COLLECTORS of old bank notes are expected to show considerable interest in a 150-year-old note about to be sold in London.

But because of its origins, many people in Helston are expected to take part. The note is one produced in the town at a time when Helston printed its own money.

It is being auctioned by Spink on April 27 and is expected to fetch about £180.

It is a black and white five pound note produced but not issued by the now defunct Helston Banking Company, sometime in the 1800s, probably in the first quarter when private banks flourished.

Spink experts said the Helston fiver was "scarce" and despite its age was in "extremely fine" condition.

Barnaby Faull said: "All towns in this country used to issue their own bank notes. Merchants would get together in the towns and start up their own banks."

Helston had its own private bank, partly because it was difficult to obtain notes from London and also because it was a coinage town and a centre for the tin mining industry.

The note had it been issued would have been enough to feed an entire family for a week with enough over for a treat. It was a huge sum of money in the early 1800s.

The note is expected to go under the hammer at Spink in London on April 27.