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The Wessex Numismatic Society (Bournemouth)

Catchment area:
Dorset, South Wiltshire, West Hampshire, Bournemouth, Dorchester, Poole, Ringwood, Salisbury, Southampton, Weymouth.

The Wessex Numismatic Society was founded at a meeting held at St Peter’s Hall, Hinton Road, Bournemouth on September 10th 1948. The originators of the Society were Vivian du Bedat Smythe (1889-1954) and Dr Edward Burstal (1879-1967). From our inception we have endeavoured to promote the study of numismatics in its widest sense — not only coins from classical times to those of the present century, but also commemorative and campaign medals, trade tokens and paper money. The current membership of 35 includes people whose interests encompass all these themes.

The Society’s first Secretary, Ronald Bartlett (1921-1961), was one of those who founded BANS in 1953. We have hosted the annual National Numismatic Congress in Bournemouth three times, in May 1953, April 1973 and April 1992. On each occasion we have staged a public exhibition of coins and medals in the town. The 1973 Congress coincided with our Silver Jubilee, for which we had a special commemorative medal struck. To mark our Golden Jubilee in 1998 members received a special Society paperweight.

Our varied programme of events caters for all tastes. Usually we play host to at least three distinguished visiting speakers a year, augmented by papers from members who compete for the Society’s Sir John Hanham medal (first awarded in 1956), a members’ evening, a quiz and two auctions a year. We’re a friendly group with a warm welcome for everyone, from beginners to serious-minded collectors. For further information, please contact the Secretary.

Patron: Yvonne Johnstone. Secretary: Peter Preston-Morley. Treasurer: Italo Volgano. Committee: Edward Colgan, Philip Cox, Robert Lee, Bill Petts, Derek Stewart, Susan Stewart.


Programme 2015/2016

All talks illustrated with PowerPoint

October 6th Members' Evening: My favourite coin  
November 3rd Auction 130.
(viewing from 5pm, auction starts 7pm).
December 1st The 18th Raymond Lax Memorial Lecture.
Philip Mernick (London), Medieval English Jetons.
February 2nd Christopher Hill (London), History through Medals - the joy of collecting.  
March 1st Jonathan Callaway (London), Robert Owen’s Labour Notes.  
April 5th Auction 131.
(viewing from 5pm, auction starts 7pm).
May 3rd Nicola Moss (Lymington), To dream up a medal.    
June 7th David Young (Wellington), A visit to the circus.  
July 5th The 60th Founders’ Memorial Lecture.
John Finlay (Winchester), Coins of the Ancient Olympics.
September 6th    68th Annual General Meeting.  


All meetings are held at the Edward Wright Room, Beaufort Community Centre, Beaufort Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth, BH6 5LB at 8pm on the first Tuesday in each month (except for auctions and the trading session which start at 7pm).


The Society does not meet in August.


Subscriptions: £7 per annum. Juniors aged 15-18 £1. Under 15s free. All subscriptions are payable at the October meeting.

Contact address: Peter Preston-Morley, c/o Dix Noonan Webb, 16 Bolton Street, London W1J 8BQ. Tel. 020 7731 1702, E-mail

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