The Lowdown

8th August '13

opinion team

Hidden Treasure

Just recently, our web developer Kit has acquired a new hobby: numismatics (or for you non-Latin speakers, coin collecting.)

The collecting and study of coins is not a new discipline – for hundreds of years, historians, investors and hobbyists have been engaged in the pursuit of these hidden treasures. Not least because the right coin, from the right year, to the right buyer, can fetch hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.

Kit stumbled across this pursuit on a lazy Saturday in a small antique shop in Shrewsbury. The idea is simple – for certain years, particular coins (Kit is focusing on half crowns) can be very valuable, especially in good condition. Kit has made it his first goal to acquire a half crown for each year in the 1900s, until 1970 (around when decimalization replaced metric coinage.) This is no small feat – some of these coins are extremely scarce, and span the reigns of Edward VII, George V, VI and Elizabeth II.

Despite a bit of a learning curve (which years are valuable? How do you judge the quality of a coin?) he’s off to a good start, and has acquired coins for many years in the 50s and 60s, and a couple of earlier key dates. Obviously, the further back you go, generally coins become rarer and more valuable. For example, a half crown in good condition from 1905 can currently fetch several thousand pounds!

It isn’t just the monetary value that Kit’s interested in though. He also cites an interest in the beauty of the old designs on these coins. “You don’t see designs like you used to,” he says. “Plus, the old coins feel more ‘solid’ somehow. More worthy… There’s just something attractive about collecting them. And they represent a timeline of changing times, technology and design, too.”

“I’ve learned a bit about the history of currency too. For example, that the ‘d’ denoting an old penny actually comes from the Roman ‘denarius’, a small silver coin first used over 1800 years ago…”

If you’re interested in learning more about coin collecting, you can check out the Wikipedia page on numismatics here. You could also do worse than to pick up a copy of the Spink guide to coins of England, which contains guide values for almost any coin you can think of.

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27th October '11

opinion source

Kate’s Thoughts on ‘Customer Service’!

Having spent the formative years of my career – in fact, cut that… having only ever worked for businesses that lived and breathed by the belief that the customer is at the heart of everything you do… it always gets my goat when you run into a poor customer experience!

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often. But when it does happen; boy oh boy, are they memorable. Some can leave us reeling from the scars and more than willing to share our story!

However, rather than sharing a recent episode – a shocker think some people would call it – I thought it more important than ever to remember how to create a great customer experience. Making people smile can be the most rewarding thing, even if all you have done is the simplest thing, like made a colleague a great cup of tea.

This is a subjective view and what I think may not be same as the next – as they say, ‘what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander’. However, here are a few things I have learnt along the way and strive to remember:

Listen to your customers… make them feel important… anticipate their needs… look for ways to help i.e. always look to say ‘yes’ or provide a solution and where possible try to give a little bit more than was expected… These things all add up to a great start, and get you on your way to making that smile!

Finally, above all else; do not be afraid to apologise if something goes wrong. After all, none of us can be right all of the time…!

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16th October '11


I could save McDonalds millions of pounds…

I could save McDonalds millions of pounds each year... now, bear with me here. It has been bugging me, Nick, for ages, months actually... I'm not in the business of saving greedy global corporations money but I think this suggestion has some positives for the human race too. All they need to do is stop putting salt on the fries...

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14th June '11

opinion techn support

As you'll no doubt have noticed (if you're a repeat visitor, anyway!) we have a new website. The original idea for this version of our site was born from a desire to make our website more user-friendly, and significantly easier to use on touch-devices like iPhones and iPads. However, as we're web designers (yes, Nick - and graphic designers too)...

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12th August '09


A Little Place in the Country…

Since I began at Source in January 2008, I had been commuting the full distance from Broseley, Telford, every morning and night. As I don't drive (yet), this meant an hour and a half trip each way - two buses and a 20 minute walk to the bus stop!

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24th May '09

opinion techn support

The dangers of silver surfers

Well, I expected it to happen a lot later than it has, but the inevitable came a lot sooner. My parents have added me as a friend on Facebook. School uniforms will make you invisible It's like the time when you were 10 and about to leave the school grounds with your hip and cool group of friends. Ready to...

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