"Oh yes, I like them. They are so much more hygienic,” says Elizabeth Dillon, stroking something that looks very much like a £10 note. “It feels lovely and clean.” The 77-year-old is one of the very first members of the public to get her hands on the Bank of England’s prototype banknotes, which look nearly identical to the existing ones but are made of plastic.
The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street has gone on a roadshow. Yesterday marked the first day of her two-month national tour, when Bank officials set up a little stall in the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford.