80 years as a regular at the same pub: price of a pint

pint of beer

Norman Rushworth, a 100-year-old RAF veteran from Shrewsbury, is celebrating 80 years as a regular at the Golden Cross pub. He still gets to the pub about three times a week.

He said everything about the place had improved - except for the price of a pint. Inflation has taken this from 5p a pint to £3.80 over the years. So just how much have prices changed in that time?
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Rushworth told the papers his story a few days after his 100th birthday. The Mirror said that in his early twenties when he was working at a dentist's nearby, he couldn't afford to drink at the pub every day - despite the 5p cost. Now his pension stretches to three visits a week. He told the Daily Mail that his secret to a long life was a pint of beer - plus dancing and women.

Clearly he hasn't let a bit of inflation come between him and the important things in life.

How prices changed

However, the way prices have changed in the interim has been astonishing. In the 13 years leading up to 1933, prices fell in every year. Since then it has certainly made up for lost time - particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.

It's worth bearing in mind that coinage changed in the interim - so the figures here are conversions.

In 1933, the average wage in the UK was £3.60 a week. Now it is £445. The real value of wages is falling at the moment - because the price of everything we buy is rising faster than the sum of cash we have to buy it with. However, in nominal terms, even during the recession, the average wage has risen every year by at least 1%.

Back in 1933, the typical price of a house was £60 (which was just under two years' average earnings). Now, according to the Land Registry, the average price is £238,293 - which was an increase of 4.3% in the last 12 months. That is almost nine times the average annual salary. It's no wonder that no-one can afford to get onto the property ladder

Your weekly shop would have been a bit cheaper too, as bread cost 1.4p, milk 2.1p and cheese 8.5p. You could easily fill your straw basket for 20p - even if you splashed out on some beer. Now, on the other hand, the weekly food bill is £77 a week - although if food prices had risen as fast as house prices we'd be looking at a weekly bill of £450 - so it could be worse.

So what's your earliest spending memory, and how have prices changed in that time? Let us know in the comments.
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