April 26th 2004.

Next club meeting Monday 10th May 2004.

The meeting will start with a short address by the chairman, followed by a brief historical summary of the clubs 40 years (Michael) and then a special quiz devised by Michael. There will also be a buffet with non-alcoholic drinks and free prize draw for all members at the meeting. The first prize will be a 1964 Sovereign, the year of the clubs founding - and there will be other prizes too. Of course there will be the usual trading tables, which are available to all members - so why not bring along a few pieces to trade.

Meetings are held at the Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, commencing at 7.00 p.m.

April meeting (held 29th March).

There were 27 members and 2 guests.

At the last meeting twenty seven members and two guests heard reminisces from the well known coin expert and dealer, Mark Rasmussen. For most of his working life Mark has been a familiar figure at Spinks and during this time he has been involved in the sale and dispersal of many famous collections. His talk entitled The life of a coin dealer was delivered in five parts, covering how he became a coin dealer, great collections, significant personalities, the highs and lows and the scene today.

In his introduction Mark told the audience that his early collecting interests, while growing up in Chesterfield, were butterflies, birds eggs and gramophone records. Then after a spell in France the family returned and settled in north Devon where his interest in coins developed. On reaching that age when one has to work Mark found himself outside the offices of Spinks being prepared by his father for the impending interview. This being a success he found himself working in the post room. However, with a great desire to get amongst the metal, and after several moves within Spinks, Mark eventually became one of their top dealers. His first big coup was the dispersal of the Marquis of Bute's banknote collection; one of the largest ever assembled. Then in a whole series of anecdotes Marked spoke about his experiences visiting the owners of great numismatic collections. He also expressed his wonderment at the breathtaking material that use to roll in over the counter, a far cry from today's climate. Then followed more details of handling some of the classic coins that have been sold at the most notable auctions.

Interspersed with the anecdotes on classic coins, famous collections and his various aged motor vehicles, Mark spoke fondly of his colleagues at Spinks, especially his two prominent mentors Patrick Finn and Douglas Liddel who sadly are no longer with us.

To close his talk there followed many more anecdotes, including the highs and lows. Lows included going to appraise a notable collection only to find the cabinets were empty. Highs included handling many classic coins such as the gold Gothic crown and the Edward VIII ld. Finally he spoke briefly about his venture as an independent dealer.

As well as speaking to members Mark brought along a selection of coin catalogues from the past 100+ years, including Spink Circular number 1. To round of the evening Mark handed out copies of the latest `Coins Values' to an appreciative gathering.

Altogether a very entertaining talk delivered in excellent style.

Spring social - Skittles Evening 24th April 2004

Seven members and their spouses attended the recent skittles evening at the Red Lion in Theale. Once again we were especially pleased to see Jean, who came along not only to see old friends but also brought along her two grand children, Sadie & Charlie, to liven up proceedings. In past years the Jean and husband Marc were strong supporters of our clubs social events and in particular, the Summer garden party which they hosted at their home many times.

The traditional opening game is 'the boys' versus 'the girls' and the object is to simply to knock down as many of the nine pins as possible with 3 balls. Last year the boys won by the narrowest of margins. This year all was reversed, for it was the turn of the ladies who likewise won by a mere two points. The highest individual scores were posted by Kay and John.

In the second game called `killer' the object is quite simple - hit a skittle or loose a life. Sounds easy. Don't you believe it. The sting in the tail is that the skittles are only reset once all the pins are down. Hence as the game progresses there is less to aim at. The winner was Maurice who, in retirement, has lost none of his ability to bowl at the speed of a cannon.

The second game of `killer' proved the Waterloo for many players. We got down to just one skittle, which just refused to be hit, thus eliminating half the players in quick order. The eventual winner was Tim. Our thanks go to the scorers and pin setters who made the evening flow. And Oh yes! it is possible to get 3 balls though the pack without felling a pin.

To end the evening, the chairman said a few words of thanks to all the members and guests for their participation and presented the winners with their prizes of bottles of wine.

Overall a highly enjoyable and fun evening with good drinks and a substantial buffet.

40th Anniversary Dinner

This event is being planned for the evening of the 12th June and will take place at a very good pub, the Crown in Playhatch.

Many of you previously expressed an interest in attending this informal function and we will be reconfirming names and providing more details at next months meeting.

Future Events.

Past Events

The guest speaker 30 years was Mr R Lax who bought along a superb collection to support his talk on the English Milled Shilling. His collection included many rarities in mint state.

20 years ago Vincent West spoke on 17th Century Berkshire tokens and their relationship to present day businesses, especially public houses

In 1994 Jill Greenaway gave a talk on the Roman hoard found at Wokingham that consisted of 1600+ 4th Century bronzes.