[image reblogged from essexwt.org.uk]
Thirty-six year old Simon from Birmingham was one of the forty volunteers who helped The Great British Coin Hunt to distribute their four hundred 2019 Peter Rabbit fifty pences. I asked him a few questions about his experience and how it felt to be responsible for integrating these previously uncirculated coins in the West Midlands.
What did it feel like to be part of this unusual publicity stunt?
‘It was all a little strange at first, mainly because I had never done anything like this before. I was also worried about making mistakes! However, it felt like it was the right thing to do. And as I went on it felt more and more like I was doing the right thing.’
You live in Birmingham. Is this where you distributed your coins?
‘Yes. I distributed some of them in Selly Oak and some others in the City Centre.’
As a whole, was it fun, was it ‘okay’ or was it downright awful?
‘It was good… and a little difficult. I had to make sure the videos recorded well and I also had to make sure that what I said in the clip was okay. It did get easier with experience. I didn't do it for the fun to be honest, I did it because I believe in the cause - and it needed to be done.’
Was it difficult to video each coin drop?
‘It was a little tricky at first but it soon got easier.’
What made you volunteer in the first place?
‘Just like Ian, I was getting annoyed at the number of coins being brought out as ‘purchase only’. It took the fun out of collecting and also made it very expensive. All this was just to make money for The Mint with no benefits for the collector.’
‘Also if I didn't feel this way, I would have done it for Ian as he's such a bloody nice bloke. I’m not trying to be sycophantic but he speaks up when something is wrong and he always strives to fix things. Why can't more people be like this? He would make a very good Prime Minister.’
What plans do you have for the Rabbit you received for your services?
‘I want to keep it guarded for the rest of my life as a memento of the whole event.’
Would you be interested in taking part in anything like this again?
‘I definitely would. Without a doubt.’
Would you identify yourself as being a coin collector?
‘Yes, no doubt about that either.’
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 would like to think that The Mint will listen; that they stop being so greedy and are fairer to collectors. And also start putting more coins out into general circulation. Given the way they have been acting in general, I think more work will be required…. but I am more than willing to do anything possible to assist.’
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019