So, it is farewell to the old round one pound coin. Taken out of circulation; replaced by the new twelve-sided version. Although not quite. I keep back one special old round one pound coin, which I call my supermarket trolley coin.
It is estimated that 450 million old round pound coins remain unspent and in general circulation. Is it any wonder while supermarket trolleys have not been updated to take the new coin? And it is not just supermarket trolleys: vending machines; parking meters; ticket machines; swimming pool lockers––an entire army of coin-operated devices remain stuck in the halcyon days of a pre-Brexit idyll, unable to cope with the march of change.
I have talked about the concept of pre-planning before, specifically in relation to the individual. The introduction of the new pound coin appears a failure in pre-planning on the part of companies and institutions. The twelve-sided pound coin came into circulation at the end of March; companies have had six months to make changes to vending machines and parking meters and ticket machines and swimming pool lockers. And supermarket trolleys. However, the greatest lack of pre-planning is on the part of HM Treasury and The Royal Mint. Only six months to get used to a new coin? In a country where some people still haven’t grasped the concept of decimalisation.
Of course, I could get myself a special token to operate my supermarket trolley. A token, which is specially made to fit the little slot in the trolley’s handle. However, I resist the temptation. In a life already too consumed by day-to-day banalities, the possession of a special supermarket trolley token seems like something of a new nadir.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree surprises himself with his pun on the word ‘change’.