Thursday, 4 January 2018

A Sterling Job!

December 31st 2017 was a wonderful example of SWCC members coming together and proving that many hands make light of hard work. So read all about it or even better watch the video!

Ashford Price, the owner of Dan-Yr-Ogof show cave had very generously offered the contents of the wishing wells in the cave system to the SWCC replacement roof fund, but of course, we had to recover the coins ourselves.

Andy Freem put out a call on Facebook before Christmas to see who could help with the initial collection and possibly the sorting of coins. With initial interest high, the date was set and times agreed.

In the morning a team discussion was held on the logistics of recovering the coins.
There were 6 wishing wells to collect from, 5 in the cave and 1 outside. The largest of the wishing wells was going to be the most challenging as it was a deep pool.

Graham came to the rescue and produced a submersible pump (what does this man not have in his bag of tricks?).

Antonia Freem and Steve West were the official video recorders and everyone else donned gloves, boots and caving kit.

Andy, Angie, Barbara & Sam clearing the wishing well #1, furthest into the cave system.
Andrew and Jo at wishing well #2 had to employ ingenious methods to get the coins due to the barrier.

Andy and John at wishing well #3, cold and murky water made it difficult to collect.
Wishing well #4 was the biggest and Graham had set up the pump to drain it. By the time we started to collect coins from this pool it was about half empty of water. Initial collection was wet and miserable but as time moved on the pool was drained to a muddy puddle revealing many coins!

Nigel, Lois and Josh at wishing well #4 using a magnet and a broom.
Andy and John at wishing well #5, the largest of the pools.
Andrew and John, collecting the remaining coins in #5. The blue pump can be clearly seen and did an amazing job in removing the water and exposing even more coins.

Wishing well #6 was outside and was apparently a pool of coins layered with much leaf debris making for a muddy collection.

By 1pm all wishing wells had been cleared and bucket loads of coins were transferred back to the club hut. We could hardly believe just how many coins had been collected!

One of eighteen full buckets of coins!
With the 1st half of the job done… Now began the sorting. What was truly amazing was the enthusiasm and the team spirit in sorting the coins, many people at the club lent a hand and what would have surely taken a week with a couple of people was smashed in 5 hours!

Initial sorting started in the Dining room but Harvey was preparing the New Year's Eve Buffet so we moved to the long common room.

Foreign currency (old and current) and highly corroded coins were put to one side. 28 countries were represented; Canada, USA, Turkey, South Africa,Belize, Bahrain, UAE, Hungary, Ireland, Holland, India,Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, Czech Republic, Israel, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Spain, USSR, Romania, Belgium, Italy, Kazakhstan, France and in addition about 50 Euros.

During the primary sort banter was high with everyone cheering when a pound coin was found. Jokes about peoples piles flew around the room and even a bitcoin was found…!

Teams of people (new faces and old) sorting coins.
Andy overwhelmed by the help even suggested a break but everyone agreed to keep going and by about 5:30pm all coins had been separated out.

Antonia admiring the precious…

It was a truly amazing example of people coming together to get a job done and the rewards were high. The initial banking of pound coins only has raised £620 for the roof fund! The remaining 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p need cleaning up, bagging then taken to the bank. The bag with 20p’s is so heavy you would do yourself an injury trying to lift it! I wonder how much is in it…? 😃

Antonia and Steve filmed the event, you can watch it by clicking on the link below.

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