“I’ve been decimalising like mad all morning!”

12 Aug

To anyone born after the 1960s, the pre-decimal British currency system seems almost perversely incomprehensible.    Oddly enough though, that seems to be exactly how many people thought of the decimal system when it came in (on ‘D-Day’) in 1971.  At least it was if Granny Gets the point, a charming public information film from that year, is anything to go by.  Doris Hare from On the Buses gives an extraordinarily theatrical performance as Granny Mortimer, plagued by nightmares of shopkeepers babbling decimal gobbledegook and utterly traumatised by the prospect of receiving her pension in the new money (rather than LSD, as the old system’s amusingly always referred to).  It’s like a sitcom from a parallel universe, where involved discussions about how to add up or write a cheque take the place of jokes.  This is a short extract, but the whole thing can be found on the BFI’s brilliant Worth the Risk? DVD.

And as a special bonus here’s Max Bygraves to explain the whole thing to us in song:


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