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5 Pounds Sterling 2016, Kingdom of Great Britain

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 27.10.2016
Edition: --
Signatures: Group chief executive: Mr. Ross McEwan
Serie: Scotland
Specimen of: 2016
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 125 x 65
Printer: De la Rue currency,Loughton

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Pounds Sterling 2016




New emblem of the Bank, an inscription (vertically) - FIVE5 and transparent denomination in numeral - 5.

The new emblem of RBS.

The RBS Group uses branding developed for the Bank on its merger with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland in 1969. The Group's logo takes the form of an abstract symbol of four inward-pointing arrows known as the "Daisy Wheel" and is based on an arrangement of 36 piles of coins in a 6 by 6 square,representing "the accumulation and concentration of wealth by the Group".


5 Pounds Sterling 2016

5 pnd 2016 Royal Bank of Scotland plc

The engraving on banknote is made after this photo of Nan Shephard, when she was a student in Aberdeen university. She graduated at 1915, though, the photo could be dated as between 1913 and 1914.

Nan (Anna) Shepherd (11 February 1893 – 23 February 1981) was a Scottish novelist and poet. She was an early Scottish Modernist writer, who wrote three standalone novels set in small, fictional, communities in North Scotland. The Scottish landscape and weather played a major role in her novels and were the focus of her poetry. Shepherd also wrote one non-fiction book on hill walking, based on her experiences walking in the Cairngorms. Shepherd was a lecturer of English at the Aberdeen College of Education for most of her working life.

Anna Shepherd was born on 11 February 1893 in Peterculter to John and Jane Shepherd. Her family moved to Cults shortly after Nan was born, to the house where she lived for most of her life. She attended Aberdeen High School for Girls and graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1915, subsequently lecturing for the Aberdeen College of Education.

Shepherd retired from teaching in 1956. Following her retirement, she edited the Aberdeen University review until 1963. The university awarded her an honorary doctorate in 1964.

She was a friend and supporter of other Scottish writers including Neil M. Gunn, Marion Angus and Jessie Kesson.

She died in Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen in 1981.

Centered, at the bottom, the note features a quote from the author’s first novel, "The Quarry Wood", finished in 1928 - “It’s a grand thing to get leave to live”.

Above it, are another quote from her meditation on the Scottish landscape, "The Living Mountain", finished in 1940s, but not published till 1977: “But the struggle between frost and the force in running water is not quickly over. The battle fluctuates, and at the point of fluctuation between the motion in water and the immobility of frost, strange and beautiful forms are evolved.”

5 pnd 2016 Royal Bank of Scotland plc

On background are The Cairngorms. On banknote used photo by Ruari MacDonald.

The Cairngorms are a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland closely associated with the mountain of the same name - Cairn Gorm.

The Cairngorms are among the wildest landscapes in the British Isles but a long-forgotten literary masterpiece challenges the ways in which mountains should be viewed.

Hundreds of books have been written about mountains, mostly by men.

The goal of reaching the summit and the language of conquest and victory have been ever-present in works about mountain regions.

5 pnd 2016 Royal Bank of Scotland plc 5 pnd 2016 Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Award-winning nature writer Robert Macfarlane says his vision of the Cairngorms was radically altered when he read Nan Shepherd's poetic and philosophical journey "into" the mountains.

Her book, The Living Mountain, was written during World War II but was not published until 1977.

In more recent years she has found a new generation of readers, helped by its inclusion in Canongate's "Canons" series.

Macfarlane says Nan Shepherd was in love with what she called the "tang" of height.

She wrote: "Summer on the high plateau can be as delectable as honey; it can also be a roaring scourge.

"To those who love the place, both are good, since both are part of its essential nature. And it is to know its essential nature that I am seeking here."

According to Macfarlane, two beautiful ideas emerge from Nan Shepherd's book.

The first is that we should not walk "up" a mountain but "into" them, thus exploring ourselves as well as them.

She wrote: "Beginners want the startling view, the horrid pinnacle, sips of beer and tea, instead of milk."

Like her fellow Scot, the environmentalist John Muir, she believed "going out" was actually "going in".

Secondly, Macfarlane says Shepherd "abandons the summit as the organising principle of a mountain".

As Nan goes "stravaigin" about the mountain she explores it in minute detail, describing herself as "a peerer into nooks and crannies".

Shepherd wrote: "Often the mountain gives itself most completely when I have no destination but have gone out merely to be with the mountain as one visits a friend, with no intention but to be with him."

