Guardian writer Ian Jack has written in praise of 18th century pioneers Matthew Boulton and James Watt – stars of the current Bank of England £50 note.

The Bank announced earlier this month that it would replace the current paper note with a polymer version in 2020 and consult on who was to star on the new version.

“Personally I shall be sorry to see them (Boulton and Watt) go,” wrote Mr Jack. “Few individuals can have so fundamentally affected the way we live.”