November 26th  2019.           

Next club meeting Monday 2nd December 2019.

The activities will be as follows:

1.    The main feature will be a mini coin fair for members to bring along items for sale.

2.    A coin quiz

3.    Members to bring along one or two items that for some reason are considered special (e.g. recent acquisition, a long sought after piece, an unusual find, an oddity etc.). A brief written explanation as to why the piece is special to you.

4.    Christmas buffet!

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



·         Please continue thinking about Short Talks for January, and Auction lots for March!


Skittles Evening

A jolly evening was had at the Jack of Newbury pub in Binfield where members and partners met to do battle in the skittle alley. A splendid Chicken and chips supper accompanied a very good selection of beers, wines and other beverages. To start with (as usual) the lads were beaten by the girls by 123 skittles to 112. Top scorer was Sue. Barry restored some of the lad’s pride by winning the second game (where at least one skittle needs to be knocked down in each throw). Finally, in the third game (where only one skittle is to be knocked down in each throw) Mick was the last man standing. The next skittles evening will be in May next year, further details to follow.













November Meeting

If you use the search engine on the Club’s website you will find that our guest speaker, Philip Mernick, previously spoke to the Club in 2006 about Early Jetons. At our November meeting he chose Billies and Charlies, another topic close to his heart.


For about 15 years, between 1857 and 1871, controversy raged in England about the status of ‘discoveries’ by small-time dealers William Smith and Charles Eaton (Billy and Charley) from Shadwell, in London’s dockland. During the excavations for the Eastern Dock and Shadwell basin (1828-32) a number of Roman artefacts had been uncovered, attracting the interest of collectors and museums. New discoveries followed in 1857, but these were different; they were non-classical and incorporated aspects of mediaeval style.


The written tale starts with George Eastwood, a dealer, writing to Thomas Bateman, an antiquary (and barrow digger), that he had acquired a collection of about 600 lead pieces (pilgrim badges, statues, etc.) dating from Richard II. Bateman wrote to leading antiquarian, [Henry] Syer Cuming in 1858 saying that in his view they were fakes. For example, the pilgrim badges were about four times the size normally found by London Bridge, and there were many other features which were wrong, such as coins were dated ‘1030’ in Arabic numerals, a style that did not come into use until hundreds of years later.



In the meantime, there had been a scramble to acquire these items, notwithstanding there was an ongoing public debate in (for example) The Atheneum which described them as ‘forgeries’. A court case followed in August 1858, when the Editor was successfully sued by George Eastwood. But the word was out. The Times, more carefully describes the issue of 2,000 items of ‘recent fabrication’. Eastwood, meanwhile, had decided to cut out the middlemen and go direct to the dockers.


Poor communications allowed the sales of ‘new’ discoveries to continue, but in 1861 Charles Roach Smith, who initially believed them to be genuine, perhaps from the Reign of Mary, and the Society of Antiquaries of London, settled the matter with the discovery of some of Billy and Charley’s clay moulds. But, dealing continued in the provinces, and Court cases came down to whether the buyer actually believed they were real, as no claims had been made by the seller. Syer Cuming established a small museum in Southwark to exhibit the product of years of collecting, including his Billies and Charlies.



Philip has set up a website ( ) dedicated to his studies which includes:

Pilgrims badges













But the search goes on! Phillip brought a number of the Shadwell Shams with him to illustrate the talk.


Future Events.

Past Events

10 years ago Tim Everson gave a talk on Communion Tokens

20 Years ago – Peter Preston-Morley presented a talk on the East India Company Portcullis coinage of 1600/1

40 Years ago – The Club Auction took place earning the club a commission of £18.79

Club Secretary.