New £50 note Unveiled

Written by on 25th March 2021

The Bank of England has unveiled the design of the new £50 banknote, which celebrates mathematician Alan Turing.

Mr Turing helped Britain win World War Two with his code-breaking skills and the note features an image of Turing, and mathematical formulae from a 1936 paper he wrote that laid the groundwork for modern computer science, and technical drawings for the machines used to decipher the Enigma code.

It also features one of his quotes about the rise of machine intelligence: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”
The note will be released for public use on 23 June this year, which coincides with the day Mr Turing was born in 1912.
Its security features include two windows and two-colour foil which, like the £20, are intended to make it difficult to counterfeit.

There is also a hologram image which changes between the words ‘Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’ when tilting the note from side to side.
The polymer £50 note will join the Churchill £5, the Austen £10 and the Turner £20, meaning all Bank of England banknotes are now available in polymer.
Current £50 notes can continue to be used and the BoE will give at least six months’ notice of the date when they will be withdrawn.

The Bank’s governor Andrew Bailey said: “There’s something of the character of a nation in its money, and we are right to consider and celebrate the people on our banknotes, so I’m delighted that our new £50 features one of Britain’s most important scientists, Alan Turing.
“Turing is best known for his codebreaking work at Bletchley Park, which helped end the Second World War.
“However in addition he was a leading mathematician, developmental biologist, and a pioneer in the field of computer science. He was also gay, and was treated appallingly as a result.
“By placing him on our new polymer £50 banknote, we are celebrating his achievements, and the values he symbolises”.


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