The New £20 and £50 Banknotes Featuring Local Characters

Teddington and Twickenham have acquired a very modern-day link established by the Bank of England, after the introduction of a new method of selecting its bank note characters in 2014. A Bank Note Advisory Committee selects a field to be represented and then invites specialists in that field to join the committee. The public is then asked to nominate a character from the chosen field.

On 20th February, the new £20 polymer bank note was introduced. The artist and landscape painter JMW Turner was selected. Turner designed and lived in Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham for 12 years .The artist’s self portrait is featured against a backdrop showing his famous painting of HMS Temeraire, which fought with Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. “The Fighting Temeraire” was voted the nations favourite painting in a poll organised by BBC Radio 4 in 2005.

In 2021, we will see the introduction of the £50 polymer note. It features a notable scientific hero Alan Turing. He is well known for cracking the Enigma Code during WW2. This remarkable bit of work enabled the deciphering of German codes and turned the tide of war in favour of the Allies. After the war, Turing worked at the NPL in Teddington. He is attributed to conceiving the idea of the modern day computer with his automatic computing engine called ACE and he also believed in Artificial Intelligence. His picture appears on the front of the new £50 note against a backdrop of computer coding.

Turner’s House Trust have been working with the Bank of England to support the issue of the new note this year by organising a programme of events throughout 2020. Turner’s House, Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycoombe Road,

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Written by Jacqui Kerr. Jacqui works as a broadcast journalist for Radio Jackie in Tolworth.

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