Only four months since it launched, the Bristol Pound is shining an international spotlight on the city! Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 reports that Bristol was the second most googled city in the UK in 2012 after London, whilst paper Bristol Pounds are being sent to collectors and museums all across the world.
The Bristol Pound online shop has sold over £10,000 worth of souvenir paper Bristol Pounds and merchandise. Mark Clarke, who runs the online shop said “It’s been crazy! We’ve taken orders from India, China, Ireland, Canada, America and Hong Kong. We’ve had multiple orders from home-sick Brits in Australia and I’ve had to ask a Russian friend to write out the addresses for orders to Russia”. The Bristol Pound is not-for-profit company meaning any money made from the shop is used to pay for the running of the scheme.
Last week China Central Television – the largest state television channel in China – interviewed Chris Sunderland, Director of the Bristol Pound, as well as some Bristol Pound traders, including the owner of Koolmami (see photo above). They were particularly concerned about the legality of the scheme, but the Bristol Pound team were quick to assure them that the scheme is completely legal and is compliant with existing financial regulations.
Last week Australia’s largest public Museum, The Museum Victoria based in Melborne, cataloged a souvenir set of Bristol Pounds in their History and Technology collection. Mike Lloyd-Jones, Trader manager for the Bristol Pound said “We were surprised to get their letter asking for permission to catalog the printed pounds. There’s a lot of international attention on Bristol at the moment, and that’s great to see!”
Ciaran Mundy, Director of the Bristol Pound said: “The Bristol Pound has received a lot of attention since it launched in September. If you like the scheme, come along and sign up for an account, it’s completely free and allows account holders to use the TXT2PAY system. We hold sign-up events every Wednesday lunch at the Corn Exchange. If you like the scheme, come along, sign up and get spending!”.
A museum closer to home, the M-shed, are also preparing to display the very first set of Bristol Pounds (serial no. 00000001) in their collection. George Ferguson presented Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth with the second set of Bristol Pounds (serial no. 0000002) while she lunched at the M-Shed in November. In a letter to George Ferguson, the Queen described the Bristol Paper Pounds as “a thoughtful gift”.
Other News: The latest businesses to sign-up for Bristol Pound trader accounts are; Vee Double Moo (Vintage Volkswagen ice cream van, serving locally made ice-cream), Cordial and Grace (Tea rooms & sewing café in Clifton Village), Scoopaway (the famous health food shop on Gloucester Rd) and Solar Sense UK (Renewable Energy Specialists, including supply, installations and consultation).