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Milk Tokens

 The Co-op introduced tokens after WW1 as a means of allowing families to leave payment for their deliveries. The tokens were manufactured in the then novel material of plastic, in different colors. Some were wood depending on the regional CWS society in the UK.
You could purchase tokens in any Co-op store in different denominations from ¼d to 2/6d
Tokens offered advantages. Money left on doorsteps was liable to pilfering by children and the tokens were lighter than coins so the milk-man could collect them in his satchel without it becoming heavy. (Probably stopped pilfering by employees too, though that was never spoken of).
By the mid-seventies the use of tokens declined and indeed the competitors to CWS such as Millers Dairy in Carluke, would collect the weekly payments in cash on a Friday evening by using the employees carrying leather satchels going door-to-door. By then the payments were in the order of a few pounds so it was worthwhile doing so.

 

When was the End of the legal farthing ?
In 1953 a correspondent wrote to The Times that a bus conductor refused to accept eight farthings for a twopenny bus fare, and that a newspaper vendor had become abusive when offered six farthings for a newspaper. Although a subsequent letter pointed out that the farthing was still legal tender in sums up to one shilling, by 1956 it was apparent that due to inflation the farthing had outlived its usefulness, and minting ceased after that year. The farthing ceased to be legal tender after 31 December 1960.

The current (new) penny coin, which was introduced when decimalisation of British coinage took effect in 1971, is almost the same size as the last minted farthings, but at a hundred to the pound is nominally worth 9.6 times as much. However (as of 2010), inflation has given the new penny a purchasing power of less than half that of a farthing as it was on the eve of the latter's withdrawal in 1960.

 

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