Today, June 30 2010, is officially the last day that the Edward Elgar £20 note will be recognised as legal tender.
People are advised to look through their cash supplies to make sure they have gotten rid of the expired note, as shops and banks will no longer be required to accept the notes. The Elgar note still makes up around 10 percent of all £20 pound notes currently in circulation, this equates to 150 million notes- £ 3billion.
As of July 1 the only note accepted as legal tender will be the one that has an image of the Scottish economist, Adam Smith. The current note is much more effective in combating the distribution of forgeries, it has more raised notes, and numerous other high-tech security measures- including tiny specks of ink that show up red and green when the note is held underneath an ultraviolet light.
However the end of the Elgar note has infuriated some people, Professor Jeremy Dibble, of Durham University, said: "The withdrawal of the Sir Edward Elgar £20 note is a national disgrace as the arts will no longer be visible on our notes. The removal of writing and music in the shape of Shakespeare and Elgar on Bank of England notes makes our currency much less colourful; science and economics are important but so too are the arts."
If you have an old note you can try to have it exchanged at your local bank, but it will be up to them if they change it or not as they are no longer required to by law. However, the old note can still be taken back to the actual Bank of England, they promise to honour the value of all English notes, even those issued before the Second World War.
All the old notes will be destroyed in official Government incinerators.