Market Lavington Museum

A leather wallet and request


We have recently been given this wallet as a gift to Market Lavington Museum. It belonged to a couple who lived in the village, though we do not know whether it was used by the lady or her husband.

Outwardly, there is nothing special about it but, inside, we can date it to pre 1971. That was the year the UK changed to decimal currency.

The wallet has sections for 20/- and 10/- banknotes. 20/- (20 shillings) made a pound and there were green one pound notes up until decimalisation, when the pound retained its value, but was represented by a coin and not a note. Likewise, the brown 10 shilling note became a 50p coin.

Inflation meant that banknotes were needed in higher denominations. Our wallet only has spaces for notes up to a pound in value, so that suggests it had been around for some years before decimalisation.

At Market Lavington museum, we have various purses (see Flo Burbidge’s Purse and A leather purse). We also have plenty of coins, found locally by metal detectorists. If we put together a display about money, it would be great to have a pound note and a ten shilling note to put in this wallet. Do let us know if you kept any after 1971, which you would now like to donate to the museum.