Trinity Men’s Fellowship Eccleshall - Staffordshire

 © Trinity Men's Fellowship       Webmaster David Sandham

David’s 1922/23 German Bank Notes

After WW1 Germany had to pay reparations. The first payment took all that they could afford and they defaulted on their second payment. As a result the French and Belgians sent troops into the Ruhr. To cut a long story short this lead to hyperinflation in 1923.  Germany tried to get out of it by printing money of higher and higher denominations.

The photo to the left is of a 5000 Mark banknote printed in December 1922 at the start of the hyperinflation.

Pretty soon the value of the mark fell and notes of higher denominations were printed,

Soon the notes were up to a million Marks

Then five million Marks

Twenty Million

This is the largest value note I have - 50,000,000 Marks

My notes were collected by an Aunt who was a regular visitor to Germany prior to WW2 and brought them back with her but you can pick them up on eBay for silly money. Currently there is a set of three, a 10 million, a 20 million  and a 50 million for £3.99 including free postage!!!!!

The highest value note issued was for 100 million million marks

Worthless but interesting items?

Try Googling Hyperinflation in Germany 1923 - fascinating!

Tony’s Publication

From August to November 1967, a number of eye witness reports of UFOs seen over the Potteries were printed in the Evening Sentinel. Myself and a colleague (he was a solicitor), and both amateur astronomers, spent most of the late summer and autumn travelling, interviewing witnesses and writing up an 85 page illustrated report on 70 UFO cases typed by Margaret.

In 1968, having sent copies to all the national newspapers and TV and Radio,we held a "press conference" at the North Staffs Hotel opposite Stoke Station.

Every reporter came and the following day the papers' centre pages full of our Report.

We sold most the 1250 print - made no profit but what a fantastic experience !!

Below are a couple of additions by the “Webmaster” (David)

There is a video clip here of Tony in 1969, click here to see him talking about UFOs!!!!!

I have also found a video of Tony at the observatory back n 1967, click here.

"T for Tony and pet Rex - he's house trained and doesn't eat people"

Adolf Hitler was responsible for my conception !

  In June 1944 he, very kindly, launched a V1 flying bomb which fell a couple of streets away from my parents’ house in north-west Kent.The blast blew many of the tiles from the roof.

   My father, at this time, was a Sergeant detailed to guard Italian prisoners in a POW camp in northern Scotland.  Not that they needed a deal of guarding as they were, apparently, very happy with their lot and the last thing they wished to do was a ‘runner’ so that they could return to the front and continue with the fight !

  Mum contacted the CO at “Butlini’s” and explained her plight.  Rather splendidly, Dad, a builder of considerable pedigree, was granted seven days compassionate leave to fix the problem “couverturial”.

  My mother was naturally overwhelmed with anticipation and put the kettle on.

  It took Dad six days to complete the work and on tne seventh day he rested. Nine months later I drew breath for the first time and was christened on VJ day. Hence my name, Victor Joseph.

  Before the end of hostilities in Europe, the inmates at Butlins North presented him with two hand-made cigarette cases, fashioned from scrap aluminium, embossed and engraved with a car and a motorcycle.  They even have a sprung catch to open them.

  The craftsmanship is ridiculously good when one considers that the tools available must have been very limited indeed.   They are much cherished.

Some time after the war he became a member of the Master Builders Association.  I worked for him during the school holidays 1961 - 1963 and... Oh! was he good !

Stay home, Stay safe, eat chocolate.        VJF

Some facts from

Victor Joseph


 2008 was our 40th Wedding Anniversary so we organised a family holiday at Mumbles on the Gower Peninsula in Wales.  Our Grandson Oliver (Oli to his friends) was 15 months old and thoroughly enjoyed his time on the beach, playing with his bucket and spade.  He spent some time filling his bucket with pebbles, shells etc.  When it was time to leave the beach, he insisted that he was taking his bucketful of 'treasure' home with him. There was no point arguing!

It was only when I got home that I realized that the bucket contents were in my car boot.  I was about to throw them out when I came across the item shown in the photos. It is about 1.5 inches in length.

At the time, I was lecturing at Bradford University, so I showed it to Carl Heron, Professor of Archaeology (and now Head of Archaeological Research at the British Museum). His immediate comment was 'It is a flint arrowhead, between 2000 and 4000 years old and it is the most complete example that I have ever seen' 'The date corresponds to the Bronze Age in Britain.

As the serrated edges are still quite sharp , he believed that the arrowhead had been buried underground for most of its existence and had only been washed down to the coast relatively recently.  It would soon have been ground down on a sandy tidal beach.  He explained that the arrowhead had been made by 'knapping'. This had been made by a skilled craftsman who had shaped the arrowhead by repetitive striking with a stone when the flint would break off in a predicable manner.

Something I did not understand was that the arrowhead was not straight, but clearly curved.  Carl explained that in those days, feathers were not used to stabilise the arrow's flight. An arrow consisting solely of a straight head and a wooden shaft would always veer to the right.  To counter this, the arrowhead would be curved and fired with the curved head facing left! The craftsmanship that went into all this was quite amazing, considering the very basic tools used.  It must have involved much trial and error to get the arrow to fly straight.!

