Spreading the word

May 2004, Volume 41 No. 5
Numismatic Societies are dead, there can be no place for them in this day and age. As coin collecting becomes less and less popular amongst the young and the computer chat rooms take the place of the monthly meeting the “Coin Club” must surely be a thing of the past with a handful of die-hards the only ones left.

Familiar? I’m sure it is – we’ve been hearing it for years, even amongst seasoned collectors and there are those out there who, for a while, even began to believe it.

Certainly when the internet came along you could “talk coins” with like-minded enthusiasts without leaving the comfort of your arm chair and yes as the “Golden age” of the seventies was left behind it was perhaps inevitable that numbers in societies would dwindle. Dwindle yes but disappear completely? Apparently not – despite the prophecies of the doom-mongers the Numismatic Society of the 21st century is alive and well and living in a town near you – you only have to look at the diary pages of COIN NEWS every month to see that. Indeed not only are Societies alive and well but they seem to be enjoying something of a renaissance; we know that recently, thanks to coverage in this magazine the Glasgow NS recruited five new members and when our Editorial consultant Dr James Mackay visited Reading Coin Club in early March his report back to us was that the Society was “buzzing” – as well it should be as it is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year! In the press release the Coin Club sent us they say that their membership is now a healthy 36 – that after a peak of 56 in 1979, I would suggest that that is about right, there is no doubt that the hobby in general is not as buoyant as it was in the late Seventies and therefore to expect any club to have the same numbers now as it did then would be unrealistic however to expect coin clubs to be shutting up shop left right and centre is even more so, This month alone there are over 20 societies meeting up and down the country with talks and lectures on subjects as diverse as “English Milled Silver”, “Bath Theatre tickets” and “Aspects of Roman Bracteates”. There are dinners, AGMs, Auctions and even a quiz – quite literally something for everybody. True not every Society will cover every subject in its programme but you can be sure that even if the one local to you doesn’t have something of interest to you this month then maybe one slightly further afield may – or why not go to both? If you’re in Nottingham and enjoyed your Annual dinner on May 11 why not visit the Derby Society for their Auction on May 17? If you’re a member of the Plymouth Society and enjoyed B Short’s lecture why not head on up the A38 for David Young’s talk in Exeter? Similarly if you’re in Manchester you have Stockport or the Manchester Central Library to choose from with Roy Williams giving a talk for the South Manchester NS on the 10th and Keith Sugden entertaining the Lancashire and Cheshire NS on the 15th.

Of course you don’t need to be a member of one Society to visit another – new members and potential members are always welcome at all the UK’s Coin Clubs and if you’ve never been to a meeting of your local society why not give it a go – after all what have you got to lose? A few hours one evening is all it takes to go along and see what the Society is all about – if you don’t like it don’t go back, or go to another Club in your locale if there is one. I have been assured by all NS secretaries that neither they nor (most) of their members bite! So if you’re a coin or banknote collector (and I’m sort of assuming by the fact that you are reading COIN NEWS that you are) then look in the back pages, find your local Society and pop along to the next meeting or give the secretary a call and find out what’s coming up in the future. You never know you might be pleasantly surprised.

SOCIETY SECRETARIES

You’ll only get new members if more people come along to your meetings and our readers will only be able to attend those meetings if they know about them so get your information into us now!

It’s totally free to advertise forthcoming talks, auctions meetings etc so get send your programme to Ruth Coleman at COIN NEWS, Token Publishing Ltd, Orchard House, Duchy Road, Heathpark, Honiton, Devon, UK EX14 1YD
Fax her on : 01404 44788 or email ruth@tokenpublishing.com

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In This Issue

Out & About23
Pennies in the Pushkin Museum
Early English Coins abroad
Background27
Henry III
King and Patron of the Arts
Pioneers31
Knowledgeable numismatists
Paving the way for coin collecting
Medallic Miscellany35
Medallic artistry
The work of Frank Bowcher
Tokens39
Attention to details
A glimpse at one city's issues
Competiion42
Win a Celtic Coin
Insight44
The Bronze Bun Head Halfpenny
The reverses analysed
On the Fringe49
My ducats and my daughter
What were Shakepeare's coins
Banknote Feature61
Bermuda's dollar currency
A look at the island's modern issues
The Collector's Page73
Fool's Gold
A metal detecting novice sets forth

Regulars

The Editorial page2
Coin News & Views8
New Issues update14
Royal Mint Bulletin16
Market scene19
Price Guide to HALF SOVEREIGNS53
Banknote news57
Banknote new issues update58
Letters to the Editor64
Coin Clinic65
The Lexicon65
Dealers' Lists67
Calendar69
Semi Display advertising74
The Web Page76
Classified Advertising78