Sunday, August 09, 2015

Whilst walking along Vaughn Road in Toronto I came upon several boxes of books on the sidewalk and obviously free for the taking . I sorted through them and picked several that interested me .There was an old Penguin book by John Buchan titled "The Island of Sheep" in perfect condition . It had been reprinted in 1960 and first published in 1936 but what caught my eye was was the price on the cover 2/6 .Only those who had grown up in England at that time would understand that 2/6 meant two shillings and six pence or 30 English pennies , 1/8th of a pound ,and also known as half a crown , a crown being 5 shillings or more commonly known as five  bob (a shilling in slang is a bob and Bob times 20 is a qwid which properly named is a would think that would be all we need to know about British currency but there is more.A penny is 1/12th of a shilling  plus  a halfpenny coin is 1/2 a penny and a farthing is 1/4 of a penny which gives enough information to calculate 240 pennies in a pound .One more thing there is also the guinea which is 21 shillings but not common in my time .

John Buchan  was among many other things famous as a novelist    his best known work being "The 39 steps" which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock .He was also Governor General of Canada from 1936 to 1940 .Check him out on Wikipedia a serious over achiever . He was a contemporary of Norman Rockwell though they never crossed paths but another serious over achiever thanks to my help in another  life ....

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