May 1940. There’s also a background image of the Nobel Prize medal which he was awarded in 1953 for literature, together with the wording of the prize citation.
The New Fiver’s security features include a see-through window featuring the Queen’s portrait, the border of which changes from purple to green. There are also holograms on the front of the note, one which contains the word ‘Five’ and changes to ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted and another of the coronation crown which appears 3D and multi-coloured when the note is tilted.
When the New Fiver is issued the old paper £5 notes will be gradually withdrawn from circulation as they are banked by retailers and businesses. They will eventually cease to be legal tender in May 2017. The new polymer £10, featuring Jane Austen, will enter circulation in summer 2017 followed by the J.M.W. Turner £20 note by 2020.
Adventure Island’s Operations Director Andrew Renton says it will be a unique event: “The launch of a new banknote is always quite exciting but the revolutionary New Fiver really does merit something special, so we’re delighted and honoured to be chosen by the Bank of England as one of the destinations for showcasing the new note to the British public.”
For further information on visiting Adventure Island visit: www.advertureisland.co.uk