The Ipsden Meet

 R. J. Bradshaw.

Our 2015 meeting saw another fabulous day, with more of the Indian Summer weather that this meeting tends to enjoy!  The day starts early and the hall was opened once again at 8.p.m. and dealing and swapping soon got underway from the large stock of brasses that were on offer here.















The theme of the competition this year was Vestry brasses which was won by the entry left, which was a cart saddle and brasses to the London Borough of Newham.

The talk this year was given by Colin Doy on military harness brasses, which was very interesting indeed, and was illustrated profusely with examples (some of which can be seen below) brought along on the day.


Below, a nice collection of Boss brasses, displayed by member Jeff Geden, which is one of his specialist themes.


 As with every other year, the day goes by all too soon, and all that remains is to thank everyone for coming, and to those who make the day such an enjoyable event.


 The 2014 meet saw another good day blessed with good attendance and plenty of brasses (see left) on sale, which created a great deal of interest throughout the day.

The theme of the display this year was Saddler Brasses and this year saw the inauguration of another new society award brass sponsored by Ian Jones seen below, which we hope will be awarded to exhibitors for many years to come


 Below, two of the entries this year, with the winner being Pete Lacey's display on the right.
















 The next years theme (2015) will be vestry brasses so lets hope we get as good a display as we had this year, and well done to all those who took part in this very popular competition! 

 The 2013 meet, saw an anniversary of sorts as it was our 22nd meeting at this venue since its inauguration back in 1991 by its late organisers, Ron Taplin and Ran Hawthorne.  Once again, good numbers were in attendance and we were blessed by some lovely Autumnal weather.

The subject of the competition this year was "Agriculture" and as the pictures below depict, there were various intepretations on this theme.  Below; two entries from Ian Jones left, and Joe Evans right, which capture the theme very well indeed! 


Below, a modern take on the theme by Jim Speed (left), and the winning entry as voted upon by Diane Hanson.  The winning entry was submitted by Mary Fletcher (right), showing the very personal story of her Uncle's brasses, with those in the display being seen in the old photograph, which was taken in 1939.









 The next years theme (2014) will be maker brasses so lets hope we get as good a display as we had this year, and well done to all those who took part in this very popular competition! 

 (Below left, members admiring the winning display)

Later in the day, a presentation was given to Audrey Hawthorne and Jean Taplin (right) for their hard work on their excellent teas over the last 21 years.  So well done once again, and we hope you will drop in and see us at forthcoming meetings?  The afternoon talk was given by our Society Treasurer, Brian O'Riordan and was entitled "A History of Horse Decoration", from Sumerian times up to the beginning of the horse brass era.


 Once again, its was a most enjoyable day, and we hope to see you all again next year.

 The 2012 Meet.

The early start and drive down to Ipsden this year was blessed with driving, heavy rain, and a great deal of standing water, but despite this, the day dawned bright and clear and we enjoyed another fabulous day.  As usual there was plenty on display and for sale, and the dealing got underway immediately.  As with the Church Stretton meet in May this year, our new website allows for much better photographs so the following should give you a flavour of the day.


 Ipsden village hall by 9.30;  and already busy. Below; Joy Hull and her collection of rosettes.


 Below; A rather nice selection of studs, from Joe Evans of Cornwall.  Such a collection can soon make a very interesting display, and unlike other facets of horse brass collecting, it is still an avenue that is a relatively modest one price wise.


Below; Jim Speed who does tireless work with the society stand at shows, getting a special recogniton award from committee members, Mick Mullens, and Pete Lacey.  Jim is a glowing example of those members who do so much selfless, unpaid work for the society.  In a similar vein, we would also like to thank all those who help to make these meetings a success so a big thank you to Mick Mullens, Jeff Geden, and Mrs, Taplin and Hawthorne (teas) for all their hard work.

"Ask not what your society can do for you, but what you can do for your society"


 The 2011 Meet.

Once again the entire Ipsden weekend was marked by a period of wonderful, Indian summer weather which made the journey a pure pleasure of rolling, early-morning mists though the Cotswolds, and a fabulous sunrise over Pershore on the way down this year.

Sunrise over Pershore

As is often the case in recent years, the early birds are always in attendance when we get there and dealing is already underway outside, as the stalls are set up inside.

Below; the organiser of this meeting, Mick Mullens with Stan Benton who as usual, has a nice selection on sale.


Mick & Stan

Joe & Ian

Right: Brasses R Us, (or dealing from out of the car-boot) as the weather this year was so nice, many members spent most of the morning in the car park, so lets hope that next years meeting will be blessed with similar.

As always however, these meetings would not be possible were it not for the hard work of those members who organise them so, once again, a hearty well done to all those who help Mick make this meeting such a success.

The 2010 Meet.

swinger cakeThey say the sun shines on the righteous and after a couple of days of foul weather, the day of our Ipsden meet this year was another fine one. It is a day of early starts for most of us, but no matter what time we get there you can guarantee someone is there already, and the dealing and swapping is already underway.

 As usual there were a couple of nice displays to look at such as member Doug Hull's "Swinger Cake (left) which gives us a few ideas about how to display such a collection. It is often forgotten that aesthetics is at the very heart of why we collect, with display being an important consideration for many. Space is often another consideration and it is patently clear that here is an ingenious method of display that can easily be rotated to give a different aspect.

