Print

Fred Bowden interview: Money in those days



Pay was 2 shillings a day.

Well you used to pay in pennies. You’d spend a penny for a cup of tea. That’s what money was in those days. When I was demobbed, I was a full sergeant and my wages then was 10 and 6d a day. 10 and 6d a day, which was quite up from 14 shillings a week as a guardsman in 1940. 14 shillings at five pence a shilling -  70 pence. So penny for a cup of tea. You had to be careful. So anything that was going cheap we would latch on to.

Before the war, when I was on this farmer’s boy job, I used to come up to Swansea sometimes, cycle 10 miles to Swansea to go to the pictures. 9d, that’s right. My wages for this farm was 4 shillings a week. I used to give my mother 3 shillings for my keep, well she didn’t have to cook. I had two meals a day in this farm and the other shilling was my spending money which was 9d to go to the pictures and thruppence for a bar of chocolate on a Saturday. That’s how I spent it. Cycle into Swansea, 10 miles to go to the pictures with a shilling. 5p. That was it.