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The new five pound note is an indestructible super-note

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David Cornish
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Pop quiz: without getting one out of your wallet, who is on the current five pound note?

Struggling? So were we. It's Elizabeth Fry, heroic reformer of English prisons.

Next up - who will be on the new, polymer-printed, tough as old leather, five pound note that's just been shown off by the Bank of England

Winston bloody Churchill, obviously. 

The new fiver is essentially a super-note: that polymer plastic might feel weird at first, but it's expected to last two and a half times longer than the current paper build. It's resistant to dirt, water - and, as the official press shots demonstrate, tea - and can be bent, folded and scrunched. 

While Churchill will also be stronger than Stephenson, he's also more secure. New security features include a see-through window and a foil Elizabeth Tower - gold on the front of the note and silver on the back. 

The Bank of England has already printed 440 million of the new notes (£2.2 billion), set to enter circulation from 13 September. The old notes will gradually be taken out of the public's grubby hands after the launch of the new note, until they cease to be legal tender from May 2017. 

If the new fiver is making you want to spit tea all over your monitor, best gird your loins: the new polymer £10 note will appear in the summer of 2017 featuring Jane Austen along with a new multifaceted £1 coin, while a polymer £20 note goes into circulation in 2020 with JMW Turner on it.

We're already bracing ourselves for the first "we prefer the old money" petition to hit the Parliament Petition website. You know it's going to happen. We'd put our money where our mouth is, but it's pretty grubby.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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