Pocket Guide to Northern Ireland - Money, Weights, and Measures

Source:A Pocket Guide to Northern Ireland [.mobi (Kindle), .epub (iPad, etc.)]
Author:War and Navy Departments, Washington, D.C.

BRITISH money is quite different from American money, and Ulster uses British money. The people won’t be amused to hear you call it “funny money.” The unit is the pound (sometimes called a “quid”), which is ordinarily worth a little less than $5. Early in 1942 it had a value of about $4 in American exchange. The pound is divided as follows:

12 pennies (or pence) equals 1 shilling.

20 shillings equal 1 pound.

The coins in common use are made of copper and silver. The names of the coins and their approximate values in American money are as follows:

Copper Coins. A farthing, one-quarter of a penny, is worth about half a cent in American money. This coin is not common.

A half penny (pronounced “hay p’ny”) is equal to one-half of the British penny as its name indicates and is worth about 1 cent in American money.

The penny is worth about 2 cents in American money.

Silver Coins. There is also a silver coin worth 3 pence (generally called “thrup penny bit”). It is a small coin worth approximately one nickel in our money. You will see this very often in the cities.

Six pence—about the same size as the American dime and worth about the same amount and referred to as a “tanner.”

A shilling is worth 12 pennies, or pence. The shilling is commonly called a bob. It is about the size of the American quarter and worth a little less.

The florin is worth 2 shillings. It is a little smaller than the American half dollar and is worth a little less.

The half crown is equal to 2 shillings and 6 pence. (Sometimes called “2 and 6.”) It is about the size of the American half dollar and worth about the same amount.

The crown, which is rarely seen, is equal to 5 shillings. It is about the size of and about the same value as the American silver dollar.

Gold Coins. The sovereign and half-sovereign, which are very rarely seen, are gold coins worth 1 pound and 10 shillings, respectively. You will read about them in English literature but you probably will not see them and needn’t bother about them.

Paper Currency. The 10-shilling note is the smallest paper denomination and is worth half a pound, or roughly $2 in American money.

The pound note is worth about $4.

The 5-pound note is worth about $20 in American money.

A unit of money you will sometimes see advertised in the better stores is the guinea (pronounced “ginny” with the “g” hard as in “go”). It is worth 21 shillings, or 1 pound plus 1 shilling. There is no actual coin or paper of this value now in use. It is simply a quotation of price.

giant's causeway

The Giant’s Causeway on the north coast, is one of the natural wonders of the world. It looks like the ruins of an enormous road that might once have joined Ireland and Scotland. Actually, it is ancient lava flow which broke up into thousands of basaltic columns—mostly six-sided.

Weights and Measures. The measures of length and weight are almost the same as those used in America. The British and Irish have inches, feet, yards, pints, quarts, gallons, etc. You should remember, however, that the English (or “Imperial”) gallon contains about one-fifth more liquid than the American gallon. The “stone” is a unit of weight. A stone equals 14 pounds, and a man’s weight is given as “12 stone, 4 pound,” if he weighs 172 pounds.

Yanks: British Views on America during the Second World War

This book comprises a selection of articles from the (British) Army Bureau of Current Affairs' WAR and CURRENT AFFAIRS pamphlets, all relating to America and, more particularly, to the relationship between the British and Americans during the Second World War.

"Our enemies are trying to make trouble between the British and the Americans during the war; they are certain to try it after they have been defeated, in the hope of escaping once more from the consequences of their crimes against humanity. It is our business to understand and work with the United States now and in peace-time; that means for us all at least to like and understand the Americans we meet."

ISBN: 978-1910375518