BBC Gardeners' World Live
13th June - 17th June
The Royal Mint Roadshow hit the highways and byways of Britain this year with our first ever nation-wide tour in a specially-designed double decker bus. The team received a warm welcome from our first venue, the ‘BBC Gardener's World Live’ show at the NEC in Birmingham. Guests were fascinated to learn about The Royal Mint's 1100 years of history from our top deck exhibition, whilst this year's themes of Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games proved popular in our on-board shop.
Royal Highland Show
21st - 24th June
High winds and stormy skies did not deter the enthusiasm of our Royal Mint Roadshow team nor the steady flow of eager visitors, as we enjoyed a week of Celtic hospitality at Scotland's prestigious Royal Highland Agricultural Show. The Roadshow bus, complete with its black Royal Mint livery emblazoned with coins, was a popular attraction, creating a distinctive spectacle nestled in amongst livestock displays, rows of mighty farm machinery, forestry demonstrations and handicraft stalls. A most enjoyable visit!
Our visit to historic National Trust-owned Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham had particular significance for the Roadshow team; it was here that Sir Isaac Newton lived for many years, prior to becoming Warden of The Royal Mint in 1696 and then Master. It was whilst confined to Woolsthorpe during the plague years that he formulated his gravitational theory, inspired by an apple falling from a tree in his orchard. We received a warm welcome from tour guides and visitors, and all enjoyed our travelling exhibition.
Black Country Living Museum
A day out in Dudley was the next stop, at the Black Country Living Museum, an urban heritage park featuring a faithfully recreated canal-side village complete with costumed demonstrators and working craftsmen bringing relocated historical buildings back to life. We were delighted to welcome a number of school-age groups on board, all fascinated to learn more about the coins in their pockets and intrigued to hear that The Royal Mint made the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medals too!
'Flying Legends' Air Show
30th June - 1st July
It was 'chocks away' for a flying start this weekend, as The Royal Mint Roadshow landed at the Imperial War Museum's former World War II air fighter station at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, for the spectacular two-day 'Flying Legends' Air Show. Mock Spitfire battles and flying demonstrations from World War I and II propeller-engined planes provided an exciting backdrop to our distinctive Roadshow bus, as visitors on board were treated to displays of coins and a journey through 1100 years of Royal Mint history.
Royal International Air Tattoo
7th - 8th July
The Royal Mint Roadshow maintained the aviation theme this week as it called in at RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo, the world's largest and most impressive military airshow. As well as enjoying our travelling exhibition, visitors of all ages were intrigued to see samples from a range of military and civilian medals that have been beautifully and skillfully created by Royal Mint craftspeople since the Battle of Waterloo, brought on board specially for this event.
Veuve Cliquot Polo Gold Cup
For our next visit, the Roadshow team headed for the pastoral parkland of the Sussex Downs and Cowdray Park, the home of British polo, for the prestigious 'Veuve Clicquot Polo Gold Cup' tournament. Polo has been played on the estate for 100 years, the first competitive tournaments taking place in 1910. Situated on the perimeter of the stylish ‘Veuve Clicquot Champagne Garden’, the Royal Mint Roadshow enjoyed visits from polo fans of all ages as the teams battled for supremacy on the polo field.
'War and Peace' Show
18th - 22nd July
The Royal Mint Roadshow bus lined up alongside an impressive display of might and machinery at the ‘War and Peace' Show in Paddock Wood, Kent, for an event billed as ‘the world's largest military vehicle spectacular’. With stall holders and visitors dressed in period costume, the Roadshow team welcomed characters ranging from Generals to Home Guard and Land Girls on board. The Royal Mint's prowess at medal making - Olympic, Paralympic, military, civilian - formed the basis for many an interesting discussion.
Royal Welsh Show
23rd - 26th July
The Royal Mint Roadshow was on home turf in Builth Wells, Wales, for the next stop on our nationwide tour, with a visit to The Royal Welsh Show in the heart of the dramatic mid-Wales countryside. Displays of Britain's finest livestock included Welsh native ponies and cobs and the largest exhibition of sheep breeds in the world. With non-stop show-jumping events in the main ring, it was unsurprising that the Equestrian coin from our London 2012 Sporting 50p Collection was one of the most popular products on board.
Shugborough County Show
28th - 29th July
Staffordshire was the setting for a weekend away at the popular Shugborough County Show, on the striking parkland estate of Shugborough Hall, erstwhile home to late Royal photographer Lord Lichfield. Set in nine hundred acres of lush green riverside gardens, the estate features a working Georgian farm, a mill and working Victorian servants' quarters. The Royal Mint Roadshow proved a popular visitor attraction amongst displays of birds of prey, working sheep dogs, craft demonstrations and local produce.
Audley End Picnic Concerts
3rd - 5th August
The Royal Mint Roadshow team joined concert-goers in the gardens of Audley End, a Jacobean country house set in the heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside, for a series of open-air picnic concerts, each culminating in a spectacular firework finale. Concert-goers were delighted to find the Roadshow in attendance, happily browsing their way through our exhibition and commemorative coin displays to the sounds of Jools Holland, Rick Astley, Toyah, and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Cowes Week Regatta
11th - 18th August
The Royal Mint Roadshow set sail across The Solent to the Isle of Wight for the Cowes Week Regatta, a landmark event on the British yachting calendar. Based on the seafront of this quaint maritime town, the Roadshow team welcomed sailing enthusiasts of all ages aboard. Our trip was enhanced by sightings of Skandia Sailing Team GB London 2012 Olympic Medalists including Hannah Mills, Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell, all proudly sporting their Royal Mint-made London 2012 Medals.
