By Ion Castro
Some years ago I acquired a fine silver medal, 35mm diameter and marked “PRIZE MEDAL OF THE HASTINGS AND ST LEONARDS INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION 1867” and then, recently the bronze version ,apparently struck from the same dies, turned up at auction and I added it to my collection. In neither case is there any indication of the recipient nor what they exhibited or why the medals were awarded nor any indication of how many were awarded. Finally, where was the exhibition staged and what sort of exhibition was it? At this time the population had risen from 17,621 in 1851 to 23443 in 1861 and was to rise to 29,291 in 1871 so not a large town by any means. The Hastings Pier Act was passed in 1867 and the pier was completed in 1872 – was there any connection? The picture shows both sides of both medals.
Another mystery medal, in bronze with a diameter of 27mm, is marked “S.W.&A.C. THE AUGUST HASTINGS” with Hastings’ coat of arms over what appears to be Brighton’s coat of arms set in that of East Sussex. The back is quite plain but neatly engraved “3rd Team JC Johnson 1930” What is S.W. & A.C.? what does “The August Hastings” mean?
No prizes, because I don’t know the answers myself so any information would be gratefully received.
First Published in “Cinque Ports” November 2015
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