This film is part of Free

Into Circulation

A lost £5 note does the rounds of various small businesses in East London until it is finally exposed as fake by its rightful owner.

Amateur film 1947 10 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


After a customer accidentally drops a £5 note in the pub, it embarks on a whistle-stop tour of local businesses. Passing through the hands of a tobacconist, a garage owner and even a dentist, it finally finds its way back to to the bar till. The customer rushes back to reclaim it, relieved that the fake note has not gone into circulation, unaware that it has kept the local economy going in the meantime. Filmed in Barkingside, Ilford, scenes feature local streets and businesses.

This film received the principal prize at the 1948 Scottish Amateur Festival. The 'White Fiver' was introduced by the Bank of England in 1793 and remained relatively unchanged until 1945, when a metal thread was introduced on the £5 note as a security feature. The printed black and white notes were replaced from 1957 onward by new, two-sided notes. This film is from the collection of Redbridge Museum, Local Studies and Archives.