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Token of Haw & Atkinson of Thirsk

The find featured here was unearthed by Phil Matthews, who asked if I could provide him with more information about it

On one side is a wreath with nothing in the centre. On the other side it has HAW & ATKINSON at the top, JUNCTION MART THIRSK at the bottom and 4D in the centre. The 4D stands for 4 pence in pre-decimal currency.

‘Mart’ is the old name for a trade centre or market, so Haw & Atkinson would have been in some kind of business in Thirsk (North Yorkshire), probably in the late 19th or early decades of the 20th century. During this period a huge range of tokens and checks were issued by a very large number of businesses.

The most common are Co-op tokens, which could be saved up and then converted into cash or goods. Later on the Co-op stopped giving out tokens and gave all customers a unique number; they then received a dividend every six months. When I was a child my mother always looked forward to receiving what became known as the ‘Divi’.


Phil’s token is an interesting and rare find but would be of little commercial value as very few collectors are interested in these things.

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