A baker’s shop in Kelso was inundated last week with people hoping to win some extra dough.
News broke last Wednesday that a special £5 Bank of England note, bearing a tiny portrait of Jane Austen, entered circulation at Granny Jean’s Home Bakery.
The portrait, by talented micro-engraver Graham Short, turned the fiver into an artwork which could be worth as much as £50,000.
Head baker Alan Malone said: “Graham came in on Monday of last week and paid for two pies.
“I was through the back and there was only one assistant, Patsy Johnstone, in the front of the shop.
“We had no idea that this was a special fiver, and we only found out on Wednesday when the news broke. Since then, there has been a lot of people coming in to pay for their pie with a tenner in the hope of getting that fiver in change.
“However, unfortunately, that particular note is long gone. I reckon it will have gone to someone in the shop who got change on Monday, between 10.30am and 1.30pm. I know this, because we ran out of fivers around that time.
“It could be in London, Aberdeen or anywhere by now.
“The whole thing has been a great advert for the shop, as we’ve never been busier.”
Tony Huggins-Haig, owner of the Kelso Gallery which bears his name, concocted the plot with the artist, for whom he has sold previous works.
He said: “It was really to get art into the public eye. We have worked with Graham on other projects and we came up with this “Willy Wonka golden ticket” idea.
“If anyone is in posession of the fiver, it is theirs to do what they want with it.
“If they wish to keep it as a work of art, that is great, but if they want to sell it, they will have a marvellous Christmas.
“We have not yet heard from anyone, and it could be anywhere, so I’d urge everyone to check their wallets.”