Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
Held at Adelaides, 209 Bath Street
On Thursday 15th October 2015 at 7.30pm
Mr Stuart Little (President)
Mr Little welcomed members and visitors to the October meeting and mentioned how good it was to have such a healthy turnout on this typical Autumn evening.
Fire drill procedures and housekeeping rules were explained and all mobile phones were requested to be silent or off.
There were apologies from Jim O'Kane, Gaynor MacKinnon, Eileen Campbell, Brian Henderson, Petrina Cairns, Joyce McNae, Sallie Marshall and Sharon Macys.
The Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting held on 10th September were proposed by Rosemary Sannachan and seconded by Anne White.
There were no amendments or matters arising.
The Polmadie footbridge from Glasgow Green to Oatlands is to be demolished. It was closed earlier on this year to pedestrians, cyclists and river users following safety concerns. Contractors are due to start demolishing the bridge on 12th October. The work is due to take around 5 months to complete. The restrictions on river and footpath users will be lifted when demolition is complete.
Please note that the annual firework display at Glasgow Green has been moved from the 5th November to the 4th November. There is a European match night at Celtic Park Football Stadium on the 5th November which Police Scotland and City of Glasgow Council do not want to clash.
As usual, the event it free and open to all. Spectators are welcome from 5pm with the firework display taking place at 7.30pm.
An Open Doors weekend at the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust premises at the old Corporation Bus Garage, Bridgeton, attracted well over 1200 visitors. I was one of the team of volunteers welcoming visitors who came along. One of the trustees, Alistair Ramsay has been invited along to the OGC in January to give a talk on the work of the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust.
Unfortunately Joyce McNae, the club secretary was unable to attend the meeting this evening. Mr Little read out her report in her absence.
Mrs McNae would like to remind members that it would be greatly appreciated if they could take some OGC syllabus leaflets and distribute them to work colleagues, friends and at any local clubs they attend.
Glasgow MacKintosh Festival invites you to celebrate the life of Charles Rennie MacKintosh through a series of exhibitions, events and tours. These will run throughout October, with a few running until December. A full programme of events can be found at www.glasgowmackintosh.com
Turner Prize Exhibition is coming to the Tramway and Scotland for the first time this Autumn. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive programme of workshops, talks, tours and activities for people of all ages to get involve in. Information and a programme of events can be found at tramway.org
Kelvingrove Art Gallery has the new exhibition called "A Century of Style" which runs until 14th February 2016. Tickets to this exhibition cost £5/£3 and under 16s are free.
Information on Glasgow Museums can be found at glasgowlife.org.uk
People Make Glasgow have lots and lots of information on their website of events and happenings in and around the Glasgow area peoplemakeglasgow.com
Stuart Little told us that it was a return visit for our speaker, Roddy MacPherson, who tonight was going to talk about "The Glasgow Mint".
Roddy MacPherson led us on an erudite and entertaining talk about the probables and maybes of the existence of the Glasgow Mint. Coins were found by masons in outbuildings at a House of Correction in Drygate when work was being carried out. It was supposed at the time that this may have been the mint of the see of Glasgow. The date of the building's foundation is unknown but thought to be about the time of Richard III. The history books have been consistent in saying that there was a Mint in Drygate but there is no absolute proof.
A book was published in 1987, "Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles : Scottish Coins in the Ashmolean, Oxford and the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow". We learned that the collection at the Hunterian Museum had no Glasgow coins in the collection until Lord Stewartby sourced some to fill the gap. Lord Stewartby found an unique penny, one of the most important findings of numismatics. It was a Glasgow penny !
The coin collection at the Hunterian Museum is now of International standing and in 2009 Glasgow hosted the
"International Numismatic Congress, Glasgow". Never before had the conference met in a city that wasn't a Capital city. Such is the importance of the Glasgow Penny.
What is still a probable, maybe is whether the Glasgow penny was struck at a permanent mint. This would have been allowed as the Bishop of Glasgow had the power and the permission to have coins minted. Or, were they struck by a moneyer in the employment of the King, somebody that would move residence when the King moved residence.
The Glasgow coins initially bore the inscription "Villa de Glasgov" giving rise to the belief that there may have been a royal mint in the city. However, other Glasgow coins bear the moneyer's name, Walter. The name Walter also appears on Alexander's coins minted at Glasgow, Aberdeen, Montrose, Berwick and Dunbar (amongst others). Roddy tells us that he thinks the Glasgow pennies are for the King and not the Archbishop of Glasgow.
The lost collection of Lord Stewartby is a great shame and loss as he had only taken his collection out his bank to be photographed. Roddy hoped that the next big discovery in numismatics is the return of the collection and to give the coins some thought the next time you are walking down Drygate.
Roddy MacPherson was happy to answer questions.
Q I must plead complete ignorance on numismatics, my brother-in-law was a numismatist! I'm curious as to when the mints disappeared?
A The standard place of mint became Edinburgh by the time of James VI and it was always Edinburgh by then. In the period of Alexander III some 16 places are mentioned, from Carlisle to Inverness and places in between. That, I think is a reflection that the King is moving around the country. I would say wherever the King was in residence then the coins would be struck there. The last coins were struck in Edinburgh in 1709.
Q Yes, it was a very interesting talk. I thought you were going to give us a talk on the history of the mint, the year the Glasgow Mint was founded. You're a very learned and interesting man, could you please tell us the year the Glasgow Mint was founded and the first coin struck?
A The precise date of the coin is 1249-50 and is in the Hunterian Museum and has an image of the boy King, Alexander
III on it. In 1250 the stamp of the coin was changed to include the voided long cross. It is possible and probable that
Glasgow was the first of the new places of mintage. We also think that there may have been coins minted in Glasgow under Alexander II and William the Lion. That coins may have been made in Glasgow but the mint was just never mentioned.
Q Thanks very much for that talk. I was just thinking back to when having small change was a problem. It wouldn't have been could we have sorted it out by going snip snip !
Q Can I ask about the choice of raw material, where did it come from?
A David II was the first Scottish King to produce a gold coin, it copies the English King Edward III's gold coin. There's native gold in Scotland. Crawford Moor, Tyndrum, Perthshire Hills are some of the places where you will/could find gold. The Scottish Crown is made from Scottish gold. I'm sure, however, that Scottish coin wasn't produced from native bullion. With any good looking coin there is the prestige of the coin to be considered, to do with the fineness and weight of the coin. In these early days the coin was worth the value of the metal.
Vote of Thanks
Alison Sannachan thanked Roddy MacPherson for his most interesting talk on money since she herself is most interested in money. It was an enjoyable and very entertaining meeting, Roddy and on behalf of the OGC I would like to thank you.
The Glasgow Coffee Festival is taking place in the hall at the Briggait on Saturday 17th October from 10am until 7pm. The festival's aim is to educate, serve, entertain and inspire coffee lovers.
Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 5th November 2015
Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 12th November 2015
Stuart LIttle thanked members and visitors for coming along tonight and wished all a safe journey home.
Shona CrozerRecording Secretary