Continued … from previous post

Maundy Thursday 28th March 2013

Maundy Money consists of specially minted silver coins distributed by the British sovereign on Maundy Thursday. The number of recipients and the face value in pence of the amount they each receive traditionally correspond to the number of years in the sovereign’s age . Oxford Ceremony.

Graham Aylett and his wife Anne © JW

The coins shown by David were a total surprise and ones I hadn’t seen (in the flesh) before.

I’m sure that many of you know that every year on Maundy Thursday, the Queen attends a Royal Maundy service in one of the many cathedrals throughout the country. Maundy money is distributed to male and female pensioners from local communities near the Cathedral where the service takes place. Maundy Thursday 2013 was in Oxford and as usual the Queen presented the traditional coins to those pensioners who have worked tirelessly for their communities. Within the ancient Christ Church Cathedral, the Queen handed out the famous red and white purses of money to 87 women and 87 men – she was then in her 87th year.

Also celebrating his 87th birthday that year, and a recipient of the money, was Graham Aylett, a well-known figure in Aylesbury. He proudly showed me the red purse containing a £5 coin and 50p coin commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation in 1953. The white purse carried the famous Maundy money, silver 1p, 2p, 3p and 4p pieces – equal to 87p, again marking the Queen’s 87th year.

I had never seen modern Maundy money and was thrilled when Graham allowed me to take photographs to show you.

Maundy Money – Different Eras – Courtesy of The Royal Mint

Dividend Token

… after a short break I poked about in the borders and dug a couple of beeps that sounded promising.

John Winter

I mentioned in the last post that I had received a couple of good signals whilst browsing in the borders. One of the finds, a London Cooperative Society dividend token reminded me of my childhood in County Durham. I had handled such tokens in my childhood when sent on errands at the local store.

Most Cooperative Societies issued pre-paid tokens that could be exchanged at a later date for specific goods or in place of payment … and many of them seemed to this small boy to be hexagonal in shape.

Co-operative Society Dividend Token © John Winter

The dividend, or ‘divi’, is perhaps the most well recognised feature of the Co-op. The dividend is the amount of money that members would receive from part of the society’s profits, the amount being proportionate to their purchases made at the store during a particular period. ‘Dividend Day’ was always an exciting time in our house.

Database (UKDFD) has several examples, not only hexagonal, but also square, round and oval. Rod Blunt’s description of the token is succinct and clearly expressed:

From the UKDFD

Dividend tokens to the value of the amount spent were handed to co-op customers for each transaction. When a number of tokens had been collected, they could be exchanged for a single token of higher denomination. Each year, a dividend, expressed in pence per pound, was declared, and holders of the tokens were able to exchange them for cash at that rate. If the rate was judged to be too low, holders of the tokens could retain them in the hope that it would improve the following year.

Rod Blunt

SAMPLE Tokens from the UKDFD


Graham and I talked about the day’s events and concluded that it was a case of serendipity. Although we were in search of the earring that Mrs. John eventually found, other events that day had happened purely by chance, and in a happy and beneficial way. We were all very pleased. I went home utterly exhausted … and slept the rest of the day.

2 thoughts on “Continued … from previous post

  1. I love your posts John.. I learn so much from them..I have heard the term Maundy before [probably from you in fact]

    But please forgive my ignorance,, how do 1, 2 , 3 , and 4 pence equal 87 pence.. I know it must have something to do with new pence Vs old pence.. at least I think that might be the explanation.

    You have the same types of tokens that we have out west in Canada… the ‘good for’ types.. and they are always a pleasure to find

    Thank you again my friend


    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are as many recipients as there are years in the sovereign’s age. At the ceremony, the monarch hands each recipient two small leather string purses. A red purse contains ordinary coins, while a white one contains silver Maundy coins, amounting to the same number of pence as the years of the sovereign’s age. Sorry, my illustration was misleading. See here:


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