Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: Talking Tenners

It would seem that the Bank of England is working through the process of modernising British money! Back in September 2016 (Lisa’s Week 22 – 19.09.2016) we talked about the new five pound note which had just been released, and the fact that notes are being brought into the 21st century with the replacement of cotton paper with polymer and additional security features to reduce the ability to counterfeit money. Polymer is is more durable and long lasting which is especially good for those of us who are clumsy enough to leave our notes in our pockets when we do the washing!

I got to see one of these new notes today for the first time and was excited to be reminded that a portrait of Jane Austen (1775-1817) – author of such classic British novels as Pride and Prejudice and Emma – has replaced the image of Charles Darwin who has graced the note since 2000.

The selection of Jane Austen was to some degree the result of a campaign which was launched to ensure that there was a woman on the back of one of the British notes. The image of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry had been replaced by Winston Churchill in the redesign of the new fiver leaving no famous British woman featured on the money. I have to admit that I was delighted to hear that Jane Austen had been selected, as she is one of my favourite writers and a true symbol of British culture. 

In addition to the obligatory portrait of the Queen on the front and Jane Austen’s on the back, there are several other interesting features to the new “tenner”:

  • On the clear window section of the note, an image of Winchester Cathedral, where Jane Austen is buried, can be seen in gold on the front and silver on the back
  • A copper image of an open book with the initials “JA”
  • A drawing of one of Austen’s most famous characters, Elizabeth Bennet
  • A quote by one of Austen’s characters, “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” This is said by Caroline Bingley to impress the infamous Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.
  • Raised braille dots provide a tactile feature for the visually impaired and blind
  • An image of the Coronation Crown on the front with 3D effect
  • A silver area where you can see the words “ten” or “pounds” depending on how you tilt the note

Some of the ten-pound notes, which were released in September, have already become very valuable due to the rarity of certain serial numbers that might have particular relevance. The serial numbers are made up of two letters and a string of digits so numbers such as 16 121775 and 18 071817 would show the date of Jane Austen’s birth and death for example and would be really interesting for collectors. These numbers can be seen along the right hand edge and to the left of the Queen’s portrait if you want to check your own! The Bank of England allocates those with significant or low serial numbers to people and institutions associated with the new release and therefore AA01 000001 was given to the Queen with the second being presented to Prince Philip and the Prime Minister Theresa May and her Chancellor of the Exchequer receiving the next two notes.

With a trip to the UK planned at the end of this week, I’m looking forward to receiving some of the new fivers and tenners, as well as the new pound coin that I haven’t even seen yet. I haven’t been back to the UK for 15 months and that appears to be a long time in money terms! And yes, I’ll be checking the serial numbers for sure!


What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?

Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.

Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!

Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot

Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?

Episode 30: Bless you!

Episode 31: What are you thankful for?

Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?

Episode 33: What's behind the door?

Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!

Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?

Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year

Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?

Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2

Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?

Episode 40: Sweet Valentine

Episode 41: A Reminder

Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!

Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils

Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question

Episode 45: The whole world's going green!

Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs

Episode 47: The joke's on you!

Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!

Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings

Episode 50: We use German words too

Episode 51: Celebrating St George

Episode 52: The perfect start to the day

Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)

Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)

Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)

Episode 56: Holiday season is coming!

Episode 57; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 1

Episode 58; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 2

Episode 59: Summer Solstice

Episode 60: Harry Potter turns 20

Episode 61: Quick Tip of the Week - live, life, live

Episode 62: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Episode 63:  I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Episode 64: Stick a stamp on it!

Episode 65: Idiom of the week - Water under the bridge

Episode 66: I say QWERTY, you say QWERTZ

Episode 67: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 1)

Episode 68: Doing your homework and making mistakes! (Part 2)

Episode 69: Joking around in Scotland

Episode 70: The first day of school

Episode 71: Let's go down to the Wiesn!

Episode 72: Celebrating language

Episode 73: It's a Harry thing!

Episode 74: My favourite time of the year

Episode 75: TED-Ideas Worth Spreading

Episode 76: Grinning like a Cheshire cat

Episode 77: Enjoying the downtime