Even though John Warne is currently on holiday in Cyprus, he still agreed to speak to me about his experience as a volunteer for The Great British Coin Hunt. Being employed as a Retail Delivery Systems Analyst for a large department store in Knightsbridge, London, can be a taxing role. Therefore, heading off for warmer climes and leaving everything behind for a while has to be a good idea.
Here in England it is a damp, dreary and decidedly miserable day….. meanwhile in Coral Bay near Paphos, forty-eight year old John is thoroughly enjoying both the sunshine and the scenery.
I put my envy to one side and press on!
What area do you live in? And is this where you distributed your coins?
‘I live in Kingston upon Thames. And yes, this was where I opted to put my 2019 Peter Rabbits into circulation.’
As a whole, was it fun, was it ‘okay’ or was it downright awful?
‘It wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it was going to be. Such things as queuing up to plant a Rabbit in a self-service checkout only to discover it was ‘card use only’!’
Was it difficult to video each coin drop?
‘Yes, trying to be discreet about it so that people couldn’t see what I was doing was difficult.’
What did it feel like to be a part of this unusual publicity stunt?
‘It was great, great publicity for Ian and also a good way to advertise other people’s charities and causes. My own one is The Psoriasis Help Organisation. It is a site I run and it is administered by sufferers for sufferers - http://www.psoriasis-help.co.uk/ ‘
Would you be interested in taking part in anything like this again?
Would you identify yourself as being a coin collector?
‘Yes, I collect all denominations - right from 1/2p to £2 coins.’
What plans do you have for the Rabbit you received for your services?
‘I will be keeping the coin for my own collection.’
What made you volunteer in the first place?
‘As a collector I like to find my coins in my change without having to pay over the odds just for one wrapped in plastic. Paying for coins takes the fun away. It is far more rewarding to find something you have been waiting on for years.’
Do you think that the whole #WatchOut4TheWabbit thing will have any effect on The Royal Mint and how they go about things? (i.e. That more new coins will go into general circulation instead of being ‘purchase only’)
‘I hope so!’
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019