Oli is now thirteen, always looks at the arrow when he visits, and now realizes its significance.  I shall soon hand it over to him.

Stay Safe



Our Chairman's Grandson’s beach find

My old objects start as a photo with no explanation but here are some clues:

They were used at meal times.

There's one per person.

They're German.

Now the give-away, you throw their contents away after the meal.

So what are they?

In Germany, it was traditional to put boiled potatoes on the table in a bowl on a serve- yourself basis. The potatoes had their skins on and you peeled your own. That being the case, you needed a pot to put the refuse in.

These belonged to my German grandmother and when she passed away some 30 odd years ago, I asked for them because they reminded me of meals during childhood holidays in Germany.


Lester’s “teaser” objects

They had me foxed? (David)

David’s  WW1 cellar find

In 1954 my family moved to Monmouth where Dad, a combat engineer, became the RSM of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers. Our address was “The Castle, Monmouth” much to the delight of my mother :-) We did not live in the original castle which was a small ruin but in a house which was part of the Castle House. The whole building was constructed in 1673 from stone from the ruins of the castle.

The photo on the right was taken by Dad ,of the house, which was originally the stables and our car is parked in the arch. On the left is the building today which is no longer a residence but the museum of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, with a Combat Engineer Tractor and a Scout Car parked in front. The bulldozer is crossing a Bailey Bridge of which Dad was an instructor..

One day Dad was down in the cellars and he discovered three WW1 German Bayonets. He gave them to me and  you can imagine my excitement to clean them up and become a pirate, a Musketeer, a Knight, etc, in the surrounding woods. I was 11 at the time and I still have them, I could not play in the old castle, even though it was only 50 yards from our front door as it was fenced off to protect the public from falling masonry.

In the photo on the left you can see the whole building which contained all the offices, stores, Officers Mess, etc.  The land in front was the parade ground, it is now the museum car park. The main camp was across the River Monnow where RE soldiers came to be trained in the construction of the Bailey Bridges.

The Bayonets

The oldest one is the lower single one. It is called an M1898 n.A . They were created from 1902. The design was long (660 mm) and thin to match those of  the perceived enemy, the French. However when it was used it was found that it was too long because the body of the person stabbed tended to fall forwards trapping the blade between the front and back ribs. The blade and rifle could not be used - not a good idea in hand to hand combat. The blades also snapped quite often.

So it was shortened (430mm),  made more robust and then called the M1898/05. Because of it’s shape it has the nickname of the Butcher’s Blade.

The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers are the only regiment to have two “Royals” in their name

 Barwell meteorite (with pound coin)

After observations of a luminous fireball accompanied by sonic booms, a meteorite “exploded" over the town of Barwell Leicestershire on Christmas Eve 1965, raining down numerous fragments, damaging a car, a resident's driveway, a factory roof and a piece that bounced of the road, smashing a window and lodging unseen in a flower vase on the windowsill. Barwell was the largest meteorite fall in the UK !

Visiting the town, soon afterwards, I was fortunate to discover two small fragments of this stony visitor. The larger one shown, displays the mottled grainy ancient interior unchanged since the beginning of the Solar System some 4.56 billion years ago (even older than the combined ages of all TMF members) and the black fusion crust, evidence of it's fiery passage through the atmosphere.

So began my meteorite and tektite (impact glass) collection. Two of my specimens have strong connections with fabulous treasures found in Tutankhamun's tomb discovered by Howard Carter in 1922 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

The pectoral shows a winged scarab, once thought to be carved from Chalcedony, a semi-precious silica mineral (eg, Agate) More recently, the scarab was proven to be Libyan Desert Glass, a natural silica impact glass (tektite), the result of a large meteorite strike some 26 to 29 million years ago in the Eastern Libyan / Western Egyptian Desert. The origin of this mineral, the largest deposit of natural silica glass on Earth, has always been a mystery but recent satellite images have revealed a large heavily eroded crater straddling the Libyan/Egyptian border - "the smoking gun"!

The picture shows a canary-yellow / greenish translucent specimen.

The second treasure is an iron-bladed gold ornate handled dagger discovered in Tutankhamun's mummy wrappings. The mystery here was that iron was not generally used in Bronze Age Egypt during the boy king's brief reign in the 18th dynasty. A recent study using X-ray spectrometer analysis shows the blade is composed mostly of iron with 11% nickel and has been fashioned from a iron meteorite. The 1.77 kg iron meteorite in the picture is from a large desert "strewn field" in Namaland Namibia. Recognised as a meteorite in 1836, this meteoric iron was used by the local Nama people to make tools and weapons.


The Pectoral and Tony’s specimen of Tektite

Tony in full Star Wars PPE ready to escort Margaret into town to do the shopping

Barwell meteorite.

Tony’s 1.77Kg Iron Meteorite.

Tony Pace sends us some details of some of his meteorite treasures.