June 22nd. 2019.

Upcoming club meetings:

Monday 1st July.

·        Subject -  Coin Weights and Scales” by Frances Simmons


Monday 2nd September.

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


Annual General Meeting 2019


1 Apologies for absence – John, Ken

2 – 2018 AGM minutes - Approved proposed- Neil, seconded- Michael

3 Discussion points raised by members (Ref Committee report published in the May Newsletter & other topics) - None  

4 Points raised by the Committee – details of preliminary speaker programme thus far & the proposed Summer Social to visit the BM were tabled

4.1) Peter advised the need for a second member to be a church key holder able to open the church hall on club nights should Peter be unavailable. Ray volunteered to be the second key holder.

4.2) While club funds are currently quite healthy Mick advised that speaker fees/ expenses & hall hire fees are likely to increase year on year.  Peter advised that so far we have been lucky that speaker’s costs have been typically £25-£35 per speaker.  

5 As there were no further nominations from the floor the existing committee of
Mick, Peter, John & Henry was re-elected (proposed Michael, seconded Michael) 

5.1) Neil re-elected as the club Auditor (nominated by Committee) – Approved by membership.

 The 2018/19 accounts were approved - Graham

5.2) Gavin re-elected as club President (nominated by Committee) - Approved by membership

5.3) The position of Vice President deleted for this year.

6) AOB In response to the request for ideas for speakers while none were forthcoming from the floor it was suggested that members feedback on speakers would provide some direction for the future programme. It seems having a speaker with good delivery is just as important as the topic.

7) With no further points this concludes the formal business of the AGM


Annual Display Competition


As usual the display competition followed the AGM. Thanks to John’s efforts we ended up with a creditable seven entries, the best number by far in recent times.

First up Graham gave an amusing three part commentary on his display of two 8 Reales and an engraved copper disc entitled ‘Sunken Treasure’. Firstly he spoke about an   8 Reales he had seen round a ladies neck, in a mount describing the wreck details and which had been recovered by her son. Then we had details of the copper disc made from the hull cladding from the ‘Royal George’ that sank with enormous loss of life in 1782. Finally, he spoke about a recently purchased 8 Reales from the wreck of the Hollandia that came with a book describing the fateful story and the treasures recovery, including a picture of the lead diver, the same diver that recovered the ladies coin.


Next Michael spoke about his display of maps. Michael explained how his early education led to an interest in maps, both as a collector and as a dealer from his Reading shop. He then described some of the maps on display from his own collection, such as John Speeds 1610 map of Berkshire and a 1650 map of the Empire drawn by a Jesuit priest. To conclude Michael showed some early maps of Reading, so very different to the Reading of today.


Then Alistair talked about his display of Isle of Man Banknotes. On show were many examples of the various issues over time. The island being a crown dependency relied initially on provincial issues. Up to 1961 there were five commercial banks that issued notes, including Barclays, Lloyds, Martin’s & Westminster. As the population was small so was the number of notes issued. From 1961 the banknotes were issued by the Isle of Man government, mostly of low denominations. Alistair described each note in turn, concluding with one of the Pobjoy issues.


More Banknotes followed when Michael commented on his display covering 325 years of Bank of England five pound notes. The extensive display had examples from the early years right through to the present day. As Michael described each note he gave out much information of how the Bank operated and issued notes. For example the Bank of England charter had to be renewed periodically and gave no guarantee of payment, ie it could go bust. Initially the Bank could only operate within a 65 mile radius of London, hence the issue of Provincial banknotes. Michael also covered the ‘Bernhardt’ forgeries and the progression from the use of linen paper to the modern plastic format.


Back to coins and Stuart talked about his display of James I shillings. There were many examples that covered the various designs and mint marks. Stuart gave a few anecdotes in relation to James I. In particular he related the story of how James got lost on a hunting trip and his subsequent difficulties in obtaining sustenance because he had no money. The vicar of Bray did feed the king but was worried he would not be paid. Finally Stuart spoke about his quest to obtain a complete set of mint marks. 


Then on to a display of sailing medallions put together by Neil. Essentially there were 2 groups, one English and one French that were quite different in style. The designs of the French medals were quite artistic with a free flowing style while the English were of a more rigid factual style and rather repetitive in design. Neil explained that while the medals described the event for which they were issued most rarely give the recipients name.





To conclude Gavin gave commentary on his small display of countermarked tickets and coins. Each ticket was marked in three lines, OW, Warranted, date (eg Dec 1790), Number (eg 28). While the precise issuer is unknown Gavin postulated that OW stood for the ‘Officers of Work’ organisation, responsible for looking after public buildings. In 1785 the organization only had 38 people so the purpose and precisely how the tickets were used is unknown. The tickets are extremely rare so Gavin was very fortunate to find a silver half crown so stamped at the recent London coin fair.


It is very gratifying to report such good support for this competition and it is congratulations to all the entrants for their efforts in producing such commendable displays. It all made for a very enjoyable evening.


This year’s winner of the competition cup, by a narrow margin, was Michael with his display celebrating 325 years of Bank of England fivers.


Summer Social

Provided there is sufficient interest, the Summer Social will be a visit to the British Museum on Monday 5th August.

The programme will be to meet at 11.15 am at the museum, spend 45 minutes looking at the current exhibition (Playing with Money) and then retire to the study room where we can the view items from the reserve collection as requested by members. I am hoping we can get a guide to talk about the exhibition, but this is problematic.

At the July meeting will members please indicate to the Chairman (Mick) their intention to come and what specific reserve collection items they wish to see.

I have to tell the museum our requests in advance so they can arrange to get the items from storage.

This is a great opportunity to inspect items like no other, in terms of range and quality.



Be reminded that subscriptions are now due. It would be most appreciated if members yet to renew their subscription would please do so at the next meeting. Please see our treasurer Peter Hall. Membership cards will be available for collection at the next meeting.


Future Events.

Past Events

In previous years, June has been the date for the AGM.


Club Secretary.