The 35th annual Token Congress was held this weekend at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton.
Delegates travelled from all over the world to contribute to a fantastic weekend celebrating all things token. Over 100 token enthusiasts attended this year's event, engaging in three days of lectures, auctions, dealing, and beer....
Delegates gathering at the start of the three-day event....
The lectures were given on some fascinating token-related subjects, such as the Lusitania tokens by Goetz, and a wonderful ressurrection of the old 18th Century Sentimental Magazine and a study of the Regency Medals that were given away by the publication in the 1790's.
Throughout the weekend, the passion and the dedication of the attendees shines through, especially when you consider the sheer volume of research that the speakers accumulate to engage their audience. Many of the talks were fascinating studies of singular items that uncovered reams of historical facts and figures, with histories traced back to origin and beyond (in some cases right to the other side of the world).
'To celebrate the end of a life': not as funereal as you might think, but rather Andrew Wager's fascinating lecture on the historical significance of engraved coins and love tokens. Other highlights included Gary Oddie's amazingly comprehensive research into a certain Gilbert Gilpin; and David Young's study of Dorset Tickets and Passes, taking us on a beautiful tour of 18th Century Dorset (which is never a bad thing in any time period).
As well as the series of lectures, there is also a focus on the social side of token collecting. With all delegates obviously sharing a mutual interest, there is never a dull moment around the hotel, as people swap stories, research and plans.
There is also an auction held on the Friday evening, a magnificent gala dinner on the Saturday, and a bourse, where some of the most respected and foremost token specialists from around the globe have tables.
Deals, deals and more deals - some of the premier token dealers in the world display their wares....
As always, what stands out most from the weekend is the commaraderie of the delegates. Newcomers are welcomed with open arms and brought into a world that might seem at first glance to be extremely niche, but is as intellectually fascinating as any area of numismatics.
And this year, Baldwin's were proud to sponsor the beer, which turned out to be a little bit too much for one delegate in particular.....
All token enthusiasts are welcome, and if you're interested in attending next years event, to be held at the Hilton Hotel in Warwick 6th-8th October 2017. you can get more information on the Token Corresponding Society's website: http://thetokensociety.org.uk/
Or you can email the organiser directly - contact Dave Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org