From the Advertiser archives - October 24, 2019 edition

In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago - and what Rugby thought of the new 50p coin in 1969

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 8:23 am

October 24, 1919

A somewhat grave situation has been occasioned in this district by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Rugby, in consequence of which the Board of Agriculture have issued an Order prohibiting the removal of cattle, sheep and goats within a radius of many miles. The outbreak occurred among a herd of cattle in Lawford Heath. A serious aspect of the situation is the enforced suspension of the Cattle Market. This market is one of the largest in the Midland area and some six or seven hundred beasts are sold weekly. The beasts affected, to the number of 37, were slaughtered and cremated on Saturday.

October 24, 1969

Rugby taxi drivers are angry about the new town centre traffic scheme which they claim results in them losing 50 per cent of their trade. The men on the North Street rank claim that much of their Friday night and Saturday custom is being monopolised by buses. On said: “If the council intend to make High Street and Sheep Street into a shopping precinct, then why don’t they ban all vehicles from the area? Before, people laden with shopping bags wouldn’t catch a bus. They would come and get a taxi, but now people coming out of the supermarket opposite the rank walk past us to catch a bus in High Street.”

Harsh verdict as the new 50p coin joins Rugby purses in 1969

As someone who always checks her change for interesting 50 pence pieces and is fascinated to collect all the different ones from Beatrix Potter characters and Paddington to Olympic sports and Sherlock Holmes, this story in our 1969 paper amused me.

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A nuisance and a hindrance. Angry Rugby business people have dubbed the new 50p piece ‘a complete waste of time’. Only a week after its introduction - to replace the ten shilling note - it was hard to find anyone in town with a kind word to say about the new coin.

The 50p piece appeared to have been blacklisted by Rugby people within days of making its debut. Most people thought the coin should have been larger and given a different colour and some claim the ten shilling note should have been retained.

Mr MAC Sutton of Sutton’s tobacconists and confectioners in Regent Street said: “I am absolutely fed up with the coin. It is very difficult to distinguish it from the two shilling piece and it takes me longer to serve my customers.

“If no one used the coin at all then the Government would be forced to withdraw it, which in the circumstances might be a good thing.”

Mrs J Hobley, chief cashier at Sainsbury’s said: “I think the coin is confusing and our customers are certainly getting muddled with it. The girls at the checkouts seem to be managing fairly well, but we have had one customer who has refused to accept it.

Mr Frederick Kelly, manager at Priceright said he knew some people thought the coin’s value was 4s 2d.

Taxi driver Mr Arthur Memmory said the new coin was awkward to handle because of its size and will make a point of keeping them in a separate pocket so he can give change quickly.

October 20, 1994

Christmas lights in Rugby are gong to be the best ever this year, thanks to a £24,000 grant from the borough council.

A five-strong committee from the chamber of commerce has arranged for impressive lights featuring Christmas trees, stars and candles which will stretch across the main shopping areas, including Regent Street, Church Street, Albert Street, High Street, Lawrence Sheriff Street and Market Place.

The switch on will be by the mayor on Thursday, November 17 and traders are encouraged to stay open late that evening.