Dosh for Nosh: Bella’s History Project

The PGM attended a meeting of Freeman Mark Lodge recently when a "Mark Meets the Craft" presentation took place, which was very successful. At this meeting the Charity Steward gave his report and referred in his report to the "Dosh for Nosh" initiative. This intrigued several present, who were not members of the Freeman Lodge and our ever inquisitive PGM requested that the Charity Steward explain how the initiative worked. The accompanying narrative titled "Bella's History Project" gives the answer.

Bella’s History Project

dosh4noshI’m sitting in the garden opposite my Granddad. I’m trying to interview him for my history project. He’s laughing at my question about what he did in the war, I try quickly to think of another question. How much pocket money did he get as a boy, but that question isn’t much better, what on earth is two and six and half a crown?

Apparently, the ‘six’ is a tanner, which is half a bob and which is now 2 1/2p. I work it out, “You only got 12 1/2p a day for pocket money” but apparently not, that’s a week’s worth.

He explains he could catch a 95 bus up the High Street, go to Saturday morning pictures, buy an ice lolly and an ‘Eagle’ and still have a ‘shilling’ for his money box. I’m beginning to wish I’d stuck to the war questions.

I think about what I could get with 12 1/2p pocket money? I ask, it appears nothing. It would now cost me ten quid to do much the same.

I ask what he does with his metal coins now he can’t buy much with them. I get a knowing smile. Something about converting it to ‘Nosh’ is his reply. I say nothing, I just munch on Granny’s jam sandwich. So Granddad explains.

Freeman Lodge gave him a jar of jam called ‘Nosh4Dosh’, but I can tell you it tastes like black current jam to me. It works like this; he and Granny, well actually it’s mostly me, eats the jam. The washed jar goes on Granddad’s dressing table and at bedtimes he sorts out his coins. Pounds and fifty pence coins go back into his pocket. He says he can just about still buy mints with them. All the small stuff, copper and silver coins go into the jar. When the jar is full he gives it to his Charity Steward, who sends it with everybody else’s jars, to someone called EMBA. EMBA is trying to help buy a bus that helps people with cancer. It sounds a great way of using up Granddad’s small coins, especially if I get a jam sandwich when I visit. Apparently his Charity Steward is also happy, all the jars now add up to lots of money.

“So Granddad", I say, waving my arms in the air, “What’s a steward, and where can you catch a 95 bus...”

Bella Berry aged 10 1/2