Troubled coins

Started by Figleaf, March 25, 2008, 11:33:55 PM

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brandm24

Quote from: Manzikert on May 17, 2022, 12:16:21 PMI think the 'swirly thing' is the stem and leaves of the rose. If I remember rightly the heraldic term is a 'rose slipped' for one with the stem.

Alan
Sorry, Alan, I forgot to get back to you on this. Apparently, the term is a "rose slipped and leaved." It's amazing how many different styles of the Tudor rose there are...several dozen at least. Not sure any of them fit "my" rose but it was an interesting learning exercise.

Bruce
Rose slipped and leaved.jpeg
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Snithjack659@gmail.com

Hi yes these are my coins what does evrey one think love to here some feed back

brandm24

Could you post some pictures? Thanks.

Bruce
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Snithjack659@gmail.com

I am new to this site how do i post pictures

Figleaf

  • Use the "Reply" button; not "Quick reply"
  • Click on "Attachments and other options" below the frame to type your post"
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.

Maximum  size of pictures is 256k. If you need pointers on how to reduce image depth, look here.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

brandm24

The picture was sent to my email so I processed and downsized it.

A wide variety of UVF stamps with a couple of font sizes and styles I haven't seen before. The large number, about 20 distinct types, highlights the many different sources for these particular counterstamps. The large number is seen on no other issues that I know of.

Of particular interest to me is the huge letters on the coin on far right of the picture. The other is the defacement of the salmon with UVF struck over it. The group is a good representation of these stamps in general.

Brucersz_20220618_154059.jpg
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brandm24

The pointed slogan "Hang Arlow" on this Irish florin are harsh words for an Anglican cleric and peacemaker who worked tirelessly for peace and coexistence in Northern Ireland for most of his adult life.

William Arlow was born in Banbridge, Co. Down in 1926. One of his parents was the child of a Protestant father and a Catholic mother and in later years he often remarked how this mixed ancestry, quite unusual for the time, influenced his work at reconciliation. After working as a draper's apprentice in his teens he became active in the church and helped organize the first visit of the famous American evangelist Billy Graham to Northern Ireland in 1949.

In 1952 he moved to Toronto, Canada where he worked for Graham's organization, Youth for Christ. He later did work for Graham in Denmark and helped organize the effort in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Shortly after, he entered the Church of Ireland ministry. After studies in Edinburgh at the theological college of the Scottish Episcopal Church he was ordained deacon in 1959 and priest the following year. His first assignment was as curate in the Ballymacarrett district of Belfast.

In subsequent years he became rector of St. Patrick's church in Newry, Co. Down (1966-1970), and rector of St. Donard's parish in Bloomfield, East Belfast (1970-1974). It was here that he witnessed the horror of the Troubles and the violence of paramilitary activity. This experience would influence his life's work, that of peacemaking and reconciliation.

In subsequent years he formed relationships with both sides in the conflict through his efforts with the Irish Council of Churches (ICC). Arlow is best known for his work in organizing meetings between Protestant churchmen and representatives of the IRA in 1974 so that each side could better understand their positions and goals. To nearly everyone's surprise the meetings held in North Donegal and Feakle, Co. Clare were fruitful and eventually lead to a unilateral IRA ceasefire from late 1974 through early 1975 The ceasefire was instrumental in later negotiations with British officials and the IRA and their political wing Sinn Fein.

Arlow paid a heavy price for his activities particularly from Unionists who branded him a sellout for his accommodations with radical Nationalist organizations such as the IRA. The firebrand Unionist clergyman and politician Ian Paisley referred to him as a "Provo parrot". Provo is a derogatory term used to describe the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). Others branded him unworldly and a sellout. Despite the criticism, Arlow continued his peacemaking activities until his death in 2006.

While this coin could be attributed to either a Nationalist or Loyalist issuer it likely comes from a Loyalist point of view. The IRA seemed to respect Arlow to a certain extent because he at least showed a willingness to listen to their concerns.

Bruce
rsz_hang_arlow_1.jpgrsz_hang_arlow_2.jpg 
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Figleaf

Thank you, Bruce. I wasn't aware of his role and enjoyed looking up his story, finding it here, but shamefully, not in Wikipedia, where far lesser people do have a lemma.

