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The Royal Mint Museum has launched a story competition to mark 50 years since Decimalisation

Eloise Williams, Children’s Laureate Wales

To mark the 50th anniversary of decimalisation, The Royal Mint Museum has announced a new short-story competition for school children in Wales. The competition is open to all pupils in years five and six, and the winning story will be selected by guest judge and celebrated children’s author, Eloise Williams.

Pupils are asked to write a short story of no more than 500 words inspired by Decimal Day in 1971 and the change to decimal money. Pupils are able to write about any topic that relates to decimalisation, but some 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?”

2021 will mark the 50th anniversary of decimalisation. In February 1971 Britain took the historic step of changing its coinage from pounds, shillings and pence to a decimal currency system, with 100 pennies to the pound, which we use today. This change impacted the entire nation, bringing people together as they learnt to master this new money. 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.

Eloise Williams, Children’s Laureate Wales and judge for the competition said, “I am thrilled to have been asked to judge this inspiring competition. 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. Looking forward to reading the stories!”

Dr Kevin Clancy, Director of the Royal Mint Museum says “The team at the Royal Mint Museum have been planning a project to commemorate decimalisation for a long time so it is very exciting to see the first element of the project, our short-story competition, being launched. We are very much looking forward to reading the stories written by primary school children in Wales.”

Schools will receive their invitation to participate by post and can seek further information by going to the Museum’s website: royalmintmuseum.org.uk.  Closing date for entries to the competition is 11th December and stories can be submitted digitally or posted to the Royal Mint Museum.