The Collection of Southwark 17th Century Tokens formed by the late Sir Richard Hayward, C.B.E.

The Collection of Southwark 17th Century Tokens formed by the late Sir Richard Hayward, C.B.E.

Sir Richard Hayward, C.B.E. (1910 - 1994)

Richard Arthur Hayward, born on 14 March 1910, was one of three sons of a postman in Catford, south London. He attended Catford Central School, where he excelled at sport, particularly cricket and football. He left school in 1924 and, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, joined the Post Office as a boy messenger, later graduating to the post of counter clerk. He married Ethel Wheatcroft (†1993) in 1936 and they had a son and a daughter.

During World War II Hayward’s knowledge of telegraphy, and specifically Morse code, enabled him to assist in the breaking of many codes of the German High Command. His phenomenal reading speed enabled the code breakers with whom he worked to intercept many of Rommel’s orders and his replies baffled the enemy.

This experience introduced Hayward to the world of trade unionism, and in the immediate post- War years he was promoted through the ranks of the Union of Post Office Workers, of which he became assistant secretary in 1947 and deputy general secretary in 1951. In 1955 he transferred to the civil service, becoming secretary-general of the Civil Service National Whitley Council (Staff Side), a post he held until 1966. Inheriting the mantle championed by his predecessor, Sir Albert Day, Hayward’s skill in negotiation and his capacity to win the confidence of both experienced and sceptical colleagues enabled a formerly diverse staff movement to act in unity. Two particular arbitration victories gave him immense satisfaction – on central pay, in 1962, when the tribunal awarded 4% compared with an offer of only 2% (which actually broke Whitehall guidelines at the time), and on a reduction in working hours in 1964. He also worked tirelessly to ensure that civil service pensioners received their just rewards. This work was not confined to Britain and his advice and help were regularly sought overseas, particularly in the field of collective bargaining and arbitration, and he was a regular visitor to Mauritius, Israel and Canada in this respect.

Awarded the C.B.E. on retirement in 1966, he was appointed to serve on numerous commissions in Whitehall including, as chairman, the Supplementary Benefits Commission. He served as president of the Civil Service Cricket Association from 1967 to 1991 and the Post Office invited him on to the board as a director of industrial relations in 1969, the year he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. This, he was to acknowledge, became the saddest part of his career because the bitter postal workers’ strike of 1971 soured his relations with many union activists and he was stripped of honorary life membership of his old union. The following year saw him appointed chairman of the NHS Staff Commission, then in 1976 he served two years as chairman of the New Towns Staff Commission.

Apart from his keen interest in cricket and football (always in that order), Hayward was a governor of Guy’s Hospital in Southwark. He knew the area intimately and in 1970 began to collect the 17th century tokens of the district, forming friendships with the principal dealers, most notably Robert Sharman. He derived great pleasure from studying his tokens, researching the background behind them, writing articles and giving talks to local history groups, and he was actively acquiring pieces up to a few weeks before his death, which occurred on 26 February 1994 at the age of 83. Twenty years later, it is the wish of his family that a new generation of collectors enjoy the Hayward collection of 170 Southwark tokens (a further two pieces have been reassigned to the city of London by the latest research), one of the largest dispersals of its kind in modern times.