In Memoriam

  Colin Doy  1942-2022    

Colin passed away suddenly recently and his funeral is to take place at South West Middlesex Crematorium on Thursday 15th December 2022 at 2.20pm.  He had been an enthusiastic member of the NHBS and supported all of the Society meetings and events no matter how far it was to travel.  He was a very keen horse brass collector and thoughrouly researched his finds especially those of a military interests and saddlers of his local area.  It is thought that his cousin helped him with online research, the one thing Colin would have nothing to do with is computers!!  He had written a few articles for the NHBS Journal and would have been a very good committee member but he felt his lack of computer skills would have been a problem.  Colin was an outgoing person as this picture taken at the Ipsden meeting in 2019 might suggest his presence and enthusiasm will be missed at our gatherings.  



Malcolm Andrews 1932 – 2021


It is with great sadness that we announce the death of NHBS Founder Member and former Chairman Malcolm Andrews on the 14th July 2021.  Malcolm was a keen supporter of regional groups of the Society and was the Editor of the first  Regional Newsletters in the archives, he also edited the first National Newsletter but it is not known how long he performed that role.

Malcolm was elected Chairman of the Society in 1979 just four years after its formation, at the time the NHBS was in the doldrums with just twelve members present when he was elected at the AGM.

He was described in the Journal as “Chairman and Publicity” and went on to lead the Society through its hay-day with over five hundred members.  He remained a loyal member of the Society and whilst looking back over times past I stumbled across the following most interesting article in Journal No 28 page 5 compiled by Editor Ran Hawthorne, How poigniant Malcolm's words were and so relevent in today's NHBS

Jim Speed


 Profile, Malcolm Andrews  NHBS Chairman

The normal procedure when producing a profile is to either visit the subject make notes and then write in the third person or to ask the subject to make notes and then do the write up. I asked Malcolm for some notes but when I received them, I decided to use them as they were as his personality shines through much better than it would through any notes of mine.

I was introduced to him in rather a roundabout way, a neighbour of mine was in our house one day, the conversation drifted towards brasses George said “I have a very good friend who is interested in brasses, we were in the army together. I believe they have just formed a society, he's the publicity Officer". It was in this way that in 1978 I first met Malcolm and joined the Society which had started off with great gusto. Things went flat, the AGM of 1979 marked the low point with only some ten or twelve members present. Malcolm was elected Chairman, a daunting prospect we were one step from oblivion but Malcolm didn't see it in that light, as far as he was concerned there was only one way and that was forwards. It is his leadership that has put NHBS on a sound footing and has ensured the respected position we enjoy today. Here's his story in his own words.

Ran Hawthorne

Born in 1932 at Harrow, Middlesex with childhood memories of Saturday mornings spent with the baker and his horse drawn delivery van. Hinchcliffe's Shire drawn coal wagon was thought to be 'too dirty' to ride on.  After all, a loaf was easier to handle than a sack of coal. I remember these horses as particularly fine animals, as they needed to be, the exit from the coal yard at the local railway station being on quite a sharp incline.

My school days, very much dominated by an active interest in various sports, held many happy memories including war-time stints at harvest camps, organised by the then Ministry of Food.  I was fortunate to work on farms where a few horses were still used, although much American machinery was in evidence as part of the Marshall Aid Plan.

Modest academic achievement at school was followed by two years National Service as an instructor in the Royal Engineer’s. Once again there was an opportunity to participate in various sports in which one quickly learnt the interpretation of the rules as per the adult world, in distinct comparison to the more 'correct' attitudes at school. A happy two years and then launched on an unsuspecting outside world.

Initial employment was in the tobacco trade during which a weekly free issue of seventy cigarettes suggested one ought to smoke, if only to sample the product. As this did not improve my performance on the sports field I became a confirmed non-smoker, my 'issue' being passed to my future parents-in-law. This might help to influence the decision when I came to ask for the necessary 'permission'!  (it had to be done in those days!)

In 1953 the tobacco industry was experiencing many closures, takeovers, and mergers which gave a very unsettled climate in which to work. I therefore decided to change to a trade handling my first love and also a trade with an historical family connection - the timber trade. I joined a firm pre-eminent in the hardwood and decorative veneer trade and after a period of training in the various aspects of the business I became involved in the selection of timber for work at such places as Windsor Castle, St Paul’s Cathedral, Washington Cathedral (USA), Westminster Hall and many other notable buildings

At about this time I married Jan and we had two children, a son and a daughter, both now happily married themselves.

