The new issue of the Lewes Pound will launch officially on 3rd May and will be available at our regular stall in the farmers’ market and at a special stall in the LDC tent at the Chalk Life Festival up on Landport Bottom, as well as at the Southover Fayre at the Priory on 10th May. The 3rd coincides with the start of the festivities around the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes and this is referenced by some of the notes. Those of you who have standing orders for Lewes Pounds should find the new notes in your envelopes to be collected on 1st May. Also the first 100 people to exchange £20 or more for the new notes will receive a free Battle of Lewes badge.

You won’t see huge changes to the fronts of the new notes with the exception of the new LP10 note which has changed colour from orange to purple. We do think, however, that they look cleaner and more modern. Judge for yourself from the pictures in this newsletter. We think you will be able to tell the difference.. The backs of the notes, however, feature exciting new designs.

LP1 For this we ran a school design competition asking for something that reflected the Battle of Lewes. We received a number of wonderful designs and in the end had to go for the one that best fitted into the overall layout of the note. The winner is Millie Long from Lewes Old Grammar School. We think her shield laid over a map of the battle area is very stylish and reflects both history and locality. Congratulations to her and many thanks to all the other young people who took part. The mayor will be presenting a certificate to Millie , as well as a collection of all the new notes.

LP5 We have two designs. One again reflects the Battle of Lewes and features the splendid logo created for the Battle of Lewes events by local artist Tom Walker. You will notice that is also has a special strap-line – The Battle of Lewes 15th May 1264 “Local power reclaimed” – which is also on the LP1 note. The battle was one of the important early steps towards democracy in this country and we are proud to associate the Lewes Pound with this year’s anniversary.

The second LP5 brings together artwork from previous issues to reflect creativity and local production in Lewes The Illustrators were Michael Munday and Adam Robertson-Charlton and we hope they like the ‘mash-up’ of their original work.

The LP10 in its new purple livery is intended to celebrate the fact that Lewes is now in the South Downs National Park. For a second time we found ourselves drawn towards a map-based design, but then maps are a very important part of designating what a locality – its community and its local economy – is all about. Everyone in Lewes sees the Downs every day and they play a big role in our identity as Lewesians. They also provide all kinds of ‘nature-gain’ services from collecting water to hosting bees and other pollinators, to say nothing of offering all kinds of leisure activities.

The LP21 is the least changed from our previous issue. It still features bonfire, which, after all, for many people personifies what is really special about our community. To help identify the new note we have added the words “Lest we forget”. We think that makes an even stronger image, readily identifiable as being part of the new issue and it is a message that resonates with many Lewes residents.

The Lewes Pound team would like to thank Chris Smedley for all his hard work on these inspiring designs and our printers for their commitment to our project and the work they put into the many security features that largely go unnoticed.

And finally, we hope you will be eager to use our lovely new notes, but if you still have old notes don’t worry. They. don’t officially expire until August 2014 so you can carry on using them for a while or swap them in for new notes