The latest issue of the Conder Token Collector's Journal is on the way to member of the the Conder Token Collector's Club (CTCC). Editor Mike Grogan forwarded some information about the issue and with permission I've included some excerpts below; the next item is a full reprint of the announcement of the 2009 Token Congress. -Editor The contents of this issue include:
- The Anglesey Halfpenny of 1790 by Chris Leather
- Puddington Bared by Michael Dickinson
- 2009 Seattle Congress by Bill McKivor
- Middlesex 309 by John Fisher
- Bishop Blaze and the Wool Combers by Tom Fredette
- The Mayor of Garratt by John Fisher
- The Conder Era – 1791 by Michael Grogan
The following is from John Fisher's book review of The Mayor of Garratt - " William Irving’s novel of Jeffrey Dunstan fills out the scant facts" The article shed light on the subject of a 1795 token. -Editor It is difficult to separate the real from the unreal in this book, as nothing is noted about which events actually happened and which characters are purely in the author’s mind and who actually existed. This determination is left to the reader.
Token collectors know Dunstan from his image on Middlesex issues #26 (a penny), 315-316 (halfpenny) and 1056-57 and 1075 bis (farthing). Look for him also on Surrey 19-24. Perhaps you can refer to CTCC Journal issue #3, where you will find an excellent article on ‘Sir’ Jeffrey and two other Mayors of Garratt, written by Richard Gladdle.
It must be remembered that this is a work of fiction and should be enjoyed as such. Someone who knows nothing about Dunstan’s life and times will find it a more interesting read than those with certain knowledge of the era. Certain aspects of his life are too fabulous as to be believed. In this book, Dunstan meets and gains the favor of such personages as Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, the Prince of Wales, the playwright Samuel Foote, Matthew Boulton of Soho Mint fame, Pitt the Younger and the intrepid Charles Fox.
The most dynamic event in Jeffrey’s short life was the mock elections of the Mayor of Garratt and here the book is most interesting and entertaining with panoply of whacky characters filling the stage. These elections were attended by some huge crowds, numbering some 80,000 people, all of whom were part of a great revel with much drinking, a Georgian Mardi Gras celebration. Dunstan was elected in 1784 and served until shortly before his death.
If you wish to obtain a copy of this tale of joy and woe, Bill McKivor has a few copies for sale on a first come basis. It would not surprise me if this book were to be made into a movie or a BBC miniseries. The part of ‘Sir’ Jeffrey will be a casting challenge.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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