Written by Rosa Lia.
There was music and drinking – all paid for in Bristol Pounds (turns out they run with Giff Gaff so I could TXT2PAY even without phone credit). The highlight song was the catchy number, “places you didn’t know you could spend your Bristol Pound”.
As it came to speech time Director Chris Sunderland began, “Last week’s been really interesting with the news about first bus accepting Bristol pounds and people being able to pay council tax in Bristol Pounds.” (cheers from a rowdy audience) “[Mayor] George [Ferguson] has been up in Birmingham today at a conference of 2000 people. And what did you say at the end George?”
He shouted out from the Bristolians, “I said the way to save your high streets is to have your own currency!”
Director Stephen Clarke who had been representing £B in Brussels enigmatically said, “We had great day.”
Chris carried on, “Bristol Pound has become strangely interesting all around the world actually, especially in Europe. People are very interested in this city that’s doing its own currency in days when our financial institutions are so rocky and here are some people doing something different with money, that’s more than money. It’s about building community and about supporting independent traders. We’re all proud to be part of it.”
Sarah Forrester-Wilson, the Community Engagement Manager gave her goodbyes as she’s leaving the team to travel, “It’s my last day today with the Bristol Pound. I’ve been with the Bristol Pound for two years now and it’s been an adventure. A real journey. Some of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’ve worked with the most motivated amazing people I think I’ll ever meet. People that really just their main drive is their values and their commitment to loving the land and the place they live.”
A Bristol Pound trader (ed. Nigel from Ranzo Cycles) cut the first slice of the birthday cake, chocolate, of course. And then there was a tango offering (a traditional Bristolian dance) from another Bristol Pound trader, Thomas from Tango Note.
Thank you to Mary Rose for organising! Happy first birthday Bristol Pound! Look forward to all the ones that follow…