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5 Pounds Sterling 2009. World Heritage Site, Kingdom of Great Britain

in Banknotes Book Number: SC332
Years of issue: 06.08.2009
Signatures: Chief Executive: Mr. David Thorburn
Serie: Scotland
Specimen of: 06.08.2009
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 136 x 70
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* 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 2009. World Heritage Site



5 Pounds 2009The portrait of Sir Alexander Fleming, the molecules of Benzylpenicillin (Penicillin), denomination in numeral £5 and the cornerstones.

5 Pounds 2009Molecule of Benzylpenicillin (Penicillin), invented by Sir Fleming.


5 Pounds Sterling 2009. World Heritage Site

On the banknote are shown:

Pattern on background. On left and right sides - the fungus Penicillium notatum, invented by Sir Fleming, causing the death of staphylococci in cultured cells, under microscope.

On right side is the first microscope of Sir Alexander Fleming.

Now more about everything:

5 Pounds 2009 5 Pounds 2009The engraving on banknote is made after this photo of Sir Alexander Fleming, made in 1945, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

Sir Alexander Fleming (6 August 1881 - 11 March 1955) was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the world's first antibiotic substance Benzylpenicillin (Penicillin G) from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy.

Fleming was knighted for his scientific achievements in 1944. In 1999, he was named in Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Important People of the XX century. In 2002, he was chosen in the BBC's television poll for determining the 100 Greatest Britons.

5 Pounds 2009On right and left sides, on banknote, are the fungus Penicillium notatum, invented by Sir Fleming, causing the death of staphylococci in cultured cells, under microscope.

Accidental discovery:

"When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn't plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world's first antibiotic, or bacteria killer," Fleming would later say, "But I suppose that was exactly what I did."

By 1927, Fleming had been investigating the properties of staphylococci. He was already well-known from his earlier work, and had developed a reputation as a brilliant researcher, but his laboratory was often untidy. On 3 September 1928, Fleming returned to his laboratory having spent August on holiday with his family. Before leaving, he had stacked all his cultures of staphylococci on a bench in a corner of his laboratory. On returning, Fleming noticed that one culture was contaminated with a fungus, and that the colonies of staphylococci immediately surrounding the fungus had been destroyed, whereas other staphylococci colonies farther away were normal, famously remarking "That's funny". Fleming showed the contaminated culture to his former assistant Merlin Price, who reminded him, "That's how you discovered lysozyme." Fleming grew the mould in a pure culture and found that it produced a substance that killed a number of disease-causing bacteria. He identified the mould as being from the Penicillium genus, and, after some months of calling it "mould juice", named the substance it released penicillin on 7 March 1929. The laboratory in which Fleming discovered and tested penicillin is preserved as the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum in St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

He investigated its positive anti-bacterial effect on many organisms, and noticed that it affected bacteria such as staphylococci and many other Gram-positive pathogens that cause scarlet fever, pneumonia, meningitis and diphtheria, but not typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever, which are caused by Gram-negative bacteria, for which he was seeking a cure at the time. It also affected Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhoea although this bacterium is Gram-negative.

Fleming published his discovery in 1929, in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology, but little attention was paid to his article. Fleming continued his investigations, but found that cultivating penicillium was quite difficult, and that after having grown the mould, it was even more difficult to isolate the antibiotic agent. Fleming's impression was that because of the problem of producing it in quantity, and because its action appeared to be rather slow, penicillin would not be important in treating infection. Fleming also became convinced that penicillin would not last long enough in the human body (in vivo) to kill bacteria effectively. Many clinical tests were inconclusive, probably because it had been used as a surface antiseptic. In the 1930s, Fleming’s trials occasionally showed more promise, and he continued, until 1940, to try to interest a chemist skilled enough to further refine usable penicillin. Fleming finally abandoned penicillin, and not long after he did, Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford took up researching and mass-producing it, with funds from the U.S. and British governments. They started mass production after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. By D-Day in 1944, enough penicillin had been produced to treat all the wounded with the Allied forces.

5 Pounds 2009On right side is the first microscope of Sir Fleming, made by "Carl Zeiss" company.

This "Carl Zeiss" microscope was the first used by Alexander Fleming as a medical student. Fleming obviously treasured the microscope he used as a student and kept it for many years until he gave it to one of his own students. Then the microscope was donated to the Department of Bacteriology at St Mary's Hospital Medical School in 1978 and subsequently transferred to the Alexander Fleming laboratory Museum in 1993, where it is now displayed. (

Denominations in numeral and in words are centered, also in numerals in 3 corners.


5 Pounds Sterling 2009. World Heritage Site

On the banknote is a collage of images from the archipelago St. Kilda, Scotland, which was listed in UNESCO World Heritage list in the UK (and Scotland) twice: in 1986 and 2005.

On top is the map of Scotland with St. Kilda point, marked on it.

Now more about this:

5 Pounds 2009 5 Pounds 2009St Kilda (Scottish Gaelic: Hiort) is an isolated archipelago 64 kilometers (40 mi.) west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The largest island is Hirta, whose sea cliffs are the highest in the United Kingdom; three other islands (Dùn, Soay and Boreray) were also used for grazing and seabird hunting. The islands are administratively a part of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority area.

