Legacy and Diversity


As mentioned – a second post for the day.

I was discussing the concept of legacy the other day with one of the committee members. It was in relation to  particular aspect of the Society, but came round very quickly to the subject of membership. The Numismatic Society of Nottinghamshire is 75 years old this year. It is about half the size it used to be, the members have an average age of (I informally calculate) 65 and we have one female member. I think I’m right in saying we also only have one member from an ethnic minority too. Not everybody actually attends so it is difficult to tell. I keep nagging Julia to join, despite her limited interest in coins, as, with her heritage, I could then claim to have doubled both the number of female and ethnic minority members.

The Bank of England hosted an Inclusive Numismatics conference last Friday. Our Chairman presented a paper, and used the Society logo on his slides. Ironically, it was crammed with an unrepresentative number of speakers from minorities and was rather artificial. However, the hobby needs participants, you need something to kick-start such initiatives, and it’s much better to hold an event than it is to talk about it trying to make it perfect. A hobby that is short of members is a hobby that is dying.

Gibraltar £20 Coin 2016. Made from silver salvaged from the SS Gairsoppa.

You hardly ever see a matchbox collector these days and cigarette card collectors are rare, and usually over 70. Both hobbies hold a warning for the rest of us.

If we carry on as we are we may not be about when we celebrate out100th Anniversary. The society is currently about half the size it was in the early days, and as cash disappears from our daily routines, it is likely that entry level collectors will disappear.  Over the years we have seen definite fluctuations in interest linked to the ways the Royal mint produces and releases coins. we have also seen a definite dip after lockdown, coinciding with fewer places accepting cash.

The immediate problem isn’t the number of members we can attract from minorities, but simply if the society can attract enough members of any sort. After that we can look at minorities and age profiles, though I’m not sure what we can do about it. We are open to anyone, but people just don’t seem to want to join.

£2 Coin 2016 – 350th Anniversary


17 thoughts on “Legacy and Diversity

  1. Lavinia Ross

    Derrick is right, continue to do your bit. And maybe write that suspense novel that I know is in you! The plot should revolve around coin collectors, a murder and a rare ancient coin, Add in a bit of history around the coin, how it separated from its owner, including some background stories from the time period it was made. A fictitious Numismatic Society member whose initials could be S.W. should be the protagonist sleuth who solves the murder and recovers the rare ancient coin. I see a Best Seller in the works, Simon, followed by a movie.

  2. jodierichelle

    Do you have flyers in your place of business? That would be a way to get the word out. And if you tucked one into a likely candidate’s package and said, “Here’s a club I belong to that you might find interesting. Let me know if you have any questions.” That would be seen as a lovely invitation to attend.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I’ve suggested it to the owner, who is also the club secretary. I don’t think he’s convinced about the positive aspects of recruiting. At the moment I am putting hand-written notes in parcels when sending to local customers..

      1. quercuscommunity Post author

        About 15 years ago I went to two presentations on building a club and they were very keen on engaging people. Of course, that was partly so we could get into their wallet! 🙂

        Enjoy your book club. Julia used to be in one at work and it did make her stretch instead of just reding the same old things.

  3. tootlepedal

    I am having a lot of difficulty drumming up new members for our camera club. The trouble is that people use phones now and share the images online so they see no need to come to club and actually meet other photographers. They also don’t like to feel that they are being judged, and that might apply to people’s feelings about joining your society. They may feel that they would be considered insufficiently knowledgeable.

    1. jodierichelle

      That’s very true. Maybe one month they could show up at a local event instead of their usual meeting. Have a table with info and lots of friendly faces and maybe some samples or a slide show. It would take some doing but so do the meetings. People are afraid to go to something new unless they are invited by someone.

      1. quercuscommunity Post author

        Yes, when I was in the Sealed Knot i did a lot of recruiting by putting up posters and doing local events (this was in pre-computer days). It seemed to work. It’s all coming back to me now – the work, the whining and the lack of thanks. I remember why I decided to stop joining and doing things . . .

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        That’s the one, though it was a lot bigger at one time. Julia was on the organising committee for one battle where we had over 4,000 people camping.
        Unfortunately I don’t have many photos and can’t remember where I put them. 🙂

    2. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes. Maybe we should put some thought into why people don’t join. I tend to think it’s because one or two of our members tend to give off an attitude of not wanting new members, as they like it just the way it is.

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