From his extended biography, I found that he was no saint, but a real human, capable of making mistakes and of acts of great courage and insight. His simple thought of bringing people from the two camps together and letting them talk to each other shows that between normal people of good will, solutions can be found. In that sense, Paisley's opposition and your coin are testimonials to how right Arlow was. Clearly, peace was a national interest and just as clearly these critics were more concerned about their personal interest.

There are plenty of lessons to draw from Arlow's life and actions. I think everyone should do that for himself.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

brandm24

Yes, he was an interesting figure with courage that few people share. Just being from a mixed religious family could have serious consequences in those times. And, yes, he had warts like we all have. I think those can be forgiven.

It's sad that at his death his contributions had been largely forgotten. I did come across a lengthy obituary published in the Irish Times though that portrayed his life fairly. That's good...and deserving.

Bruce
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brandm24

Just a personal note in regard to the Arlow coin. It seems fitting that a object of hate such as this would have a small but positive impact more than 50 years later.

I bid on and won the coin at a British Heart Foundation auction in October, 2019. The price was far higher than what I normally would pay for a Troubles piece, but did so gladly.

To the credit of a good number of other bidders the result was a win for everyone and a small contribution to a worthy charity. A good ending to a sad episode I think.

Bruce
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brandm24

Another small positive from a dark time in Ireland. These three coins, while not remarkable or uncommon, have a interesting backstory. All three were left in the collection box at a charity shop in Hampshire and just recently sold at auctionCharity Shop Coins.jpg .

I was told by the seller that it wasn't uncommon for people in possession of illegally stamped coins like this to use them in vending machines, fare boxes, pay phones or to drop them in charity shop collection boxes. That way a small amount would be collected and spent on a good cause.

Bruce
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brandm24

At first glance this coin seemed to be stamped with an unrelated jumble of acronyms linked only by their Unionist affiliation. However, after doing  some research on the organizations it became clear that there were close ties between LAW and UDA and also with the USC and UVF. What was also interesting was the careful placement of the stamps. The two on the obverse were applied in such a manner as not to disturb or distort those on the opposing side of the coin. Very unusual on these issues.

The Loyalist Association of Workers (LAW) was a radical trade union organized in 1971. They were closely aligned with a number of Loyalist paramilitaries, particularly the UDA. It was the UDA who flooded the streets of Belfast with thousands of uniformed volunteers in support of a strike called by LAW and Ulster Vanguard in the summer of 1972. The strike was a violent protest of the legitimacy of the Northern Ireland Parliament.

While the LAW/UDA connection dates only to the early Troubles era the USC/UVF ties are much older. The Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) was a quasi-military reserve police force organized in October, 1920 to combat IRA attacks on the regular Irish police known then as the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). The USC was formed largely from volunteers from the old UVF. Though Catholics were allowed to join their participation was strongly discouraged. The USC would remain predominantly Loyalist until they disbanded in 1970.LAW UDA 1.jpgLAW UDA 2.jpg   

This interesting coin came to the seller in a lot won at an auction in West Yorkshire earlier this year.

Bruce
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Figleaf

Always pleased to see you post in this thread. I just wish it could somehow be organised. An index of counterstamps, perhaps?

Agreed on the factor of interest you mentioned: later counter-stampers being considerate on the earlier punches. It points at having experience in the matter. From you earlier post, I developed a hunch that the number of counter-markers was restricted. Perhaps that played a role: the later stampers may have known the earlier ones.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

brandm24

There were numerous counterstampers working throughout the Troubles...and both before and after. It's very difficult to determine the number of individual examples struck but it would certainly number in the tens of thousands.

Dr. Brunk who had a section devoted to Northern Ireland in his counterstamp reference was of a like mind. I've seen and documented well over 2,000 examples and have probably only scratched the surface.

Certainly some of the stampers knew each other as a significant number were produced in neighborhood mom and pop" operations...auto repair, garages, machine shops, retail outlets, pubs. etc. This doesn't take into account the assembly line examples struck in great numbers at large manufacturers, mostly in Belfast. Huge concerns such as Harland & Wolf and Shorts Aircraft often tasked apprentices in their machine shops to strike examples during tea break or idle time. As these companies had predominately Protestant workforces we can be sure the stamps were related to their point of view.

As far as organizing the thread I think it's a good idea but I'm struggling with a solution. I have some ideas which I'll share with you in a PM. Thanks, Peter.

Bruce
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