February 20th 2023. 

Next club meeting Monday 6th March 2023.

·        Subject - Club Auction - for members only

Monday 4th April 2020

·         TBC By  Christopher Collects

Monday 9th May 2020.

·         TBC By  Michael Gouby


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



·         The March meeting will be the club auction. Nobody will be allowed to look any lots until all the lots have been put out. Please keep well away from the lots until an official notice is made, saying that viewing can begin. As usual, there will be no dealing at this meeting.

·          The time for viewing lots is BEFORE the auction starts, not during the auction. 

·        Please also note you need to print off your own copy of the auction list, NONE will be available at the meeting.

·         Vincent West, once a member of the Reading Coin Club, has been awarded the ‘Membership Medal’ by BNS for 50 years of continuous membership.

·         Neil has put in a request for any information regarding pub tokens from Berkshire, other than a very common one from Abingdom.


February Meeting


Our meeting began with the late presentation of the the Marc Myhill Memorial shield to Neil for his short talk  in January, after which he went on to give his talk entitled Smeaton’s Lighthouses.  Amongst his many collecting interests, Neil is an expert in the striking of coins, medals and tokens in Plymouth, and Devon generally. The port of Plymouth became strategically important for Britain during the C17th/ C18th with the war with France threatening traditional ports of Chatham and Portsmouth. Plymouth also gave quicker access to the expanding British interests in America and the Far East. The port itself was easily defended but the Eddystone Rocks, 14 miles off Plymouth, were treacherous.


A decision was made to build a lighthouse (constructed 1696–99) on the rocks themselves – a first in the world. Designed by Henry Winstanley, built of timber and modelled on lighthouses of antiquity; it was swept away during the great storm of 1703. The second, of oak and iron, designed by John Rudyerd in 1708, was destroyed by fire in 1755. John Smeaton built the third Eddystone Lighthouse entirely of interlocking stones, the design inspired by the stability of an oak tree. It was replaced in 1882 by the present structure designed by Sir James Douglass. The upper part of Smeaton’s lighthouse was taken down and reassembled on Plymouth Hoe in 1884. Smeaton’s second lighthouse commission, in 1767 was for a pair at Spurn Point: one was decommissioned in 1895, whilst the other was washed away in storms some years before.








Smeaton was a distinguished civil engineer and his design was innovative, with his lighthouse built on concrete caissons which survive to this day. A number of numismatic and historical artefacts survive. His construction took place during the Seven Year’s War and three dozen silver tokens were given to construction staff to avoid being kidnapped by Press Gangs.


Davis’ Nineteenth Century Coinage records details of a copper ‘twopence’ coin with a lighthouse on both obverse and reverse – the Eddystone Lighthouse in Plymouth, and the Spurn Point Lighthouse near Hull. Interestingly, a silver proof version sold at Dix Noonan Webb in December 2020 for £800 (plus commission and taxes).









The BNS records tokens struck by William Upcott, contemporary librarian and antiquarian. The first (dated 1801): a view of a lighthouse on a rock, and ships at sea, but the rock appears unfinished. S' VIEW OF THE EDYSTONE (sic) LIGHTHOUSE COMPLEATED (sic) OCR 9' 1759' I SMEATON, and the reverse a view of a lighthouse, the base of which is surrounded by a wall, W UPCOTT DES. MAY 1801. Legend-VIEW OF' THE HIGH LIGHTHOUSE'


Future Events.

Past Events

·         20 years ago – Tony Merson gave a talk based on Johnathon Spence’s “Treason by the Book”

·         30 years ago – Skittles evening in Theale

·         40 years ago – Coin Fair

·         50 years ago – Coin Fair


Club Secretary.