Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever put your trousers in the washing machine and then remembered there was a large bank note in your back pocket? When you rescued your trousers, did you find the note was whiter than white? People who live in Britain needn’t despair when they make mistakes like this (and a lot of people do)! Fortunately for them, the Bank of England has a team call Mutilated Ladies which deals with claims from people who fed their money to a machine or to their dog. Dogs, it seems, love to chew up money!
A recent case concerns Jane Butlin whose fiancé, John, runs a successful furniture business. John had a very good day and put his wallet containing 3,000 pounds into the microwave oven for safekeeping. Then he and Jane went horse-riding. When they got home, Jane cooked their dinner in the microwave oven and without realizing it, cooked her fiance’s wallet as well. Imagine their dismay when they found a beautifully-cooked wallet and notes turned to ash! John went to see his bank manager who sent the remains of wallet and the money to the special department of the Bank of England in Newcastle: the Mutilated Ladies! They examined the remains and John got all his money back. ‘So long as there’s something to identify, we will give people their money back,’ said a spokeswoman for the Bank. ‘Last year, we paid 1.5 million pounds on 21,000 claims.’
*Damaged bank notes. The Queen’s head appears on English bank notes, and ‘lady’ refers to this.