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Total commemorative banknotes issued is under 1,500 pieces. If you have achieved any figures close to this, then you are doing extremely well, as many of the older commemorative notes are hard to find even in poor conditions.

Opinion: Many collectors of commemorative banknotes would have come across with those Somaliland sets overprinted with gold and silver texts with the following wordings - 5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 [Sanad Gurade 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996]. I believe these are "home made" (or fake) and not authorised by the central bank. My argument is simple. No central bank would have issued an overprint commemorative banknote that the texts are so large that it would cover the two signatures on the note as well as part of the serial numbers. Even if these are genuine notes, then these could be issued as souvenir sheets and not as legal tender. As I said before, this is my opinion. If you have paid top dollars for these, please think about my argument. There is always a sucker around the corner, including me of course!

All comments are most welcome but it has to be subjects related to banknotes or banknotes collection. If not, it will not be approved. Thanks

01 May 2015

Scotland Clydesdale Bank - £5 Dated 2015 Polymer Note Commemorative

Five Pounds
Dated 13.02.2015
Five Pounds
Dated 13.2.2015, PB/2
This is a new £5 Commemorative Polymer note, issued to celebrate the 125th Year of the Forth Bridge in Scotland. The Forth (Rail) bridge was built in 1890 by Sir William Arrol (1839-1913), a Scottish Civil Engineer, under his company name of Sir William Arrol & Co, based in Glasgow. Allan Stewart was the resident engineer for this project. The bridge took 8 years to build and cost 73 lives, at a cost of approx. £3.2 million. The bridge, spans 2,528.7 meters long, connects the cities between Edinburgh and Fife and was opened on 4.3.1890 by the Prince of Wales, the late King Edward Vll. It should be noted that this Forth bridge is a railway bridge and was built solely for trains only, with daily traffic between 190-200 trains passing through the bridge. One must not confuse this bridge with the Forth Road Bridge (Suspension bridge built in 1964) which is a more modern bridge used by motor vehicles. In addition to the notes, the bank also released a booklet/wallet type detailing the history of this Forth bridge. The Forth Bridge is a Scottish landmark, and had been featured in classic movie (Alfred Hitchcock 1935 movie - The 39 Steps), advertisements, the 2000 Millennium countdown and even in video games. This is the first polymer note issued in Great Britain. A total of 2.0 million pieces issued. The size of this new polymer note (125mm x 65mm) is also smaller than the current paper £5 (135mm x 70mm) in circulation. However this is not the first polymer note issued in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (aka United Kingdom or Britain). In 1999, the then Northern Bank Ltd (now trading as Danske Bank) issued a £5 polymer note to celebrate the year 2000 Millennium. The Clydesdale Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Australia Banking Group (NAB Group) which has their Global Head Office in Melbourne Australia. Coincidentally right up to 2004, the Northern Bank in Northern Ireland was also owned by the NAB Group before it was sold. The 2007 Bank of Scotland Bridge series notes also feature the Forth bridge on the reverse side of the £20 note. This Clydesdale Bank polymer note was released on 23.03.2015. It is interesting to note that this new polymer note was printed with the date 13.02.2015, with the signature of the CEO David Thorburn. On 6.1.2015, David Thorburn resigned (stepping down) from the CEO role and his replacement, David Duffy, was announced on 19.1.2015. David Thorburn is not related to the current CEO of National Australia Bank Ltd, Andrew Thorburn.
Dated 2015, Replacement ZZ/1 000121
Folder Front Cover

News on announcing the printing and releasing of the new Scotland Polymer note (courtesy of The Guardian 22.05.2014); -

The first plastic banknotes in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) will be introduced in Scotland next year to mark the 125th anniversary of the Forth Bridge, Clydesdale Bank has announced.

The bank will release two million of the £5 notes from (23rd) March 2015 to coincide with the anniversary of the opening of the rail bridge.

Banks say that polymer notes are proven to be more durable than existing currency, with research finding that they stay cleaner for longer, are more difficult to counterfeit and last at least two-and-a-half times longer than paper ones.

The Bank of England plans to issue plastic notes for the first time in 2016.

The Clydesdale Bank note, which is smaller than the existing currency, also celebrates the nomination of the Forth Bridge for inclusion in Unesco's World Heritage List in 2014.

It features the image of Sir William Arrol, one of Scotland's most celebrated engineers, whose company constructed the bridge.

Debbie Crosbie, executive director at Clydesdale Bank, said: "Clydesdale Bank is very proud to commemorate the Forth Bridge on our new £5 note. The structure is renowned across the world as an incredible feat of engineering so it was a fitting choice for a ground-breaking new banknote."

The bank said it had not made a decision about introducing plastic notes generally.

It said the new note will include the Spark Orbital security feature – a distinctive colour-shifting ink effect – for the first time on UK currency.

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael MP said: "As this new note becomes part of everyday life in villages, towns, cities and communities across the country, it will serve as a fitting tribute to the vision of Sir William Arrol and all the people who have contributed to the building, maintenance and restoration of the bridge in its 124-year history."

In December 2013, the Bank of England announced that it plans to issue plastic banknotes for the first time from 2016, when a new £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill will appear.

A £10 note featuring Jane Austen, to follow around a year later, will also be made from polymer rather than the cotton paper currently used.

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