A Letter to the Editor 15

In which The Author cracks the nationals

A couple of weeks ago, the Bank of England announced the new face for the reverse of the English/Welsh £5 note – Sir Winston Churchill. Currently, the noted prison reformer and social campaigner Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) is on the back of the fiver. She’s the only woman (apart from the Queen, obviously) on a UK banknote. (She’s also the only woman since Florence Nightingale was on the back of the tenner, and they ceased to be legal tender in May 1994.) The decision to put Churchill on the new notes sparked a debate on Woman’s Hour, and in the letters column of the Daily Mirror. I thought I’d add my two-penn’orth on Bank Holiday Monday, and was rather pleased to see my name in print in today’s edition:
I think a perfect female nominee to appear on a banknote would be Ada Lovelace. She was Lord Byron’s daughter and worked alongside Charles Babbage preparing the punched cards for his difference engine [sic]. I think it would be great if, every time we took money out of an ATM, we were reminded of the world’s first computer programmer.

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