Money matters - Sheffielder launches his own currency...

Richard Bolam
Richard Bolam
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Here’s a man putting his money where his mouth is - by putting his mouth (and the rest of his face) on some money.

Richard Bolam has created his own private currency, the X. And this weekend he’ll be setting up a Bank of Bolam at a city spring fair.

Wannabe speculators will be asked to invest in the new cash - modestly featuring Richard’s portrait - by buying the notes with real money or offering a service in exchange.

The only slight problem? The notes are, of course, valueless everywhere other than that single ‘bank’.

“They look great, though,” says the professional artist of Heeley. “There’s lots of symbolism. But mainly this is an elaborate satire of the financial institutions which we have to live with. It’s poking fun at that.”

He’s already started circulating the 1,000 notes among associates - to puzzlement.

“I’ve asked friends what they’d give me for one X,” says the 49-year-old. “A pound and partially filled in loyalty card is the most I’ve got.”

There is the chance you could accumulate, however. There are 13 symbolic references on the money. Those who identify them will win a prize - “and it won’t be a fiver’s worth of X.”

Bloc Spring Fete at Bloc studios, in Sylvester Street, from 3-9pm, also featuring live bands and craft stalls.