If one is looking for the ultimate Transition Town note, then the Totnes 1st issue has to be it. Referred to as the 'purple unicorn' of banknotes, there is none rarer.
300 of these notes were issued, most were used (written on), folded up and destroyed. Due to their large size, if they were kept at all, they were generally folded in half. The coating on the paper split and this has lead to the notes falling in half. This example (serial number 0168) has a pronounded crease across the middle and the coating on the reverse has split. However, it is still in one piece. There is also a mark on the note near the serial number (see pictures). But please tell us, where can you get a genuine Totnes 1st issue? ANSWER - HERE AT CURIOUS BANKNOTES! Click here for details.
Notable as the first transition town to issue its own banknote, the Totnes Pound led the way for all the others at its launch on Wednesday, 7 March 2007. Only advertised locally, this quiet presentation received almost no national coverage, unlike later unveilings of other currencies, which have featured in national media, receiving newspaper and TV coverage. Who could have guessed what might have followed on the back of a quiet midweek talk on local economics!
In the end, one hundred and sixty people gathered at the church for the evening. As the audience arrived, each was given one of the 'new' Totnes pounds – the first pilot of the first British 'toe-dipping' trial into the local currency world. Rob Hopkins, the impetus behind the transition movement, invited the audience to wave the notes in the air. As he says in his book, 'The Transition Handbook', that was quite a sight.
At the time, a mere 17 shops accepted the currency around the town. How the concept has grown nationally over the past twelve years! This first issue note was largely unseen by collectors until recently and has been likened to the 'purple unicorn' of the Transition Town money world.