calculating money amount from 1960s
Thread poster: veratek

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 18:56
French to English
+ ...
May 29, 2011

Hi, sorry if I've asked this before, I did a search and couldn't find it. I would like to know how much a UK guinea (21 shillings) in the 1960s would be worth today.

Is there a site with conversion rates?

Thanks in advance,
Vera


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
In what currency? May 29, 2011

Are you referring to the relative value in today's terms in £ sterling, or some other currency?

I don't think there is any official exact 'conversion', the best you can probbaly do is base yourself on some kind of RPI or cost-of-living index.

FWIW, my personal rule-of-thumb guide, based on puely empirical observation, is that generally retail prices went up by about 20 × from 1970 to 1990 — but I think you could increase that figure enormously if you went back to 19
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Are you referring to the relative value in today's terms in £ sterling, or some other currency?

I don't think there is any official exact 'conversion', the best you can probbaly do is base yourself on some kind of RPI or cost-of-living index.

FWIW, my personal rule-of-thumb guide, based on puely empirical observation, is that generally retail prices went up by about 20 × from 1970 to 1990 — but I think you could increase that figure enormously if you went back to 1960!

In my home town, a bungalow that cost £600 when built in 1950 cost around £6,000 in 1965, and around £60,000 in 1985.
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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Some figures May 29, 2011

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tables_of_historical_exchange_rates_to_the_USD

Average income in the US 1960 was 5600 USD = 2000 GBP.


 

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 18:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
the source- John Wain's Hurry on Down May 29, 2011

I'm reading John Wain's "Hurry on Down." The main character ends up renting an abandoned shack for a Guinea a week. The characters comment that this is absolutely exorbitant. I wanted to have an idea just how exorbitant it was. There is no other mention of other rental figures for normal apartments or houses so far in the story.

there's a window cleaner who makes "six pound ten" a week - so that's about 25 pounds per month and a bit more than one Guinea?

main character
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I'm reading John Wain's "Hurry on Down." The main character ends up renting an abandoned shack for a Guinea a week. The characters comment that this is absolutely exorbitant. I wanted to have an idea just how exorbitant it was. There is no other mention of other rental figures for normal apartments or houses so far in the story.

there's a window cleaner who makes "six pound ten" a week - so that's about 25 pounds per month and a bit more than one Guinea?

main character borrows 5 pounds from an uncle, but it's something he would be able to pay back just by cleaning windows himself, so apparently no much.

he cleans the windows of a house for half an hour and gets paid 'seven and sixpence' - is that seven shillings then? seven what?

the rate paid for cleaning windows was 'about a sixpence a window.'

"bloody" money system...

wiki:
The sixpence, known colloquially as the tanner, or half-shilling, was a British pre-decimal coin, worth six (pre-1971) pence, or 1/40th of a pound sterling.

So he needed to clean 40 windows to earn a pound then?

Another character gets an allowance of '£2 10s a week' for two people. Is the "£2" = 2 British pounds? or is £ the symbol for Guinea? It doesn't make sense as far as I understand the story if it's pounds.

Book was published in the early 60s.
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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:56
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
conversions May 29, 2011

I've just come across this website:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/default2.asp
and it might be just what you're looking for.
It converts pounds, shillings and pence to the decimal system, and offers a conversion from year x to the present-day for buying-power calculations.


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
Russian to English
+ ...
In memoriam
Guinea abbreviation May 29, 2011

The abbreviation for guinea was gn., but they stopped issuing the coins in 1813. However, it continued to be used to price goods up to about the early 1950s because the stores thought that 100 guineas sounded less than £105. It only survives now in horse races named after their prizes nominated in guineas, e.g. the Thousand Guineas.

 

Clive Phillips  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
The joys of those pre-decimalisation days! May 29, 2011

Decimalisation of British currency was in 1971. One old penny equated to 0.416666 "new" penny.

In old money, pound is abbreviated to £, shilling is abbreviated to s and penny/pence is abbreviated to d.

12d = 1s. 20s = £1. The d comes from the initial letter of denarius (Latin for penny). The £ is an "l" which comes from the initial letter of librum (Latin for pound).

A guinea is one pound one shilling: £1-1s-0d. A guinea therefore equates to £1.05 in
... See more
Decimalisation of British currency was in 1971. One old penny equated to 0.416666 "new" penny.

In old money, pound is abbreviated to £, shilling is abbreviated to s and penny/pence is abbreviated to d.

12d = 1s. 20s = £1. The d comes from the initial letter of denarius (Latin for penny). The £ is an "l" which comes from the initial letter of librum (Latin for pound).

A guinea is one pound one shilling: £1-1s-0d. A guinea therefore equates to £1.05 in modern money. There was no symbol or banknote for a guinea. In a way it is rather like a baker's dozen (13 instead of 12).