In 1968 I started work on the construction of twelve new courts at the Old Bailey, for which I was responsible selecting the vast amounts of timbers used in the panelling and general joinery. This job lasted five years but was interspersed with visits to East and West Africa and regular visits to various European countries. Inspections all over England brought me into contact with many interesting people amongst whom were tree fellers and hauliers who had worked with horses. They are all adamant that hauling logs is the hardest work a team of horses can
be asked to do.

I was fortunate to be working in a trade concerned with probably the most beautiful and exciting material that nature produces. Every wooden article, however humble, has some beauty and character, either in its constituent parts or in its final form. My interests extended to rural crafts and trades, so many of which rely on wood for their raw material. This interest again resulted in meeting many craftsmen with fascinating reminiscences to listen to.

In the late sixties our daughter caught an incurable affliction common to many daughters - an ambition to become a show jumper!  A limited purse only allowed weekly riding lessons but this fostered a love of horses, which by gentle paternal influence was to include heavies.  A common interest gave an excuse for collecting horse brasses.  In my case this was diagnosed as incurable also, and I decided to concentrate on swingers.

In the early seventies I joined the S.C.H.P.A. and met Terry Keegan who was sounding opinions on the formation of a Society for horse brass collectors. This all came into being in 1976 as the National Horse Brass Society.  I am proud to have been one of the founder members and honoured to have been elected Chairman in 1979.

On reflection, in common with other members, I probably thought the Society was capable of achieving too much too quickly.  We came close to ceasing to function but rallied, consolidated, and with the continued support of many members have achieved our present position.  In spite of this success story, I have one disappointment. This is the failure of the idea of regional groups within the Society. This seems to me the ideal way for members in an area to meet regularly and thus develop friendships and extend their interest.  With the exception of a group in the N. West this aim has never been achieved on a lasting basis.  What of the future?  We must maintain our high standards. We have been very fortunate in the standard set and maintained by our journal editors. We have a journal to be proud of. Support it!!  We must endeavour to extend our research into the subject and continue publication of our monographs, which are highly regarded.  We must be seen as a Society which is not just a 'Collection of Collectors' but as an authoritative body keen to research, discuss and advertise our hobby.  Above all, the N.H.B.S. must be a Society to which all members feel it is worthwhile to belong and so find their hobby is the more rewarding for so doing.

The late Malcolm Andrews in his own words June 1990 extracted from the NHBS Journal "Horse Brass" No 28


  Steve Pink

It is with great sadness that that the Society learned of the passing of Steve on the 2nd November 2019. Steve (pictured here with Malcolm Andrews centre and Peter Anderson right) was a stalwart of the Society, he joined the NHBS in 1989 and very quickly became involved with Society affairs jumping in at the deep end in 1990 by not only becoming a committee member but taking on the role of General and Membership Secretary. He also edited the Newsletter which all in all must have been a huge undertaking at a time when the membership was it the region of five hundred. Steve stood down from this role in 1995 due to taking on a new business venture which demanded his full attention. He continued his interest in collecting horse brasses and his membership of the NHBS and stepped up to mark again in 2003 when the Society was short of a Membership Secretary. This inevitably went on to combining it again with the role of General Secretary and Newsletter Editor, duties he performed from 2006 to 2012. Steve was also the author of a most interesting paper entitled “The History of Horse Brasses” featured on this website under Brasses Information from the home page. Steve’s business life was in finance, following his degree course he gained a PhD, his claim to fame at one time being the youngest Bank Manager in the UK but went on to create his own business as a chartered Accountant. We shall best remember him of course for his fourteen years of dedicated committee work for the Society.

Jim Speed



                                                            Alec Hopkinson


Alec Hopkinson died on 4.12 2020 aged 85 years. He was born into a farming community, took an early interest in Heavy Horses and started collecting horse brasses, amassing a superb collection. He and his son Andrew and daughter Ruth both helped to display his large collection. Andrew, an NHBS member also, has pledged to carry on displaying his late father’s collection at Church Stretton and other events. You may not know but Alec was also a master carver in stone and an expert in the ancient craft of “Corn Dolly” making.

 May he rest in peace beside his much loved wife, Margarete. We have lost a good friend.

 Stan Benton and Allan Brewer










Alec was a keen supporter of the society and was a regular attender at our Ipsden and Church Stretton meetings, often exhibiting some of his own fine collection of horse brasses, which he also did at various agricultural and horse shows. He always attended our AGM and was not afraid to speak his mind on matters he felt important. As a regular supporter of our annual members' brass competition, he was often successful. His suggested ideas always translated into good horse brass designs as exemplified by his delicate petal design for our 2018 members' brass and his 2020 milk churn brass. His designs often mirrored brasses from his own collection as was the case of his spectacular ploughshare brass issued as an NHBS special brass in 2015. It proved to be one of the most popular of all our specials and quickly sold out.

