Why it’s time you started spending your old £5 notes

Picture: Bank of England
Picture: Bank of England
Dr Penelope Gordon with her husban Lionel Jarvis. Penelope has written a book on her time working in Doha. She is also a yachtswoman and saxophonist.   Picture: Duncan Shepherd (180097-009)

REAL LIFE: Dr Penelope writes about her Middle Eastern adventure

Have your say

Got any paper £5 notes that you’ve been hanging on to? It’s time to get them spent ...

The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of the paper £5 note, featuring Elizabeth Fry, on May 5 - and is encouraging anyone who still has one of the notes to spend them over the next month.

More than 50% of all Fry fivers have already been returned to the Bank to be destroyed but there are still around 160 million notes left in circulation.

After May 5, retailers and the public no longer have to accept the paper £5 note as payment or in change and the new polymer note featuring Sir Winston Churchill will be the only £5 note with legal tender status.

Some banks and building societies may accept paper £5 notes after that date, but it is at their own discretion. You can still get them exchanged for the polymer notes by the Bank of England at any time.

The new polymer £5 note was first issued in September last year.