The Roadshow team spent a rewarding day at Bateman's, the National Trust-owned 17th-century Jacobean home of author Rudyard Kipling, set in the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald. Kipling is probably best known for childrens' tales including 'Kim', 'Puck of Pook's Hill' and the 'Just So' stories. Our stopover coincided with a family fun day, during which visitors to the bus were fascinated to learn about our Diamond Jubilee activities and the making of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Victory Medals.
The Royal Mint Roadshow was once again a guest of the National Trust for the day, at Standen, East Grinstead, an Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors and a picturesque hillside garden in the heart of the West Sussex countryside. Appreciative visitors enjoyed tracking our time-line through 1100 years of intriguing Royal Mint history, discovering the story behind the minting of coins through the ages from the time of Alfred the Great through to the commemorative and circulating coins of today.
Egham Royal Show
25th - 26th August
The 150 year-old Egham Royal Show was the perfect setting for our bank holiday Royal Mint Roadshow, set in a tree-lined field overlooked by the offices of global Olympic sponsors, Proctor & Gamble. The Victorian towers and turrets of official Olympic host village Royal Holloway College were visible in the distance, and nearby were Olympic rowing and canoeing venue Eton Dornay, Windsor and Royal Ascot. Visitors enjoyed steam and traction engine displays, a vintage car rally, and an exceptionally popular dog show.
Chatsworth Country Fair
31st August - 2nd September
The Royal Mint Roadshow team enjoyed a weekend of fabulous weather in the bustle of the Chatsworth Country Fair, a well-attended family show set in the grounds of magnificent Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, in the midst of some spectacular Peak District scenery. Our travelling exhibition was a popular attraction at the event, which also featured equestrian competitions, livestock shows, hot-air balloon displays, massed pipe and military bands and the ever-popular sheepdog demonstrations.
The Royal Mint Roadshow was a guest of The National Trust in rural Wiltshire for a day, at the historic Lacock Abbey. Lacock is famed for its picturesque streets and buildings and more recently as a location for the Harry Potter film and the period TV series Cranford. The Abbey is a striking country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery. Its museum celebrates the achievements of William Henry Fox Talbot, famed for his contributions to the invention of photography.
The National Trust-owned Newark Park in the village of Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire were our most gracious hosts when the Royal Mint Roadshow took up residence there for a day. The house originated as a Tudor hunting lodge, and is situated in an idyllic location overlooking the splendid Ozleworth Valley, with breath-taking, unspoilt views towards the Mendip Hills. The building and grounds are steeped in history, from their Tudor beginnings to their dramatic rescue by a Texan architect in the 20th century.
Mayor's Thames Festival
8th - 9th September
Once a year the banks of the River Thames between Tower Bridge and the London Eye transform into a carnival of live music, food stalls, dance, art and sculpture for The Mayor’s Thames Festival. The Royal Mint Roadshow took up position on the bustling riverside walkway near The National Theatre for the event, which this year coincided with the final weekend of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. What better way to spend the weekend celebrating London 2012 and the heritage of London’s great river?
Royal County of Berkshire Show
15th - 16th September
A landmark event on the Home Counties summer calendar, The Royal County of Berkshire Show is a celebration of all things agricultural, featuring the best of everything the local countryside has to offer. The Royal Mint Roadshow welcomed visits from record numbers of visitors, positioned amidst attractions as diverse as show jumping, pig, chicken and llama-judging, sheep-shearing and pony trap rides. Food halls and crafts provided added interest, along with a daily Livestock Parade.
Rockingham Country Fair
22nd - 23rd September
With far-reaching views across five counties, it is little wonder that William the Conqueror chose this location to build Rockingham Castle as a stronghold from which to protect his Kingdom. Now a private home, its sweeping gardens play host to the annual Rockingham Country Fair. The distinctive livery of The Royal Mint Roadshow bus stood out amongst impressive displays of birds of prey, working dogs, crafts and local produce stalls, attracting considerable interest from a steady stream of fascinated visitors.
Berkshire Food and Craft Show
29th - 30th September
There were plenty of questions from a steady stream of enthusiastic visitors to The Royal Mint Roadshow bus at the Berkshire Food and Craft Show this weekend, with Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 commemorative coins proving ever popular. Adjoining stalls sold home-made produce, and craft displays included hand-blown glass beads and broom-making. The star of the show was a very little owl with a very big personality in the wildlife enclosure!
Horse of the Year Show
4th - 7th October
The Royal Mint Roadshow spent an exciting few days at the Horse of the Year Show in Olympia, known as the ‘world’s most famous horse show’. Positioned close to the two performing arenas, the atmosphere was that of intense competition as 1,500 horses and riders competed for medals struck by The Royal Mint. In between displays, audiences enjoyed a luxury shopping experience, with the Equestrian 50p being a predictably popular item!
BBC Good Food Show
19th - 21st October
The Royal Mint Roadshow headed North to Glasgow for the BBC Good Food Show Scotland, where our Remembrance Day poppy coin received a particularly enthusiastic welcome. Taking pride of place next to the main demonstration kitchens, the Roadshow bus was an impressive backdrop for audiences enjoying cooking tips from chefs ranging from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry to James Martin and the Hairy Bikers.
BBC Good Food Show
8th - 10th November
The Royal Mint Roadshow visited the BBC Good Food and Wine Show in Olympia, London, where our Roadshow team were kept busy with plenty of coin-related questions from fascinated visitors. As with the BBC Good Food Glasgow event, our Roadshow bus was centrally positioned amongst the demonstration kitchens where stars of The Great British Bake-off, Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen showed off their culinary skills.