The Collection of Sheffield Tokens and Paranumismatica formed by Tim Hale
I have lived in Sheffield for most of my life, and like most Sheffielders am fairly passionate about the place. For most of my adult life – and I'm 68 now – I have collected Sheffield memorabilia, starting when I was in my teens and continuing to this day. Mostly I have been drawn to old picture postcards, but I have an eclectic mix of interests and, broadly speaking, if it was something to do with Sheffield I collected it! Postcards, tokens, badges, coins, medals, keyfobs, bottles, and other small items of ephemera, all went into the mix.
Over the last 50 years I also built up a large and comprehensive archive of Sheffield images, ranging from Victorian photos of the late 1890s right up to recent postcards of the city. In all, my collection ran to about 10,000 cards.
Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2014 and that has increasingly made the physical ability to manipulate and view cards held in my hands a lot harder to do. Couple that with the realisation that searching through boxes of postcards for the elusive card that I hadn't already got was becoming much harder and very disheartening. So, after much deliberation, I sold my Sheffield postcard collection in September 2019.
That is not the end of the matter though, as I still have a fairly substantial collection of Sheffield medals, tokens, badges and other small items of ephemera to part with! As with the postcards, they also cover the city's social history including transport, sport, politics, industry, entertainment – you name it. In the main, these items have been bought from collectors’ fairs, bric-à-brac shops and through the post from specialist dealers such as Bryan Hennem, Timothy Millett, Sheffield Railwayana Auctions and others along the way. On one occasion I had the opportunity to purchase most of the collection from an old collecting friend and acquiring that group sparked a renewed interest in the genre.
However, all good things must come to an end, and the time has come to part with the collection. This will allow my archive of Sheffield memorabilia to pass to new custodians, and to be enjoyed by a different audience.
People have asked me whether selling the collection is making me feel sad. But, you know, it isn't – at least not yet! I'm pleased that many fellow collectors will have the opportunity to add new items to their own collections, and I'm pleased that I'll get a little more room space back (as is my wife!). I'm also pleased that Parkinson's has been given a bit more publicity, and I shall be making a donation to the Parkinson's support charity from some of the proceeds of the auction.
I haven't stopped collecting entirely, but I'm trying to be much more selective about what I keep. I've retained some of the Sheffield badges and tokens that mean something special to me, along with sentimental family history pieces like my father's golf club committee badges.
If you're bidding, good luck. I hope you enjoy the thrill of finding something you haven't seen before.