The collection ranges from late Roman bronze coins to a coronation medal of Edward VII and a proof pound of Elizabeth II.

One notable piece is a Sea Gallantry Medal awarded by the Board of Trade to Harry Meader in 1881 for his part in rescuing the crew of the Indian Chief. This trading vessel ran aground on the Long Sand in the English Channel during a terrible storm. No ships could reach them in the heavy seas, and as the Indian Chief broke up 18 men were drowned. At dawn the next morning the Bradford, a lifeboat from Ramsgate, reached the vessel and managed to take on board the 11 survivors. This epic rescue was later immortalised by the poet William McGonagall. Extract of an article in the 2007 Art Fund Review written by Mark Blackburn.


John McKee.

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