Mint condition . . . our revived economy and a Walsall lad who’s done us proud
I may have my own designs on bringing greater prosperity to the people of Walsall South if I’m fortunate enough to win the favour of its electorate at the general election on May 7.
But I’m not in the same league as David Pearce, a Walsall teenager who’s won the admiration of none other than Chancellor George Osborne.
Our Treasury boss praised David – a 15-year-old pupil at Queen Mary’s Grammar School during his Budget speech to the Commons.
Why? Because David showed that when it comes to having “designs on something” – he’s pound for pound Mister Mint.
For the teenager beat off fierce competition from more than 6,000 entries in a public competition, organised by the Royal Mint on behalf of the Treasury, to design the ‘tails’ side of the new £1 coin.
David took a surprise telephone call from the Chancellor earlier this week and was taken to a special ceremony in Downing Street to commemorate his success.
David’s design takes in four well known symbols of the UK with a rose, leek, thistle and shamrock emerging from a royal coronet. It will now be taken forward to be struck on to the new £1 coin being introduced in 2017.
The £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in more than 30 years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.
The new coin, which was announced by the Chancellor at last year’s Budget, will have the same shape as the old 12-sided ‘threepenny bit’ and will be the most secure coin in circulation in the world with features including a dual-colour bi-metallic construction and the inclusion of the Royal Mint’s new anti-counterfeiting technology, which can be authenticated by high-speed automated detection.
The Chancellor said: “Designing the new £1 coin was a brilliant opportunity to leave a lasting legacy on what will be the most secure coin in circulation anywhere.
“The competition captured the imagination of thousands of people and David Pearce’s winning design will be recognised by millions in the years ahead.”
David said he heard about the contest from his design teacher at school and had “nothing to lose”, so decided to enter. He added: “I was really excited to hear that I’d won the competition but hugely shocked as well.”
I say . . . well done David, you’ve done Walsall proud while the Chancellor has revived our economy since 2010.