The Royal Mint has produced memory boxes for care homes containing shillings and other forms of old money as it marks the 50th anniversary of decimalisation.
The Mint is celebrating with a special Decimal Day 50p featuring ‘old money’ as well as launching the memory boxes to help people with dementia recall their memories of ‘the changeover’.
It has created 45 “museums in a box”, which are touring care homes to help people remember. Each box contains replica and original items from decimalisation – including pre-decimal coins, government posters, and newspapers from 1971.
Each object contains a micro-chip which, when placed on the box, plays audio clips and tells an aspect of the story of the changeover. It is hoped the boxes will provide a fun, stimulating activity for people who lived through the period, and an opportunity to talk about their memories.
The Royal Mint Museum is making the boxes available to care homes free of charge, with over 1000 sessions available to book in 2021. Each care home will receive a box for two weeks and they will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses.
Dr Kevin Clancy, director of The Royal Mint Museum, said: “We wanted to capture the nation’s experience of decimalisation, and provide an engaging activity for those who lived through it.
“Each box contains a collection of original and replica objects to bring back memories of decimalisation, and use the latest technology to ‘talk’ to residents. We hope the boxes will help people relive cherished memories, and bring a little fun during these tough times.”
By Alan Rustad.