A brand new set of limited edition coins courtesy of The Royal Mint and Disney sees classic Winnie the Pooh characters brought to life on 50p pieces.
This collection of 50p coins – which is a nostalgic reminder for fans of the ‘silly old bear’ and his friends – is inspired by the classic stories of A. A. Milne and features the original illustrations of E. H. Shepard. It’s the first time the world of Winnie the Pooh has been celebrated on coins struck by The Royal Mint, and these official UK coins have been approved by Buckingham Palace.
The series will feature nine coins, which “celebrate the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood”.
The first three – which have been released live on The Royal Mint website today – feature Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet, and six more coins will follow two years.
The limited edition commemorative coin is available in a range of finishes.
It includes base metal – also known as ‘Brilliant Uncirculated’ – Silver and Gold and offers those interested in buying one the option to purchase coins that have been digitally printed with the latest innovative technology, which the Royal Mint say brings Shepard’s iconic illustrations alive in vivid detail and colour.
Daniel Thorne – Product Designer at The Royal Mint – said: “Working with original illustrations from E.H. Shepard, supplied to us by Disney, my biggest priority with the coin’s design was to ensure we do these wonderful images justice.
“As the original maker of coins, The Royal Mint has a long history of exquisite craftsmanship and this coin is no exception. Bringing the illustrations of E.H. Shepard to life took a lot of craft and care.
“From the honey bee motif that runs throughout the series, to the grassy mound Pooh is sitting on, we tried many different techniques to create the flawless effect of watercolour on the coin, eventually settling on the one you’ll see on the final version.
“I’m honoured to have been able to work on this exciting coin.
“Winnie-the-Pooh was a huge part of my childhood and forms some of my fondest memories, so I wanted to make sure this series of coins truly encapsulated the spirit of Pooh Bear and all his friends.
“Creating these coins was a labour of love and I hope that collectors can appreciate the beauty in each and every design in the range.”
Clare Maclennan – Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin and The Royal Mint Experience at The Royal Mint – added: “Over our 1,100-year history we’ve minted coins to commemorate key moments and figures in Britain’s history, including literary icons, like Shakespeare and Wordsworth through to Beatrix Potter’s mischievous Peter Rabbit, and we’re delighted to now add A.A. Milne’s loveable Winnie-the-Pooh to the list.
“Our childhood character coins are encouraging a new generation of coin collectors and we’re delighted to add this iconic character and his friends, to our range. We’ve all grown up with Winnie-the-Pooh and he remains a cherished character, not only in Britain but across the world.”
You can find more information and purchase these limited edition Winnie the Pooh coins via The Royal Mint website here.
‘Significant risk’ of UK gas shortages this winter, regulator warns
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that the UK faces a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter.
According to reports in The Times, the regulator has unveiled concerns that the country could face blackouts over the coming months thanks to an undersupply of gas to Europe caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Warning that a “gas supply emergency” could be looming ahead, the energy regulator has said that some gas-fired power plants could see their supplies cut off, which in turn would stop generators from producing electricity.
The alert comes just days before an expected update from the National Grid on the likelihood of countrywide power cuts this winter.
Responsing to arequest from SSE, which owns several gas power stations, Ofgem outlined what is set to be a huge issue of concern given that the UK relies on large gas plants to produce the biggest share of its electricity supply.
The regulator also pointed to rules that could see power plants penalised as a result of shortages, warning of a worst-case scenario that would see the “potential insolvency of gas-fired generators” caused by rules that require plants to pay huge charges if they fail to deliver on promised quotas.
Adding that the issue must be addressed to prevent a “significant impact on the safety and security of the electricity and/or gas systems”, the regulator echoed concerns now widespread in Europe as its comments followed a similar statement made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this morning.
Europeans are already being told they must lower their thermostats and boilers in preparation in case gas supplies are cut off, with Paris-based agency IEA warning today that the EU must focus on getting underground gas reserve levels to 90% of capacity in case of a complete Russian supply shut-off.
Preparation are already being made in Europe with the German government having approved a set of energy-saving measures for the winter to limit use in public buildings. In France, meanwhile, companies have already been warned they may face energy rationing this winter.
Whilst the UK government is yet to announce any energey saving measures, Ofgem has said that it expect s“this winter to be more challenging than last year” and that it is taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.