BNS Medal
The British Numismatic Society

Promoting the study of coins, medals, tokens and banknotes

Medals, Prizes & Funds


Presentation of the Jeffrey North Medal for Service

(Left to right) Michael Bonser, Charles Farthing, Tony Holmes, and Joe BisphamThe Society is proud to announce the presentation of the first four Jeffrey North Medals for Services to British Numismatics at its November 2008 meeting. The recipients of the medals are:

Joe Bispham

As well as being a respected authority on the coinages of Stephen and Edward VI, Joe has been instrumental in the organisation of the British Association of Numismatic Societies. He ran his first weekend lecture course in 1989, taking over from Frank Snow, and has been responsible for it ever since. During his twenty years of outstanding service, he has led the BANS weekend to Cambridge, Oxford, Worcester, Durham, Nottingham and Derby. Thanks to Joe’s efficient organisation and success in finding speakers, it has continued to thrive and remained a very popular event.

Michael Bonser

Since the early 1980s, when metal detecting was still a new development, Mike has played a leading role in liaising with local clubs and gathering data on new finds. He recorded no fewer than 70 Anglo-Saxon and Norman coins in the first year alone, and published his findings first in Treasure Hunting and later The Searcher. In 1984 (with Dr Mark Blackburn) he published the first of three important articles on these finds in the BNJ, which later developed into Coin Register. Mike has continued to take an instrumental part in recording new coin finds, and over his 25 years of activity has recorded well over 2,000 coin finds and provided a critical link between the worlds of detectorists and professional academics.

Charles Farthing

Charles became Secretary of the Society in 1999, and has probably had more personal contact with the membership of the Society than anyone else. He was universally admired for his friendly and helpful manner, and successive presidents have recounted the extent to which they depended on Charles. In his time he has overseen the transfer of the Society’s membership records to electronic form, and has supported the meetings of Council with great efficiency. After six years in office he also proposed an important new development in the makeup of Council: the splitting of the role of Secretary into two, a Meetings Secretary and a Membership Secretary. Charles continues to fulfil the duties of Membership Secretary admirably, and is richly deserving of the North Medal for Service.

Tony Holmes

Like Charles, Tony has devoted many years of successful and efficient service to the Society, specifically as Librarian of the joint British Numismatic Society/Royal Numismatic Society Numismatic Library. He was RNS Librarian 1993–2007 and BNS Librarian 1995–2006, during which time he rallied volunteers in order to open the Library for members and oversaw the cataloguing of sales catalogues and the computerisation of the Library Catalogue. Despite disclaiming any technical knowledge, his co-operation with those working to input and edit the library records was so successful that in 2003 he could distribute a CD containing the Catalogue to members. Tony’s contribution as Librarian over more than twelve years goes well beyond the call of duty, and he is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the final medal of 2008.North Medal for Services (obverse) North Medal for Services (reverse)