Nan Shepherd was born in the village of Cults on the outskirts of Aberdeen in 1893. She lived in the same house for 87 years. (BBC)

color palette

On banknote are used the Colour palettes, developed by Donna Wilson.

tweed pattern

On banknote are Bespoke tweed pattern - Herringbone, developed by tweed designers Elspeth Anderson and Alistair McDade.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners, in words on top, centered.


5 Pounds Sterling 2016

The £5 mackerel represents the sea and the fishing communities.

Sorley MacLean

The reverse of the £5 note features an excerpt from Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean’s poem "The Choice" - "Choisich mi cuide ri mo thuigse a-muigh ri taobh a’chuain", which translates into English as “I walked with my reason, out beside the sea” (visible in UV light on banknote). Calligraphy by Susi Leiper.

Scottish Secretary Hand

On banknote are Scottish Secretary Hand and Scotch Modern typefaces.

Scottish Secretary Hand is a style of writing employed in Scottish offices during the XVI and XVII Centuries, replacing the previously dominant "book hand" as a more

legible, faster written style better suited to the growth of national and international communication in business and law.

Scotch Modern typefaces emerge as a distinctive typographic form from Scottish type-foundries of the late XVIII / early XIX Century. In style they are rational, logical

and practical whilst also expressing great personality and character. Scotch modern types found success in the UK but with their introduction to America, at a time

of dramatic growth in mass literacy, they became highly influential at an international level.

Each note in this polymer series also will feature a midge, to “represent the reality of everyday living in the Scottish countryside”, according to RBS. “It’s a reminder that Scottish nature nips us as well as thrills people”.

At 5 pounds banknote are the couple of Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus). The choice of fish is not accidental - it is an important part of Scottish seafood exports.

5 pnd 2016 Royal Bank of Scotland plc

The Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a pelagic schooling species of mackerel found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. The species is also called Boston mackerel, or just mackerel.

The Atlantic mackerel is by far the most common of the 10 species of the family caught in British waters. It is extremely common in huge shoals migrating towards the coast to feed on small fish and prawns during the summer.

Abundant in cold and temperate shelf areas, it forms large schools near the surface. They overwinter in deeper waters but move closer to shore in spring when water temperatures range between 11 and 14 °C (52 and 57 °F).

It is found in the north-east Atlantic: North Sea (east) and British Isles (west). The North Sea stock decreased dramatically in the 1960s because of direct overfishing.

Male and female Atlantic mackerel grow at about the same rate, reaching a maximum age of about 20 years and a maximum fork length around 47 cm. (19 in.). Most Atlantic mackerel are sexually mature by the age of three years. Atlantic mackerel are sought after for food either cooked or as sashimi and consist mostly of red meat with a strong taste desirable to some consumers. The fish is extremely high in vitamin B12 as well as omega 3 (a class of fatty acids) and contains nearly twice as much of the latter per unit weight as salmon. Unlike the King and Spanish species, Northern Atlantic mackerel are very low in mercury, and can be eaten at least twice a week according to EPA guidelines.

Ísatis tinctória Ísatis tinctória

On banknote, on reverse and obverse, are The woad (Ísatis tinctória).

Woad, Isatis Tinctoria, is not native to the UK but was an imported crop, grown in both Scotland and England. It was used to create a blue dye for wool and may have created the colour of the famous Tam O Shanter - the hat worn by the hero of the eponymous poem.

"The blue of woad is different from the blue of indigo. It’s warmer and more luminous. When indigo items are dyed pale blue, they can seem under-dyed; with woad you can get a gorgeous pale blue that seems like a real color and not a wash. Woad also has a teal undertone to my eye. It was easy to get an even colour, but it always remains a vibrant blue with no black overcast."

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners, in words - on top.


RBS board chair Malcolm Buchanan said the bank had “never before featured a woman on its main issue bank notes” and that the new issues celebrated “the fantastic, and often overlooked, achievements of two great Scottish women”.

The fish were illustrated by Glasgow artist and Stuco Design studio owner Stuart Kerr - the only trouble is he suffers from a severe fish allergy.

“I knew that I had to draw the images from life – or as close to a fish as I could safely get,” joked Kerr. “It was a difficult commission, trying to capture every detail of the fish while not getting too close to them. I had to have my assistant hold the fish up while I studied and drew them. The whole time I was working, I was trying not to breathe.” (RBS)