Call to hand in 'play' pounds 10 notes

Police last night appealed for anyone finding "play money" pounds 10 notes to hand them in after they started turning up in a cathedral city.

They were produced for a Mercury Communications sales promotion, then later used for lessons in a school but slipped back into circulation in St Albans before they could be scrapped.

One giggling 10-year-old boy was reported to have given a bewildered householder a pounds 2,500 "tip".Schoolboys were said to have given wads of "cash" to beggars and taxi drivers were "tipped" in thousands.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said: "As far as I am aware, there were only about pounds 200 worth in circulation."

A Mercury spokesman said: "You don't have to look very long to realise they are not real - they are play money."