Where's one gone? Pensioner discovers new £5 note without Queen's head

By Jessica Labhart | Bilston | News | Published:

One wouldn’t believe it! It was an unexpected discovery when pensioner Ray Harris realised he had quite an unusual £5 note.

Ray Harris, from Bilston, with his five pound note which has the Queen’s head missing on the see-through window

Mr Harris, aged 80, of Bilston, realised his fiver was different from the others around six months ago.

He spotted the new note did not include the image of Her Majesty the Queen’s head on the small silvery paper where Big Ben stood.

On closer inspection, Mr Harris could see where the print had appeared to come off. Although initially the difference was not completely obvious, by comparing the note to others in his possession, Mr Harris realised its significance.

He said: “I can’t even remember where I got it from or what I bought to get it, but now I won’t spend it or give it away.

“I thought to myself, that’s got to be unusual. I thought the machine that prints them might have either just run over it or spat it out without printing the Queen’s face on. I don’t think it’ll be worth anything, but I think it’s quite special – well, to me it is anyway.”

Mr Harris says when he tells people about the note, they don’t believe him or see the difference initially.

He said: “People seem to not realise what the money in their pocket looks like.

“When I tell people, they think I mean the big Queen’s head on the main part of the note and not the smaller silver one. So I have to show them what a normal note looks like to demonstrate what my fiver hasn’t got.”


The former sheet metal worker says that if he discovers the fiver is worth anything he’d be happy to auction it off for charity. Otherwise he’ll ‘keep it as an anecdote’. He added: “If it is worth anything I’d be happy to know to raise a bit a money for a cancer charity, but otherwise, I’ll just keep it as an anecdote!”

The Bank of England today dismissed any suggestion the £5 note was defective because of a printing error – and said it is worth nothing more than face value.

A spokesman said: “It is more likely that the note has been damaged in some way and that is why the image appears to have been removed.”

Jessica Labhart

By Jessica Labhart

Reporter for the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton.


Top Stories


More from the Express & Star

UK & International News