Royal Bank of Scotland is going to circulate new £20 notes in 2020. These would be the first polymer notes of Scotland and also the first £20 to depict a woman’s image other than the queen. It belongs to a new series of polymer notes based on the theme “Fabric of Nature”. £5 and £10 polymer notes from the series have already been released.
The famous Scottish businesswoman Kate Cranston (1849 to 1934) would be featured on new £20 notes. She popularised tea rooms and sponsored architect, designer and watercolourist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The note’s design was revealed at her Willow tearoom in Glasgow. Mackintosh had designed the room’s original interior.
The note also depicts red squirrels on a tree, a blaeberry fruit, excerpts from a poem named “Cupid and Venus” written by 16th Century poet Mark Alexander Boyd. The weave pattern on these notes would be similar to the ones seen on new £5 and £10 notes. Textile designers Alistair McDade and Elspeth Anderson developed these patterns.
Kate Cranston is a symbol of entrepreneurialism, art, philanthropy and dedication in the minds of Scottish people. Her tea rooms are loved by Glaswegians because they became a popular means of socializing, other than local clubs. She rose above the Victorian belief that women should remain housewives and set an example for other women in society. She concentrated on fabulous decor when she established the Crown Luncheon Room in 1878. Her brother Stuart worked on making tea rooms affordable and accessible. Apart from Mackintosh, she collaborated with many other artists. Willow Tearooms became more and more popular because women got a chance to socialise without the presence of men. She died on 18th April 1934 at the age of 85 and donated two-thirds of her estate to the poor people of Glasgow.
Image Courtesy: Google Images