World Coins

Royal Mint Museum launches contest for schoolchildren

The Royal Mint Museum is conducting a contest among British schoolchildren, seeking a short story about decimalization’s beginning nearly 50 years ago, on Feb. 15, 1971.

Images courtesy of the Royal Mint Museum

Decimalization, or the switch to a pound currency based on 100 pennies, occurred nearly 50 years ago, Feb. 15, 1971, in the United Kingdom.

To mark the 50th anniversary of decimalization, the Royal Mint Museum is opening a new short-story competition among schoolchildren aged nine to 11 in Wales. The winning story will be selected by Eloise Williams, celebrated children’s author.

The prize is a commemorative coin and a set of books written by Williams, for the winner and the library of the school they attend. The story will be published online and in print in several publications. There will be nine “runner-up” prizes of a commemorative coin.

Pupils are asked to write a story of no more than 500 words inspired by Decimal Day in 1971 and the change to decimal money. Some possible inspiration ideas for the story are:
➤ “What if coins could talk, what would they tell us?”
➤ “What do you think decimal day was like for people using the new money for the first time?”
➤ “Imagine you are a shiny, new, decimal coin. What sort of adventures might you have once you have left the Royal Mint?”

Sweeping changes

“This change impacted the entire nation, bringing people together as they learnt to master this new money,” according to the Royal Mint. “It was also the start of a new chapter in the long history of the Royal Mint, moving to a site in South Wales to cope with the demands of making billions of new coins.”

Williams said: “I grew up very near the Royal Mint and have such wonderful memories of Llantrisant. As Children’s Laureate Wales I am very excited to encourage creative writing in young people and look forward to reading the stories. The key ingredients I am looking for are creativity and imagination — use those in abundance and you can’t go wrong. ”

Schools will receive an invitation by post. Further information is at the Royal Mint Museum’s website.

Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Community Comments