The British Cheque Collectors Society was founded in 1980 by a group of enthusiasts with a common aim – the collection of cheques and the history of banks and banking. Since that time the Society has grown in number, and in recent years the membership has been at an all time high. The name of the Society was changed in 2003 to the British Banking History Society to reflect the wider interests of its members.
The Society is a not-for-profit and non-political society. Society Officers are elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting. Membership of the BBHS is by payment of an annual subscription of £20 (UK).
Originally, a journal, or newsletter, which was duplicated and A4 in size was sent to members at irregular intervals and commencing with the first journal in June 1987, this then became a smaller, A5 publication which continued until 1988. The Society then went through a period of inactivity, with only four journals being published between 1990 and 1993. Thereafter, ‘Counterfoil’ appeared at regular quarterly intervals, and this was the means of conveying news and information to members. The Name has been changed to Banking History Journal and is now a full colour magazine issued 4 times a year.
In recent years, some of the members have visited the archives or museums of several UK banks – National Westminster; C Hoare & Co, the Bank of England, Barclays (twice), Drummonds; Child & Co; Twinings Ltd Museum; Lloyds Law Courts Branch; Harrods Ltd archives and Harrods Bank Ltd and HSBC Holdings archives. We have always been most warmly welcomed by the archivists or curators on these occasions, and members have usually found some detail which was previously not known to them.
It was custom a few years ago, to hold a small auction, following the Annual General Meeting in October each year. More recently these have been superseded by Postal Auctions, which are always well supported by members. However, there is always the need for ‘stock’ for these auctions.
We have been pleased to welcome some of the clearing and merchant banks as corporate members of the Society, and have a good relationship with all the archivists and curators.