Handsworth Currency Competition


The ‘Tails’ aspect of the Handsworth Currency Competition was co-ordinated through workshops in local schools. As with any coin-based commission, the temptation was to produce the designs ourselves, but we decided there was something more interesting (and unpredictable) in the coins featuring designs by local children. You don’t normally see wiggly lines on a coin (perhaps with good reason) and we decided this was something we would like to see. The over ambitious project brief proposed to the (often very small) children was to produce a coin design & slogan that captured Handsworth. The level of imagination was very high, particularly in relation to re-imagining local histories and sloganeering. One coin design featured ‘Matty Bolutty and Jim Watt’ (Matthew Boulton and James Watt). Our personal favourite ’This Dog is Spying’ ultimately proved too surreal to use. Over 200 entries were submitted by local participating schools. Three winners were selected whose designs went onto the 4000 new Handsworth coins. In May 2015, 2300 coins were distributed via school assemblies.

Schools: Holyhead School, Grove Primary School, Future First School, St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School, Handsworth Girls School