Peter Ferguson


founder Member The Late Douglas Hull

We are sorry to announce that Doug Hull passed away on the 25th May 2020, another of our founder members, (his original membership number was 24) His wife Joy who died a few years ago joined later. When she died, Doug gave her member’s brasses to the society to be sold for funds. They were very keen and loyal members who always came up from Devon to attend our meetings especially Ipsden.
                                        Picture by courtesy of Dick Bradshaw

 Many years ago Doug presented a major part of his horse brass collection to the National Trust and they are on display in the stables at Knightshays Court, Tiverton, home of the Heathcote Amorys (the stables are used as the restaurant and the brasses look splendid on the walls in glass fronted cabinets, I hope they are still there as I have not visited the house for a while).

He and Joy were very active in local politics and served as Mayor and Mayoress of Axminster some years back. At Ipsden, in the days when Ran and Audrey Hawthorne and Ron and Jean Taplin organised the annual get together, Doug always exhibited his “speciality collection” of brasses which were all stamped brasses (these were not at Knighthays) and I recall at one Thimbleby and Shorland brass sale which they usually attended, there was a large stamped plain sun flash brass up for auction with the initials J H engraved on it in large bold letters (Pictured above) which Doug successfully bid for. I remember how delighted they were with their purchase because “J H” were Joy’s initials.

Peter Ferguson



 The Late Barry Maltby


 We are sad to announce the death of one of our past chairman, Barry Maltby on 22nd February 2020 and send our condolences to his son Stuart, daughters Kay and Susan and their families.

Barry and his late wife Connie were early members of the society and keen horse brass collectors.Barry joined the NHBS committee in March 1982 taking on the role of society archivist, a job he held for twenty six years.

He was joined on committee by his wife Connie in March 1990 until 2004 where Connie brought much wisdom and stability to the committee meetings as did Barry. In March 2002,Barry succeeded Terry Keegan as Chairman serving for the next six years until 2008 when he retired from active participation in the life of the society though he remained a member.The funeral date                                                                                was10th March 2020


 *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****    

 Gerald Dee

It is with regret that we announce the passing of Gerald Dee on the 24th May 2018 aged 90 of Roos, Hull.  Gerald was a collector for many years and his speciality was commemorative brasses.  The Officers and members of the NHBS extend their deepest sympathy to the family.

Gerald's funeral is to take place on Friday 15th June at All Saints Church, Roos, Hull at 11.00AM

 Authors of Anthology Ian Jones and Dick Bradshaw posted the following tribute.

We were very sad to hear of the passing of Gerald and his wife (who predeceased him by a year or so). Gerald and Mrs Dee were very accommodating to us when we spent a very pleasant afternoon with them at Roos whilst photographing for Anthology 1 & 2 which contain many of Gerald's collection.  Afterwards Mrs Dee wouldn't let us leave until she'd provided us with a lovely tea, and a tour around their extensive garden where this photograph was taken. We were arranging another visit when we heard of his death and would like to pass our condolences to his son and family.



 Martin Burtt from Glaisdale, North Yorkshire passed away 17th June 2018 his funeral was attended by over 500 people.  He had been a member of the Society for many years and was also an active member of the NFU


 Keneth Southall

Death Announcement Kenneth Southall It is with sadness that we announce the death of Kenneth Southall of Easingwold York on the 21st February 2019 aged 91.  Kenneth had been retired for 40 years after a career with Prudential Insurance reaching the position of Branch manager.  Malcolm Smith informed me that he had been a collector for over 40 years and had been an NHBS member for a similar amount of time.  Kenneth spent much time researching the history of his brasses.  His funeral has already taken place and our thoughts are with Gwen and the family at this time.


Death Announcement Peter Willows 06.03.19

It is with Great sadness we announce the death of Peter Willows who was a founder member of the NHBS. Peter who lived in Somerset was General Secretary of the Society between 1996 and 2006 he also carried out the duties of Treasurer for a year 2005 to 2006 before handing over to the present Treasurer Brian O'Riordan

The funeral will take place on Tuesday 26 March at 13.30 at St Andrews Church Banwell North Somerset BS29 6EA where he was a bell ringer.  A wake will take place for afternoon tea at Banwell Castle, Castle Street Banwell BS 29 6NX parking on the day will be at the castle as parking at the church is limited, a mini bus will be laid on to ferry those who wish to attend


A fitting tribute to Mark Roberts as written in the latest Newsletter no 74

The Mark Roberts Collection sold 28th November 2017  

Tribute to Mark Roberts 

Mark Roberts was well known at the NHBS Church Stretton Meeting where he produced the above magnificent display of horse brasses. The picture on the right is taken from his funeral service card and shows a heavy horse bowed in respect and sorrow.

