By Tara Rippin • 25 March 2021 • 17:56
CREDIT: Bank of England
New £50 banknote featuring WWII codebreaker Alan Turing is unveiled.
FOLLOWING its public unveil by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey today, Thursday, March 25, the polymer £50 will be issued for the first time on June 23, 2021, to coincide with scientist Turing’s birthday.
The Governor said: “There’s something of the character of a nation in its money, and we are right to consider and celebrate the people on our banknotes. So I’m delighted that our new £50 features one of Britain’s most important scientists, Alan Turing.
Turing is best known for his codebreaking work at Bletchley Park, which helped end the Second World War.
“However in addition he was a leading mathematician, developmental biologist, and a pioneer in the field of computer science. He was also gay, and was treated appallingly as a result. By placing him on our new polymer £50 banknote, we are celebrating his achievements, and the values he symbolises,” added Bailey.
The note contains advanced security features, and like the £20, incorporates two windows and a two-colour foil, making it very difficult to counterfeit.
There is also a hologram image which changes between the words ‘Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’ when tilting the note from side to side.
The notes last longer than paper notes and will contain a tactile feature to help vision impaired people identify the denomination.
Director of the Government Communications HQ (GCHQ) Jeremy Fleming said: “Alan Turing’s appearance on the £50 note is a landmark moment in our history. Not only is it a celebration of his scientific genius which helped to shorten the war and influence the technology we still use today, it also confirms his status as one of the most iconic LGBT+ figures in the world.
“Turing was embraced for his brilliance and persecuted for being gay. His legacy is a reminder of the value of embracing all aspects of diversity, but also the work we still need to do to become truly inclusive.”
The public can continue to use paper £50 notes as usual, and notice will be given at least six months ahead of the date when the old paper version is withdrawn.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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