When the pound's value suddenly plummeted in 1972 to its lowest in 170 years and became virtually worthless, people started throwing out all their money. Piles of discarded coins and banknotes littered the streets. Scarfolk's binmen were so overwhelmed that they went on strike, demanding a £4 pay rise.
Despite campaigns to stop currency fly-tipping (see above and below), the government, unable to cope with the mountains of useless sterling, created an ingenious scheme: It advised citizens to hold on to their money and use it instead to trade for basic items such as food and shelter. It even suggested that interim emergency values be attributed to the useless cash. The recommended value for a five pence piece, for example, was five pence.
The only way Britons could earn real money was by making tea and biscuits which were rushed in mass flotillas of little ships to the continent - evoking the evacuation of Dunkirk - where they were sold to Europeans on their tea breaks.