The official unveiling of the exquisitely designed Stroud Pound will take place on Threadneedle Street, outside the offices of the Stroud Valleys Project and opposite Stroud’s very own Old Lady (Teashop) on Saturday 12th September at 10 am. Four denominations of Stroud Pound vouchers will then be available to exchange for sterling on a 1-to-1 basis.
The notes, designed by local artist Ronan Schoemaker and produced by local currency collector Steve Charlwood, are like miniature histories of the economic and cultural life of the Five Valleys. The most prominent local celebrity to feature is Laurie Lee, author of Cider with Rosie, who was born in Stroud and is buried in the Slad Valley. Local wildlife is represented by the rare Adonis Blue butterfly found on Minchinhampton Common. Stroud’s economic heritage is commemorated by the teazle itself, while the lawnmower, invented in Stroud, the green felt cloth that is still made in the town and Thomas the Tank Engine also feature.
Events will kick off at 10am, with a short presentation by Dr Peter North of Liverpool University, an international expert on local currencies. He will describe developments from Argentina to Japan, and link them to the history of radical economics in the UK. Then Molly Scott Cato of Stroud Pound Co-operative will introduce the currency and at around 10.15 the notes will be unveiled. Stroud pounds will be available for sale from 10.30 and 100 of them will be given away to random shoppers.
The Stroud Pound is an initiative of Stroud Pound Co-op Ltd, which grew out of Transition Stroud. It aims to:
• Retain more locally created economic values within the locality and prevent
leakage into the global economy, as happens with sterling exchanges;
• Increase and sustain local economic activity and help insulate Stroud’s
economy from the worst effects of Recession;
• Increase trade and support the creation of more jobs
• Help consumers identify which businesses support the local economy.
• (Reduce the length of supply chains for local consumers;)
• Stimulate greater local production