Coins: a farthing (¼d, a quarter of a penny), a halfpenny (½d, a half of a penny and pronounced "haypenny"), a penny (1d), a threepence (3d, pronounced "threp-pence, the coin was called a threepenny (pron. "threp-penny") bit), a sixpence (colloquially known as a tanner, the coin was called a sixpenny bit), a shilling (1s), a florin (2s), a half-crown (2s-6d, sometimes colloquially known as "two and a kick"). There was no crown in the 1960s.

Notes: 10s, £1, £5, £10, £50, £100, etc.

£25 in old or modern money is therefore a lot more than a guinea!

"Seven and six" is seven shillings and sixpence: 7s-6d. Therefore 7s-6d is £0.375 in modern money. At 6d per window, he therefore cleans 15 windows in half an hour.

At 6d per window, he does indeed need to clean 40 windows to earn a pound, or 200 windows to pay back his uncle's loan of £5, or 260 windows to earn £6-10s per week..

An allowance of £2-10s per week for two people equates to £1.25 per person in modern money.



[Edited at 2011-05-29 23:01 GMT]
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Tony M
France
Local time: 21:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
Later still... May 30, 2011

Jack Doughty wrote:

However, it continued to be used to price goods up to about the early 1950s...


In fact, I can personally remember it's being used up till the late 60s, in fact I think it lingered on until decimalization finally put an end to it; the pricing technique then changed, with shops using £4.99 instead of £5, for example — just as before it might have been 19/11d instead of £1.

I like guineas, and think we should bring them back!


 

Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Guineas in the fifties and sixties May 30, 2011

Like Tony I have personal memories of the guinea.

When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s my dad, an artist, was always paid in guineas for his paintings. It always seemed dead posh to us kids. Never saw an actual guinea of course but those extra shillings must have come in handy.

What I really liked was half a crown. A big chunky coin that was really something when you were given one: two and sixpence! A mere 12 1/2 p in new money.


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Ten bob May 30, 2011

I remember that my mother, a keen swimmer, bribed her children with a prize of ten bob (10 shillings - 50 pence in today's money) when we could swim at least ten strokes unaided and unsupported. It worked - we all learned to swim quite early on.
I well remember the crumpled brown ten bob note I received. I used to like the two bob bit too (two shillings - also known as the florin). I don't know why a shilling was called a bob. Does anyone?
Jenny


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:56
Russian to English
+ ...
In memoriam
Earlier still... May 30, 2011

I can remember further back than Tony, to a time when when a farthing short of ten shilllings was routinely quoted as the price of a virtually 10s. article. This was nine shillings and eleven pence three farthings, and was known as "nine and eleven-three".

 

Daniel Grau  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
Here's an historic inflation calculator May 30, 2011

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/tools-and-calculators/calculators/article.html?in_article_id=443714&in_page_id=86

 

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
Farthings... May 30, 2011

Jack Doughty wrote:

I can remember further back than Tony...


Indeed, yes, I don't ever remember encountering that one, Jack!

But I do (just!) remember the farthing (¼d) — with the little Jenny Wren on it.

A ½ lb pot of Robertson's jam used to be 1/3¾d in the International Stores (remember them, with their 'Mitre' own brand?)

Ah me, happy childhood memories!


 

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 18:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you all! Jun 2, 2011

Clive Phillips wrote:

Decimalisation of British currency was in 1971. One old penny equated to 0.416666 "new" penny.

etc



[Edited at 2011-05-29 23:01 GMT]


Thank you so much for taking the time to post all this!

It was very helpful and I'm sure it will be for others too!

Thanks Emma and Daniel for the links!

I also found this one:
http://www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare/result.php

Now the rent amount seems to make more sense. Well, first I had memorized incorrectly when the book was first published, it's 1953. But for the remark to make sense about the guinea rent being exorbitant, this variable calculation using different measures seems to be more on target.

so for a month's rent: 4 guineas (if I understood correctly how much that is...)

In 2009, the relative worth of £4 4s 0d from 1953 is:

£87.30
using the retail price index

£91.60
using the GDP deflator

£252.00
using the average earnings

£280.00
using the per capita GDP

£342.00
using the share of GDP

£87 is pretty low, but £300 is a lot for dirt poor people. The girl gets an "allowance" of double that, so about £600, and they have to pay half for rent, which then is logical as being a great burden for small income levels.

On the other hand, if the window cleaner makes £25 per month, earning what would be today £1,500.00 is quite a lot! oh well...

In 2009, the relative worth of £25 0s 0d from 1953 is:

£520.00
using the retail price index

£545.00
using the GDP deflator

£1,500.00
using the average earnings

£1,670.00
using the per capita GDP

£2,040.00
using the share of GDP



[Edited at 2011-06-02 19:03 GMT]


 


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calculating money amount from 1960s

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