Mark was born in St. George’s village, between St Asaph and Abergellie in 1927 and like many of his relatives was involved in World War II but after the conflict, Mark spent 3 years in Germany hauling timber for the British Army in the reconstruction of the country. Many of his jobs were around horses or Shows. He worked for many years with the firm of Woodhouse erecting marquees and sheds at various events including at Wembley for the Horse of the Year show. He became Head Forester at Cefn Estates near St. Aseph and renewed his connection with Shire horses. Mark was very active in the Welsh Shire Horse scene being a founder member of Abergele Shire Horse Society (later to become part of the North Wales Shire Horse Society) and supporter of many societies to do with farming.

His longtime friend, Terry Williams, travelled with him to many shows helping to erect his extraordinary collection of horse brasses which was regarded by some as one of the biggest in the world. Terry recalls how in 1962, Mark helped him on his way into horse brass collecting and how they had established an enduring friendship.

He died on 16 th April 2017 at the age of 89. Terry represented NHBS at the funeral.

Brian O’Riordan
October 2017


Peter Anthony Lacey 1956 -2015  

It is with much regret that we announce the death of Pete who passed away after a long illness bravely borne. Pete was admitted into Poole Hospital on 11th November 2014 suffering from a rare condition, Guillain Barre Syndrome. The recovery time from this debilitating disease was known to be at least twelve months and although he was making excellent progress, he suffered a relapse on Monday 2nd March and lost the battle in the early hours of Tuesday Morning.

Di and Pete at Church StrettonWW2 vintage, Daimler Dingo scout car

Di and Pete at Church Stretton, and right in his WW2 vintage, Daimler Dingo scout car.

Pete was born the son of a saddler in Dorchester the county town of Dorset his Fathers’ business ran under the name of J Miles & Son. It is no wonder that one of the great interests in his life would be the collection of horse brasses and he had built up in particular a large collection of brasses related to Dorset together with a vast knowledge on the subject. His expertise had on occasions been called upon by auctioneers Thimberly & Shorland famous for the Reading sales and Dorchester Museum as well as giving advice on many private collections; Pete was also a regular contributor to the columns of the NHBS journal with many interesting items.

He had been a member of the NHBS for over twenty years and had served on the committee for at least ten years and recently acting Society Chairman an office which would have been confirmed at the 2015 AGM on Saturday 7th March. His enthusiasm and generosity always shone through at our gatherings and often fixed fellow collectors up with just the brass they were looking for. My first connection with Pete was helping with the NHBS exhibit at the Great Dorset Steam Fair where he greeted Society members from various parts of the world sharing his vast knowledge on the subject of harness decoration its origins and usages and I might add as a relative newcomer to the hobby he taught me a great deal. Pete would often scoot off around areas of this vast show and come back with bits of antique harness which now amounts to a complete set regularly displayed as a part of our exhibit at the GDSF. I leave the state of the beer glasses in the picture to speak for itself!!

Pete’s interests extended beyond horse brasses and he was a keen supporter of the Keep Military Museum in Dorchester and attended various events with them in full second world war uniform of the Dorsets' including authentic rifle. He had a substantial collection of military medals some with the history and picture of the original recipient as well as other military memorabilia but his pride and joy was his Dingo armoured scout car, can you imagine the look on peoples face when on occasions Pete and Di arrived at Tesco’s car park to do the weekly shop!!


Pete & Jim

Pete spent his working life in the medical profession, at the time his illness struck he was Nurse Practitioner at Swanage Hospital and through this background was able to pursue yet another of his interests. He was a keen supporter of Poole Pirates Speedway and was a valued member of the medical team at their fixtures. See also the tribute on the website of Poole Speedway.

Pete was a super guy with a broad smile and gentle nature and was taken from us all too soon. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Di and all of the family at this time of great sadness.

Jim Speed

NHBS 5.3.15

Below, Pete conversing with Jan Thompson of Kings Lynn who died suddenly on 15th September last year. As many of us know, Jan was not only a dear friend by was a valued asset as my researcher for the journal, and was a popular figure at our AGM in early March.

I will miss my conversations with both; especially Pete who I often spent two hours at a time on the phone with, not to mention my highly valued, second opinion on all things medical!!

I shall miss them both terribly.

Dick Bradshaw.

Pete conversing with Jan Thompson