You are in [Artefacts] [Trade and Industry]
This article includes examples of several local industries:
Earthenware stone flagons:
These earthenware stone flagons are typical of those used by many trades during the 19th century. They have stone coloured body, with light tan necks and shoulders, and usually range from half-gallon to two-gallons in size.
Those shown in the gallery are impressed:
In 1648 small change was becoming so scarce and in bad condition that it caused difficulties in every day trading. Parliament seemed unwilling to mint small change because the cost would have been more than its value. Traders took it upon themselves to issue their own coinage, but it was not a good solution, as usually the tokens could only be exchanged at the shop that issued them.
Meanwhile, Parliament still did not issue small change, and the old currency, by deterioration and old age gave encouragement to the production of spurious specimens. It was officially stated at this time that less than a quarter of the pence and half-pence in circulation were genuine. Business dealings became severely hampered. Petitions and appeals to Parliament were of no avail, so traders decided to accept only "Tower" money, i.e. minted at the Tower Mint. This caused further confusion, as the bulk of the community was unable to distinguish the good from the bad.
In Hungerford we are aware of several tokens, including:
- William Bell, Vintner at The Bear
- Timothy Lucas, Spice merchant
- Thomas Sare, Wheelwright and Constable
- John Butler
Parliament was at last forced to do something, and what, they did was most extraordinary. Everybody was allowed to make their money for themselves. Any man who chose to make a thing called a halfpenny or farthing was free to do so, and it was legal tender. This situation was common throughout the British Isles, and it was too good an opportunity to be lost. The whole country was swamped with halfpence and farthings of the greatest varieties.
In August 1672 Charles II and Parliament forbade their further use and met the country's needs by minting official high quality copper small change - both halfpennies and farthings. Coinage with images of the King and Britannia replaced the multitude of privately issued local tokens, symbolically uniting the country and restoring royal control over the currency. Britannia has been on all coins since, and on all Bank of England notes since the bank was founded in 1694.
The "John of Gaunt" Halfpenny Tokens:
The "John of Gaunt" halfpenny tokens shown in the gallery are from a much later date - 1792.
The obverse shows the Bust of John of Gaunt in robes and ducal coronet. The reverse shows the arms of the Borough of Lancaster. Remarkably, the edge is inscribed "PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF THOS. WORSWICK & SONS. X." They appear to have been gold and silver smiths, watchmakers and jewellers in New-street, Lancaster. They were also bankers, and the banking firm of Worswick and Sons was established in 1794 by Thomas Worswick. The firm had commercial interests in the West Indies, and this may account for the tokens being payable at the warehouse. It is thought that about five tons were minted - and there are many forgeries and imitations.
This token coin was found in the area of Crown Mews in the 1990s, and was given to the Hungerford Historical Association.
Surviving evidence of local ironworks can be seen at many places around Hungerford.
The railings near the Down Gate leading on to the Common Port Down (and many others around the town) bear the imprint of one or other of two important ironworks in the town, Gibbons Kennet Works, and Cottrell's Eddington Works.
Examples of glass bottles used by various retailers can be found in Hungerford.
W. Champ & Sons was a mineral water manufacturer c1939-c1949 in part of the old brewery building (Hungerford Sanitary Laundry) behind Manor House in the High Street.
Prior to this, between c1896-1914, William Champ ran the dairy "Champ & Macklin Dairy" at 100-102 High Street. Alf Macklin continued the dairy in his own name thereafter.
Tom E. Crook was the landlord of the Crown Brewery between 1897 and 1913. He was responsible for the re-fronting of the building c1903, but went bankrupt in 1913 - the Capital & Counties Bank foreclosing.
Hungerford Sanitary Laundry:
This promotional brochure includes many historic photographs of the laundry, and much detail of its operation. For more see the Laundry.
Chilton Electric Products Portable Spin Dryer: The Chilton Factory made a number of small electrical products, and its shaver sockets were distributed around the whole world. It was a big employer in the town. One such surviving product is the Portable Spin Dryer.
For more see Chilton Factory.