February 20th 2024. 

Next club meeting Monday 4th March 2024.

·        Subject - Club Auction - for members only

Monday 8th April 2024

·         TBC

Saturday 18th May 2024.

·        Subject – Reading Coin Club’s 60th Anniversary Celebration – invitation only


 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 (attached), NONE will be available at the meeting.

·         Please continue to remember that we are planning a trip to the Royal Mint in August.


February Meeting

The February talk was entitled The Bourton in the Water Hoard, and was given by Joshua MacRow-Wood, ancient coin specialist at Coincraft, The Roman settlement near Bourton Bridge was well known to archaeologists. It is situated on the Fosse Way, the Roman highway between the cities of Exeter and Lincoln. The hoard was discovered by the land owner, with a metal detector in March 1970, with the assistance of a local archaeologist. The locals called the area the ‘Money Ground’ because so many Roman coins had been found there over the years.


There were several distinctive features: the loose coin discoveries were not a trail to the remains of the hoard; the main part of the hoard appeared to be in the remains of at least one bag and consisted of a spherical mass totalling 2,707 coins concealed under flat stones about ½ metre below ground level.


The majority of the coins were Constantinian folles:


Many of the coins (see above) were in excellent condition: the obverse -CONSTANTINUS P (Pius) F(Felix) AVG (Augustus); the reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the invincible Sun [God], companion of the Emperor). In the exergue [P]LN – the London mint, and produced around AD317. Although the coins came from many western empire mints, the vast majority are from London, followed by Trier. After careful cleaning and assessment by the BM, the majority were released to the trade. On minting, the coin would have had a silver wash, and Joshua described the chemical process.


The settlement at Bourton Bridge is known from excavations to have been established by the late first century AD, and continued to be occupied into the early fifth century. The curious thing about the hoard’s location is that it is well away from the many rich farming mansions, and that the whole hoard and earlier discoveries were so closely dated and similar style. The position suggests a shop/ business adjacent to the Roman road.


Joshua set out the historical context. The third century collapse of the coinage – and the empire. The east was recovered from Zenobia, and the west from Tetricus by Aurelian, only for him to be assassinated in AD275 by an army conspiracy. However, after the murder of his successor, Probus, Diocletian became emperor and set about long-lasting reforms to the governance and administration – and the currency. The empire was to be managed in two pieces – the east and the west – and each half would have a senior and junior colleague in charge. Constantine was the son of the junior colleague in the west, and in due course disposed of all others and reunited the empire in his new capital Constantinople (Istanbul).


It is said that in the one major battle, at Milvian Bridge near Rome, Constantine was inspired by a Christian vision, and decided to support Christianity (then suppressed) throughout the empire. In practice this made political sense because a large number of citizens were already Christian. Some say the Constantine only was baptised on his deathbed. Certainly, the symbols on his whole coinage are ambiguous.


The meeting concluded with a very informative exchange on the state of the coin market, ranging widely covering the reasons Joshua got involved with coins to start with, the parlous state of the current system for reporting finds, particularly how long the process can take, and how to engage potential younger collectors, noting the innovations in the US with the State Quarter project and our own Olympic 50ps. The Club thanked Joshua for his talk and his contribution to the subsequent discussion.


Future Events.

Past Events

·         20 years ago – Club Auction

·         30 years ago – Skittles evening in Theale

·         40 years ago – Coin Fair

·         50 years ago – Marion Archibald spoke to members about the Lincoln hoard discovered in 1971 that consisted of some 770 pennies of Henry I.


Club Secretary.