For those of us that do not live in houses that contain beams, where do we display our brasses? The answer to this was provided today by member Jeff Geden, who brought another of his frames for us to look at, (below) where the theme is that of the horse itself.


Horse brasses
Framing a collection of brasses thus has obvious advantages and are easily portable should an individual collector display their brasses in public from time to time. (Below, as usual, a busy scene swapping and buying at Ipsden this year.)


the hall

Once again, the day is over all too soon and those of us that stay to the bitter end will have enjoyed a pub lunch followed by a film show this year, so as they used to say at the end of those American cartoons, "Thats all Folks" at least untill the A.G.M. in March anyways. See you all then.

The 2009 Meet.

The meet on 3rd October 2009, saw a very blustery and wonderfully Autumnal morning, which made the drive down very pleasant. Once again anyone who brought brasses were swapping and selling as soon as the doors opened, and it is always enjoyable to see these little huddles, and deals being done.


Above, the NHBS social occasion that is Ipsden, Doug Hull conversing with members, and Mick Mullens (right) who co-organises this popular meeting.

The 2008 Meet.

Organised to take place at the end of the year, this meeting used to fall too close to Christmas for many and in 2007 was moved into early November and this year was brought forward to October 4th.


Sunrise over the Cotswolds

Above; Sunrise over the Cotswolds, an enchanting sight not normally afforded by this meet.

The decision to bring this meeting forward by another full-month this year, certainly proved a successful move thus avoiding, even further, the spectre of Christmas, which always seemed to loom a little too large over this meeting when it was held in December. This years’ meeting was very well attended early on and many of us were afforded the extra luxury of travel blessed by the light that is usually robbed of us at the end of the month, by which time, the clocks will have gone back.


The Ipsden Crowd

Above; Joint Organiser Ron Taplin in the foreground and some of the Ipsden Crowd, which even early on was busy this year.

Today however, the dealing and swapping got underway early on aided by the lovely weather which often allows deals to go on, both inside and out. This year, Jim and Judy Speed bought the collection of modern K.B. brasses for display, which had belonged to the late Ron Baldwin, who was of course the “B” in the K.B. monogram (the other being Terry Keegan of course) which is to be found on the reverses of many of our finest, modern brasses.


Jim Speed & the Baldwin Collection

Above; Jim Speed with the Baldwin Collection of K.B. Brasses. It is K.B. who make our dated NHBS member brasses given to society members every year.

As well as the usual displays that a member can expect to see here the main reason that we all attend this meeting of course is the chance to add something to our collections.



Also on display here this year was a portion of the Horse Bells collection made by the joint organiser of this meet, Ron Taplin. Ron has long specialised in this area of horse brasses, and also organised the afternoon’s attraction which is a display from a local team of hand-bell ringers. Earlier in the proceedings today, Ron was given a special members award brass for his long service to the society, which was presented by the co-organiser of this meet Mick Mullens.


Horse Bells


Ron and Mick

Above left, part of Ron Taplin's collection of Horse Bells, and right, Ron recieving his award brass for long service to the NHBS from co-organiser Mick Mullens.

Whichever of our meetings happens to be a personal favourite, there is no doubt that the one that takes place in the picturesque village of Ipsden in Oxfordshire has become a firm fixture for many NHBS members so well done to Mick and Ron for organising yet another, really good meeting, which some were overheard to say, was one of the best yet, so let us hope that the earlier fixture will continue to prove a popular one.

Below; two rare sights enjoyed this year, which were (Left) a Red Kite sighted over Ipsden Village Hall, and, even rarer, (Right) Mick Mullens making the author a cup of coffee!!!


Red Kite


The Tea Boy

 The 2007 Meet


Doug & Joy Hull & their collection
Last year the dealing and swapping got underway as soon as there were enough in attendance, which, in recent experience is usually quite early.

As with our other meets, at Ipsden there are similar attractions laid on by organisers Mick Mullens and Ron Taplin, and there are usually items of interest or a collection on display, as well as dealers stock available to purchase. Last year (2007) we were able to look at the collection of Doug and Joy Hull, (below) who like many collectors nowadays, tend to specialise. Doug prefers stamped brasses, and further specialises in only those with rounded hangers and a “pie-crust edge”.

After a pub-lunch in a local hostelry, we can then settle down for another of the attractions that this meet is famous for, which is sometimes a local group of dedicated hand bell ringers or perhaps a talk from an expert such as Mr Colin Henderson, who, until his retirement, was Head Coachman to Elizabeth II . Whatever the attractions at this meeting, it also passes far too quickly and members depart, (after a nice bit of tea) looking forward to our next meeting with much anticipation, and if you do happen to depart in daylight, keep your eyes peeled for the Red Kites that inhabit this area!

Below, Ipsden Village Hall where the NHBS Autum meeting is held. An early doors photo here, showing a recently slimmer Mick (centre) and Ron Taplin front (woolly hat) the organisers of this meeting. Well done lads!

Ipsden Village Hall where the NHBS Autum meeting is held.  An early doors photo here, showing a recently slimmer Mick (centre) and Ron Taplin front (woolly hat) the organisers of this meeting.   Well done lads!