A few weeks back we had an article about a visit to the vaults of the Charlotte Federal Reserve Branch. Here's an article published
today in The Telegraph about a visit to the vaults of the Bank of England. It's just an excerpt - be sure to read the complete
article online. -Editor
It’s the smell that hits you first. As the doors to the Bank of England’s lifts slide open, the underground corridor that greets you
doesn’t feel like it leads somewhere important.
It smells like old books, but this isn’t the Bank’s library.
Instead, we’re outside one of Threadneedle Street’s bank vaults.
The Bank houses eighteen of these strongrooms. Nine for gold, and nine for cash.
“We like to keep them equal,” says Ian Hann, the Bank’s vault manager.
As the door to one swings open, the reference to cages in the lift suddenly becomes clear.
Rows and rows fill the room, four levels high and packed full of brand new banknotes. The cages are identical, and most contain fifty
pound notes, £10m in each to be exact.
With at least ten cages in each row, it’s hard to stop thinking about what you could buy with all that money. “This one feels quite
empty,” says Cleland. “I’ve been in some rooms where you can hardly walk."
"Earlier this year this room was full," Hann adds. “We’ve had nearly 900 cages in here."
The Telegraph was granted special access. Another request came from Mark Carney himself, with the Governor taking advantage of one of
the more unusual perks of the job.
There’s a reason for the interest. At 12:01am on Tuesday, shops and banks will start to distribute a new £5 note from their tills and
ATMs when the Bank launches the new fiver.
The new note is 15pc smaller than the current one, and will feature Sir Winston Churchill, the former prime minister, who replaces
prison reformer Elizabeth Fry.
The oldest "running cash" note from 1697 is pictured alongside the new plastic £5 note at the Bank of England
To read the complete article, see:
Inside the Bank of
England's vaults: can cash survive?
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
A VISIT TO THE CHARLOTTE FEDERAL RESERVE BRANCH
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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