This too shall pass IT WAS, perhaps, inevitable, but we now learn that the York Coin Fair, scheduled for July 17 and 18, has been cancelled. We all fervently hope that this current crisis is well behind us by then but, realistically, we must expect there to be still be some restrictions and “social distancing” for a while. Therefore, the York Racecourse have decided that it is unlikely they will be able to hold any public events at the venue for the greater part of the rest of this year. We at Token Publishing love the York show, we really do, it’s a beautiful city to visit and the coin fair is always fun, so its cancellation is a real blow to us personally—it has also highlighted just how much we actually miss seeing all of you! There have, inevitably, been times in the past when we have looked at our calendar, seen that there was a show on every weekend in a month (don’t forget we publish MEDAL NEWS too, so have the medal fairs to attend as well as coin fairs) and groaned inwardly to ourselves. Getting up early at the weekend to get to the destination (we’re based in Exeter—every show is a few hours journey away), or staying in an impersonal “chain” hotel the night before, soon wears thin and there have been occasions where we have questioned our sanity. But we’ve gone ahead and done the show anyway. Now, when we can’t get to any, we realise why; because they really are an important part of the hobby and, more than that, we actually enjoy them. I know I have banged on about this before and those of you who don’t attend shows will, I am sure, be rolling your eyes heavenward in disdain, but those who do get to go to fairs will understand what I’m saying. As I mentioned last month, the Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t hit our hobby as hard as it has many others and the fact that many of us are used to sitting at home poring over our coin trays means that lockdown hasn’t necessarily been a great hardship. However, no matter how “solitary” many of us may consider coin collecting, as the weeks of forced isolation become months so the need to interact with likeminded collectors becomes greater and I know that there are many of you who are missing the coin fairs just the same as I am. Of course, online forums are excellent and are a lifeline for a lot of you, but if you’re like me you’ll miss just idly chatting, chewing the fat, learning, teaching, or even just seeing the delight in a fellow collector’s eye when he tells you about a new acquisition. The online numismatic world has a lot to offer but it lacks that all important human touch and, believe it or not, most coin collectors are human after all! I have no idea when the shows will start again, hopefully by the time York was due to roll around we’ll all be more or less back to normal, but of course, the Racecourse, and the show’s organisers couldn’t take that risk so we can’t blame them for cancelling. But which will be the first show back? Will it be Bloomsbury in July? Wakefield in July or August? The London Coin Fair at the beginning of September or Coinex at the end? Will any of them go ahead? And if they do what format will they take? Will we all be instructed to wear masks? Will only a handful of people be allowed in the room at any one time? We don’t know the answers, no one does, but one thing we do know—that this too shall pass. One day it will, one day we’ll be back to normal, one day we’ll not worry about shaking hands, not worry about how many people are in a room and this will be but a bad memory. And that time can’t come soon enough for me. If this forced absence of fairs has taught me one thing, it’s that I don’t much like the idea of never actually seeing another collector in the flesh again and don’t much relish a hobby where there aren’t any shows because they’ve all vanished. So, when this is all over I shall very much look forward to seeing you all again and I promise not to groan when I see a full month of shows on my calendar—I also hope that all of you who visited fairs before all this will continue to do so and those of you who didn’t will consider going along for the first time. In the meantime, until we can all meet up again: stay safe, stay well.