- Lucky Dip page


I came across this piece in a leaflet about London published in June 1972 (Decimalisation was in 1971)

London prices tend to be generally higher than in the provinces. They also vary within rather a wide margin depending on the clientele of the shop and the area in which it is located. So it is possible to give no more than a very general indication of how much you should have to pay for any particular article.

Travel Tubes cost 5p and buses 3p for a minimum fare. 'Red Arrow' buses where you pay as you enter have a flat rate of 5p. Tube fares go up in 5p stages. As mentioned earlier it is impossible to be exact about taxi fares but an average trip in Central London might cost 50p (including the tip).

Refreshment A cup a good coffee in the West End or City will cost about 10p. A modest but adequate three course luncheon (Table d'Hote) at one of the large stores or at an inexpensive businessman's restaurant would be from 70p to 1.
Pub prices for draught beer are in the region of 15p to 17p per pint and spirits about the same per standard measure. A bottle of good but not exceptional wine would be about 1.50 in a good hotel or restaurant.

Accommodation There is, of course, no limit to the amount you can spend on accommodation in London. The only significant guide we can give is to state the approximate prices of the cheapest places where you can find comfortable and pleasant conditions. The Russell Square area contains many such hotels where you may obtain bed and breakfast from about 4 for a single room or 6 for a double.

Miscellaneous A visit to the hairdressers will cost from 50p for men and 1 for ladies, though it is easy enough to be tempted into spending much more than that especially at some of the more aristocratic or fashionable establishments. Tipping is widespread but entirely voluntary.
A packet of the cheapest smallest filter-tip cigarettes costs 20p for twenty and prices rise to over 30p for normal or king size.
There are plenty of public telephones in London. The kiosks are painted red. Lift the receiver, dial the number and when you hear the 'pipping' signal which means the number has answered place your coins in the slot. The minimum charge is 2p at present which buys ample time for the average local call. For long distance calls which you have dialled yourself 2p will buy only a few seconds and you will need to 'feed' in more money as time runs out. The 'pipping' signal will warn you when it is time to insert more coins.
Letters posted within the United Kingdom require a 2p stamp for 'second class mail' service or a 3p stamp for 'first class' delivery, probably the following day. Full details of other charges are freely available from the Post Office. 2007