New 'Winston Churchill' five pound note to be introduced in 2016

  • Bank of England

The Bank of England has just confirmed that a new five pound note will be rolled out in 2016, to replace the current version featuring "angel of prisons" Elizabeth Fry - introduced on May 21, 2002.

The new fiver depicts Winston Churchill in a portrait inspired by a photograph taken in Ottawa in 1941, against a Westminster background. Both the Big Ben on the 3 o'clock mark and the “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” quote, are a reference to a moving wartime speech delivered by Churchill on May 13, 1940, just after he was appointed UK Prime Minister. In the background there is also a picture of the Nobel Prize medal that Churchill was awarded in Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".

The current Elizabeth Fry five pound notes were recalled shortly after being distributed due to a ink problem. It was reported that the slow-drying pigment used for the serial numbers could be rubbed off, therefore the Bank of England had to suspend their production and reissue them few months later after applying an extra layer of varnish. The security features of the new 'Winston Churchill' version haven't been disclosed yet, but you can get some help in identifying genuine banknotes from the series currently in circulation at this link.

Introducing the new £5 banknotes, Bank of England's governor Sir Mervyn King has declared: "Our banknotes acknowledge the life and work of great Britons. Sir Winston Churchill was a truly great British leader, orator and writer. "Above that, he remains a hero of the entire free world. His energy, courage, eloquence, wit and public service are an inspiration to us all."

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