British Banknotes from the Collection of the Late Ray Harrod

British Banknotes from the Collection of the Late Ray Harrod

Ray Harrod (1941 - 2009)

Ray Harrod, a well-known figure on the numismatic scene on the south coast of England, died at his home in Waterlooville, Hampshire, in the early hours of 22 March 2009, at the age of 67.

Born on 15 September 1941 in Clevedon, Somerset, Ray and his three sisters were brought up single-handedly by their mother, Connie. Upon leaving school he worked on the Hayling Island ferries but, in his early 20s, he joined the GPO, initially as an installer of telegraph poles. He worked his way up within what later became British Telecom, becoming an Area Manager, before taking early retirement about 15 years ago.

In retirement he kept himself busy in many spheres. Always a practical man, Ray excelled at DIY and often did small jobs for other people to help pay for his collecting hobbies. His passion for coins and paper money was well known, but he also pursued stamps and postcards with considerable vigour. In later life he took up both indoor and outdoor bowls, and had been captain and skipper of most of the clubs that he had belonged to in his immediate area-he also played for South East Hants Bowling Club and had many trophies on his sideboard at home.

It was in his retirement that Ray was able to devote more time to numismatics. I first came across him at a meeting of the Ramsey Numismatic Society in the mid-1990s and a short while later he became a member of our Society in Bournemouth, the Wessex. He gave three full-length addresses to the Wessex, for the first of which, on forgeries of coins and paper money, he was awarded the Society's Hanham Medal in 2001. He joined our Society's committee in 2003 and remained on it until his death. His advice was always sound and practical and his input much valued.

Of course Ray wasn't only a member of our coin Society -he was a member of all the other local coin Societies as well! He was chairman of the Ramsey society at the time of his death, a prime mover in the Havant-based South East Hants society and a regular at the Worthing society. Regardless of the subject or topic, Ray would turn out for almost every meeting, relishing the chance to talk coins with like-minded individuals and continuing the conversation over a glass of beer in the nearby hostelry. Some measure of the esteem in which Ray was held by his fellow numismatists may be deduced from the fact that no less than 18 members from the various societies attended the celebration of Ray's life, which was held at Portchester Crematorium on 2 April 2009.

Ray's wife, Shirley, to whom he had been married for over 40 years, his son Paul, his daughter Tracey and his seven grand-children survive him.