Lucy-Ann Pickering, the newly-appointed Assistant Curator (Education & Learning), started work at the Museum on 28 November. With Lucy-Ann on board, the Museum will be looking significantly to expand its educational provision over the coming months and years.
On 17 November a reception was held in the Deputy Master’s office to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Graham Dyer’s joining the Royal Mint. Graham was Curator of the Museum for more than 40 years and is now part-time Senior Research Curator with responsibility for the lengthy task of cataloguing the collection. He is the only remaining member of staff to have started at the old mint at Tower Hill.
On 11 November the Museum received a visit from Joseph Martin Watson and Joseph Timothy Watson, son and grandson of Dr Joseph Herbert Watson – Chemist & Assayer at the Royal Mint from 1954 to 1962. During the Second World War Dr Watson was responsible for the Air Raid Precautions service at Tower Hill and in the late 1940s he wrote an informative account of the whole operation – but he will be better known as the author of Ancient Trial Plates (London, 1962), an authoritative volume which describes the spectacular series of these plates held in the Royal Mint Museum.
We have just acquired a modern copy of a map from 1873 entitled ‘The Tower & St Katharine Docks’, available as part of the Old Ordnance Survey Maps series. The Royal Mint on Tower Hill has a prominent position and, most interestingly of all, many of the production areas are identified by name.
The Coinage (Measurement) Act 2011 – the first piece of primary legislation relating to coinage since the Currency Act 1983 – received Royal Assent on 3 November. Containing just two clauses, it makes minor amendments to the Coinage Act 1971 which enable the Royal Mint to strike United Kingdom coins weighing one kilogram or more.
On 21 October Joseph Payne, Assistant Curator (Information & Research), visited Greenhill School in Cardiff and delivered a number of workshops. The sessions were built around a game of bingo using the 29 different 50p designs which make up the London 2012 Sporting series