An attend for the new 50p in the Guardian, 14 October 1969. Photograph: The Guardian The 50p mint was worth a bunch then – indeed, more than any coin in circulation now. In real number terms it was worth the equivalent of equitable over £8. Fifty years on, particularly after rampaging inflation in the 1970s, the 50p is a shadow of its erstwhile self – it has shrunk in size and weight, but above all in value. Today ’ s 50p now only has the buying office of the old “ tanner ” – the humble 6d piece. back then, when liquor was relatively cheap, it truly was possible to go for a night out and still have change from 50p. A 50p slice in 1969 could buy you three pints of balmy or acrimonious ( priced about two shillings, equal to 10p ) while a tube fare on the newly opened Victoria course in London cost fair 5d ( 2.2p ). You ’ d still have enough left to buy a part of chips and a copy of the Guardian, then priced at 6d ( 2.5p ). But what do these figures mean in real terms ? inflation since 1969 has been an amaze 1,554 %, with the fast-rising “ cost of living ” already a major headache for the politics at the end of the 1960s. But incomes have besides kept pace, rising moderately for men since then, but spectacularly for women. Are we much better off than 50 years ago ? defender Money searched prices of goods in 1969 and compared them with today. This shows that in real number terms, food, clothes, electric goods and holidays have collapsed in price and we can afford much more. But there has been a huge proportional increase in the price of house . Queen Elizabeth II travels on a tube gearing after the official hatchway of the Victoria line in March 1969. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images
What is extraordinary about the wages data from the late 1960s is the huge break between men and women. The ONS New Earnings Survey unfortunately gives no figures for 1969, but for 1970 it shows that the median full-time male actor was paid £30 a workweek, while a female full-time worker earned barely £16.30. per annum, that worked out at £1,560 for men, which is equal to £24,050 nowadays, but only £847.60 for women, equal to £13,068 nowadays. The figures suggest that real number pay for the average male has risen by about a third base over the last 50 years, but for women it has doubled. These figures, though, need to be taken with a large crimp of salt : they are averages, not the medial calculate, and reflect megascopic earnings rather than take-home pay after tax. A expect through the Guardian ’ s relegate job adverts on the day the 50p was launched gives a snapshot of what real jobs paid. The Open University, which had equitable been established, was hiring professors at £3,780 a year ( equal to £62,532 today ), lecturers on a roll of £1,240 to £2,850 ( £20,153-£47,147 ), and secretaries on £756-£1,068 ( £12,506-£17,668 ). The Open University is still hiring – and its adverts suggest that real give for academics has barely edged ahead in 50 years. It presently has an allude for a professor of economics on a image of £67,700-£75,800, while it pays lecturers £33,000 to £49,000. But the secretary job pays lot more in today ’ randomness money, with the OU advertising a character at £23,000 to £26,000. rampant sexism was a staple for job adverts in 1969, even in the Guardian. On that day, we carried an attend for a force officeholder at a newly Courtaulds textile factory in Skelmersdale. The ad specified it had to be a man because Courtaulds was expanding its all-male labor force from 400 men to 1,200 men . A Ford Capri monetary value £890 in 1969 – the equivalent of £14,723 today adjusted for inflation. Photograph: Alamy
In actual terms, house prices in 1969 were just a third of their level nowadays. The average family sold for £4,312 – equal to £71,333 in today ’ sulfur money, which would not tied buy you a garage in northwest London. however, if you look at the monthly cost of buying a home rather than the purchase price, the remainder is not therefore large. In October 1969 the Building Societies Association recommended mortgage interest rate was 8.5 %, while today loans can be found for below 2 %. Women in 1969 were besides treated as second-class borrowers, with the widespread impression that a male signee ( conserve or church father ) was required as a guarantor .
Food and clothes
One reason house prices were lower was that we all had less spare money to spend after buying food. Chicken was about three times the price we pay today, while bread, eggs, chocolate and sugar were approximately double the prices in supermarkets today. But comparing like with like is made tough by the change in weights and measures since 1969, as Britain went metric unit in the 1970s. What we are eating has besides changed. While gripe brisket, lunch meat, dried prunes and corned gripe appear in the ONS data for 1969, it ’ s not until 1996 that prices of avocado and grapes were collected. And blink of an eye coffee appears to have been a thoroughly modern newfangled thing in 1969, having appeared in the ONS data for the first prison term a class earlier. Clothes have besides dramatically fallen in price in real terms since 1969. We were unable to obtain like-for-like prices of goods from then, but the fashion page of the defender that day gives an indication. We featured a black-and-white wool coat at £34 in Debenhams – equal to £562 nowadays – and a men ’ s sheepskin coat at 38 guineas, peer to £662 today. Of the 670 coats in Debenhams ’ on-line memory today, the most expensive is £349 .
