Legal currency within the pier

WITH regard to the story that Stroud is to launch its own currency in the form of banknotes...

WITH regard to the story that Stroud is to launch its own currency in the form of banknotes: while recently writing a book about islands around the coast of England and Wales, which is due to appear next summer, I obtained a one farthing note issued by a 'Victorian' funfair on Birnbeck Pier at Weston some time in the 1970s.

It was accepted as legal currency within the pier limits, I ascertained (even though the farthing coin went out of circulation in 1956). One side pictures Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

So Stroud cannot really claim a currency first in modern times, but Weston can! However, the farthing note appears to have brought no prosperity to the pier, which is now fenced off and in a very sorry state awaiting redevelopment.

The pier, the only one in Britain linking an island to the mainland, is in historical terms a wonderful structure as appealing at the highly-regarded Clevedon Pier, but one which has been allowed to become the eyesore of the Somerset coast.

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