London Lantern

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The Pound In Your Pocket

06/04/2008, By

Reader Rating: 2.8 from 1344 votes


A new, free exhibition at the Bank of England Museum tackles the topic of inflation with a series of interactive exhibits. The new exhibition The Pound In Your Pocket runs from 17th April to 31st October. The centrepiece of the exhibition allows visitors to take the controls of a balloon and charter it on a stable course to simulate the role of the Bank in keeping inflation steady.

During the flight a screen plots the course of the balloon as it is pushed up and down by unexpected changes in conditions. Visitors can increase or decrease the air in the balloon to keep it flying at the right height, in the same way that the Bank of England raises or lowers Bank Rate to keep inflation on target.

A combination of interactives - large-scale jigsaws, a safe to be cracked, a rollerball game, quizzes and touch-screens - unravel the meaning of inflation, how it is caused, why it matters and how the Bank’s actions affect it. Original objects from the Bank’s collections illustrate important events in the history of inflation. These include Roman gold bars illustrating the first period of inflation in Ancient Rome, 18th century cartoons commenting on inflation and examples of English coinage being debased, with sterling silver coins diminishing in size from the Norman Penny to a Charles II penny.

John Keyworth, Museum Curator, said ‘Inflation is a subject that is important to us all. This exhibition tackles the subject in a practical and fun way and should surprise people with an array of things to see and do.’

Sitting within the historic Bank of England building in Threadneedle Street in the heart of the City of London, the Bank of England Museum tells the story of the Bank from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the United Kingdom's central bank.

The permanent Museum displays include material drawn from the Bank's own collections of silver, prints, paintings, banknotes, coin, photographs books, and other historic documents. Exhibits include Roman and modern gold bars, examples of the world’s earliest coins and pikes and muskets once used to defend the Bank. Computer technology and audio visual displays explain the Bank's present day role.

17th April to 31st October
Bank of England Museum
Bartholomew Lane
just off Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH
+44 (0)20 7601 5545
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm, Monday to Friday
Closed Public and Bank Holidays.
Admission to the Museum, its exhibitions and events is free of charge

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