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8 April 2014
This is a discussion about old money or Imperial money as they used to call it.

In my book two of the pilots have a wager originally they bet £5.  A harmless amount in today's money, not much more than a pint in London today.

Before I go on maybe I should recap how Imperial money worked:

2 Farthings = 1 Ha'Pennie (1/2 Penny)
4 Farthings = 1 Penny
2 Ha'Pennies = 1 Penny
12 Pennies = 1 Shilling
240 Pennies = 1 Pound
20 Shillings = 1 Pound
21 Shillings = 1 Guinea
2 Shillings = 1 Florin
2 Shillings and 6 Pence = Half a Crown 
5 Shillings =  1 Crown

So that aside lets look a wages:


Marius Kowalski is making the bet; he is a 19 year old, son of Polish Immigrant Parents, and holds the rank of Pilot Officer.

So in he would have been earning £237 a year.  That's £19 14 shillings 6 pence a month.

Taking it one step further that's £4 10 shillings and change a week.

So a £5 bet was more than a weeks wages!  You are now starting to realise my mistake I hope.

A pilot officer currently earns £24,615.

That's £2051.25 a week.

So that £5 bet would be worth more than £2000 in today's money!

Just another thing you have to be careful of when writing in an historical setting even if what you are writing is Fantasy.

Oh what did I change it too?  Marius declares he has a 10 bob note in his wallet.


Still a lot of money but a lot less than 5 pounds.

Phil

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