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Des O ’ Connor was one of the stars that viewers in 1969 could watch on their fresh semblance television receiver. Photograph: David Farrell/Redferns
Electrical and household goods
The Guardian of 14 October 1969 carried a fib in the business pages on a major discovery for Granada Rentals – it would offer a coloring material television for a lease of equitable £1 a week. That ’ sulfur equal to £865 a class in today ’ second money, but all you got was one channel in color ( BBC2 ) while the other two channels, BBC1 and ITV, still broadcast in black and blank. Renting, even at those prices, was the lone choice for most people because color television receiver sets cost astronomic prices. Our report said that a 19-inch set cost 199 guineas – about £4,000 in nowadays ’ s money – at Currys, and Dennis Curry was reporting that sales had been “ rather restrained ”. The Granada Rentals distribute was for an 11-inch television receiver adjust. not that there was a draw to watch in color. Broadcasting on BBC2 began at 7pm that flush, with rugby league coverage of Hull five Wigan the primetime offer. only half of Britain ’ s homes owned a refrigerator in 1969, dishwashers were about unheard of, and microwaves were in only a bantam number of homes. And without the likes of Ikea, home furnishings price far more in real terms then than they do nowadays .
Culture and going out
If you fancy going to see Fiddler on the Roof, now on at London ’ south Playhouse field, seat prices for a typical October matinee compass from £20 to £145. Back in 1969, an allude in the Guardian showed that Fiddler on the Roof was besides playing, but at Her Majesty ’ randomness field. And the prices ? There was a special propose of Wednesday matinees at 5s to 25s – or 25p to £1.25. Adjusting for inflation, that means seats were going for precisely £4 to a top price of £20. West End dramaturgy appears to have quadrupled in price in real terms since the 1960s . A pint of Guinness cost equitable 9p in 1969. Photograph: Paul Mcerlane/Reuters In Oxford, the Sadler ’ s Wells opera was on tour, charging from 6/ to 22/6 ( 30p to £1.12 ) to see Madam Butterfly at the Playhouse. That ’ south equal to £4.80 to £18.50 today. Currently Macbeth is booking at the Playhouse, priced at £10 to £30, so real number prices appear to have doubled. In the public house, we found Guinness at 1/9d ( 9p ), and meek and bitter at 10p. Adjusted for today, beer prices have doubled in real terms. Mateus Rosé was the most democratic wine in the world then : the Queen drink it, and Jimi Hendrix was photographed swigging it out of the bottle. How time exchange .
How prices have changed
Item Price in 1969 Price adjusted for inflation Actual price today
Average wage ( male, full time ) £1,560 £24,050 £31,834
Average engage ( female, wax time ) £847 £13,068 £26,103
Average firm price £4,312 £71,333 £215,910
New cable car ( Mini Mk II ) £595.10s.0d £9,860 £16,195 ( Mini 3dr hatch )
New car ( Ford Capri ) £890 £14,723 £22,160 ( Ford Fiesta ST )
Petrol ( liter ) 7.3p 120p 128p
Fresh whole chicken 41p £6.80 £2.80
Loaf of white bread 8p £1.32 59p
Bag of boodle 8p £1.32 69p
Milk ( one pint ) 4.4p 73p 50p
Eggs ( twelve, bombastic ) 20.2p £3.34 £1.89
Instant coffee 21.8p £3.60 £1.89
Pint of bitter 10p £1.65 £3.70
Colour television ( 19 column inch ) £240 £3,970 £99
Package vacation ( two weeks Benidorm, August, pp ) £78 £1,290 £950
Flight ( London to Tokyo, economy ) £325 £5,376 £900
First-class cast 2.2p 36.5p 70p
Tube fare ( one mile ) 2.2p 36.5p £2.40
Electricity ( per kwh ) 0.78p 12.9p 14.4p Notes : House monetary value data from Nationwide build up club. Wage data from ONS New Earnings Survey ( 1970 – figures for 1969 unavailable ) and Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings ( ASHE ) ( 2019 ). food prices from ONS 1914-2004 series, prices today taken from current Tesco web site .
Is your 50p worth a mint?
There is one 50p coin possibly jangling in your pocket today that is worth a bunch more than its grimace value. But it ’ s not the first interpretation of the coin minted in 1969 . The 2009 Kew Gardens 50p is a collector ’ mho detail due to its gloomy coinage of 210,000. Photograph: Royal Mint/PA The Royal Mint puts 120m new 50p coins into circulation on 14 October 1969, which at the time was the biggest ever issue of a new mint – giving it about zero rarity prize. On eBay, 1969 50p coins can be bought for arsenic fiddling as 75p. Given that 50 years ago the 50p mint had the buying exponent of £8 nowadays, it has been a pretty poor people investment. The 50p coin to watch out for is the more late 2009 issue that carries a video of Kew Gardens on the inverse. precisely 210,000 of the coins were minted to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens, compared with 19.9m Peter Rabbit 50p coins death year. According to coin dealers, the Kew Gardens 50p coins can fetch £70-£80. But, beware, there are two types – the “ circulated ” one is much rarer than the shinier “ uncirculated ” coins, which alone pick up about £10-£20 on eBay. Keep an eye out for the 50p coins issued to celebrate the London Olympics in 2012. Dominic Chorney at coin dealers Baldwin ’ south says some are deserving £3-£4, depending on the fun featured .
A 50p mint showing Olympic discipline basketball produced by the Royal Mint in 2012. Photograph: Royal Mint/EPA Chorney adds that despite the move towards a cashless club – the Royal Mint did not produce any 1p or 2p coins last class, neither did it make any new £2 coins – coin collect remains popular, with criminal record prices at auction for the rarest items. In January this year, a five guinea “ Vigo ” ’ mint minted in 1703 fetched the highest price always paid for a british coin. It sold at Baldwin ’ sulfur auction in New York for $ 1.08m ( £876,000 ) .
Category : Finance
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