The origin of the name St Kilda is a matter of conjecture. The islands' human heritage includes numerous unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, although the earliest written records of island life date from the Late Middle Ages. The medieval village on Hirta was rebuilt in the XIX century, but illnesses brought by increased external contacts through tourism, and the upheaval of the First World War contributed to the island's evacuation in 1930. The story of St Kilda has attracted artistic interpretations, including Michael Powell's film The Edge of the World and an opera.

St Kilda may have been permanently inhabited for at least two millennia, the population probably never exceeding 180 (and certainly no more than 100 after 1851). The entire remaining population was evacuated from Hirta (the only inhabited island) in 1930. Currently, the only year-round residents are military personnel; a variety of conservation workers, volunteers and scientists spend time there in the summer months.

The entire archipelago is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It became one of Scotland's six World Heritage Sites in 1986 and is one of the few in the world to hold joint status for its natural and cultural qualities. Parties of volunteers work on the islands in the summer to restore the many ruined buildings that the native St Kildans left behind. They share the island with a small military base established in 1957.

Two different early sheep types have survived on these remote islands, the Soay, a Neolithic type, and the Boreray, an Iron Age type. The islands are a breeding ground for many important seabird species including northern gannets, Atlantic puffins, and northern fulmars. The St Kilda wren and St Kilda field mouse are endemic subspecies.

5 Pounds 2009On left side (and , a little, on right side) is Stac an Armin.

Stac an Armin (Scottish Gaelic: Stac an Àrmainn), based on the proper Scottish Gaelic spelling (formerly àrmuinn), is a sea stack in the St Kilda archipelago. It is 196 meters (643 ft.) tall, qualifying it as a Marilyn. It is the highest sea stack in Scotland and the British Isles.

The name Stac an Armin means stack of the soldier/warrior, and evidence remains showing it was used by people living nearby as a hunting grounds. It is not believed to have been inhabited year round, but has hosted some (involuntary) extended stays. Climbing the rocks was once done to collect eggs and has continued in the form of recreational sport. The island was once home to the now extinct great auk, and rules exist to protect the bird habitats and breeding grounds.

Stac an Armin is 400 meters (¼ mi.) north of Boreray and near the 172-meter-high (564 ft.) Stac Lee. Stac an Armin is separated from Boreray by a channel "so littered with rocks" that it should not be sailed, though sailors write passionately about the views.

On Stac an Armin, in July, 1840, the last great auk (Pinguinus impennis) seen in the Britain was caught and killed. A then 75-yr. old inhabitant of St Kilda told Henry Evans, a frequent visitor to the archipelago, that he and his father-in-law with another man had caught a "garefowl," noticing its little wings and the large white spot on its head. They tied it up and kept it alive for three days, and then killed it by beating it with a stick, apparently because they believed it to be a witch. The last known specimens in the world were killed a few years later either in Eldey, Iceland, or off Newfoundland.

5 Pounds 2009On left side is The Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). It is a seabird species in the gull family Laridae.

This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Larus tridactylus. The English name is derived from its call, a shrill 'kittee-wa-aaake, kitte-wa-aaake'. The genus name Rissa is from the Icelandic name Rita for this bird, and the specific tridactyla is from Ancient Greek tridaktulos, "three-toed", from tri-, "three-" and daktulos, "toe".

In North America, this species is known as the black-legged kittiwake to differentiate it from the red-legged kittiwake, but in Europe, where it is the only member of the genus, it is often known just as kittiwake.

The adult is 37-41 cm. (15-16 in.) in length with a wingspan of 91-105 cm. (36-41 in.) and a body mass of 305-525 g. (10.8-18.5 oz). It has a white head and body, grey back, grey wings tipped solid black, black legs and a yellow bill. Occasional individuals have pinky-grey to reddish legs, inviting confusion with red-legged kittiwake. In winter, this species acquires a dark grey smudge behind the eye and a grey hind-neck collar.

It is a coastal breeding bird around the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans, found most commonly in North America and Europe. It breeds in large colonies on cliffs and is very noisy on the breeding ground.

5 Pounds 2009On right side is the St Kilda wren. It is a small passerine bird in the wren family. It is a distinctive subspecies of the Eurasian wren endemic to the islands of the isolated St Kilda archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean 64 km west of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Its Gaelic name is “Dreathan-donn” ("Dhra-in-doun").

The St Kilda wren is distinguished from the mainland form by its larger size and heavier barring, as well as its generally greyer and less rufous colouration. It differs from other Scottish island sub-species by its heavy barring, long and strong bill, and its greyer and paler plumage.

The St Kilda wren is a fairly common breeding resident on St Kilda. The population was estimated at about 230 breeding pairs in 2002.

Onopordum acanthiumAt the bottom is stylized cotton thistle, Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium), which for more then 500 years already is a national emblem and symbol of Scotland.

It is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. Native to Europe and Western Asia from the Iberian Peninsula east to Kazakhstan, and north to central Scandinavia, and widely naturalised elsewhere. It's a vigorous biennial plant with coarse, spiny leaves and conspicuous spiny-winged stems.

In general, some of the species of thistle is a true historic Scottish thistle, can not always determine even Scottish antiquarians as not necessarily that Scotland is home Onopordon Acanthium.

There is a strong opinion, that it is this kind of thistle was originally the emblem of the House of Stuart, and has become a national symbol, most likely thanks to an impressive appearance. Some experts call the candidate for a likely candidate other species, native of Scotland, for example Cirsium vulgare.

Many thanks for the photos and comments to the following pages:

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners. Also, repeatedly, on background, on top.