March 24th 2004.

Next club meeting Monday 29th March 2004.

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

March meeting.

Twenty Seven people attended the February meeting and there were six dealer's tables.

In a superbly presented and illustrated talk, James Mackay gave us a potted history of the Pobjoy Mint and his part in it. When Mr. Mackay first encountered the Pobjoy Mint, they were busy making modern day tokens for use in places such as car parks and some may remember the football tokens produced by Pobjoy and given away by petrol stations. The Pobjoy Mint always had the latest equipment and such tokens were manufactured to the highest standards.

In 1976 the Pobjoy Mint was called in to produce coins for the Isle of Man. In an article James Mackay praised one of the designs and after a while came into contact with Derek Pobjoy and was taken on as a Numismatic Advisor. Thus began a collaboration that carried on into the 90's. Mr. Mackay was at pains to point out that an advisor can only advise, he cannot always make his employers take his advice! The name Pobjoy is believed to derive from Popinjay, which is connected with the shooting of parrots.

In the 70's Mr. MacKay's suggestions included the traditional designs (Viking ships, Chuff etc.) and he also worked on the 'cartographic' series, all of which had a map of the Isle of Man in the background of the coin. He also worked on a number of other projects including a Millennium coin in 1979 (apparently 979 was the best estimate for the founding) and the Christmas commemoratives.

The Pobjoy mint was very strong on innovation and frequently produced coins in novel metals. For example: the first 1 coin was made in Irenium, a 50p coin celebrating the Manx Parliament, the Tynwald, is a numismatic oddity in that it has a day and month as well as a year on it, a 50p coin was produced with an incuse legend round the edge, which was thought to be impossible and even enamelled coins have been produced. Their 'Penny Black' coins illustrating the famous stamp won a prestigious 'Coin of the Year Award' and more recently they have made 'coloured' coins. Over the years the Pobjoy Mint has won contracts to produce coins for several countries, often in the face of stiff competition from others, including the Royal Mint.

Also covered in the talk were the wide range of medallions produced, from the Apollo 11 mission, the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, through to the First Referendum on Europe. War memorials included medals commemorating the Second World War and the Falklands. The Pobjoy Mint was responsible for the production of the 'Queen's Award to Industry' medals and won one themselves the year after they gained the contract.

Mr. Mackay finished the talk by telling us of some of the near disasters he helped to avoid, including a missing tilda in a legend, which gave it a potentially offensive meaning and the difficulties of producing a coin with the image of a Japanese Emperor, considered a living God, without threatening to restart hostilities! A special thanks to club member Alistair for making this talk possible.

Spring social

The Spring Social will be a skittles evening at the Red Lion pub, Theale on Saturday 24th April. We intend to start gathering around 7pm for an 8pm kick off. The price is 9 per head (18 per couple) including a buffet. Will those members wishing to attend please ensure they sign up and pay the monies to the chairman at the April meeting.

So far we are short in numbers and we need a minimum of 15 persons to cover the costs, so why not come along and support the club. This is normally a real fun evening.

Future Events.

Past Events

The evening 30 years ago was devoted to a members evening and club coin fair.

In 1984 there was a very high attendance to hear a talk on the preservation and cleaning of coins. This topic apparently held much interest as the meeting records noted a good discussion followed.

Ten years later G Berry spoke on counters and the use of counting boards.


Numismatic Interlude

Continuing the theme to republish articles from the past here is the next offering, a crossword compiled by David in the early 1970's.