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An Interesting 'Exhibition' Find At Westley Richards

It is still interesting what turns up here at Westley Richards that we never quite knew about. In the last couple of weeks we sent the old directors desk in for a subtle refurbishment and height increase. Clearly the directors of old were short fellows and rather than confine their old desk to some dusty corner it seemed worthwhile carrying out the described works.

Anyway, it was whilst at the refurbishers that the attached exhibition medal was discovered stuck in the base of one of the drawer pedestals. Now how long this medal has been stuck in the back of the drawers is anybodies guess as none of the old timers here seem familiar with it and I myself have never seen this medal before.

The exhibition medal itself was awarded at the 'South African Industrial And Arts Exihibition' held in Grahamstown, South Africa from 1898-1899 and is inscribed 'Westley Richards & Co. Ltd. Gold Medal For Revolver Convertible To Carbine'. Looking through the archive here at Westley Richards we can only find references to 'small arms' improvements all lodged by the renowned Leslie B Taylor for the periods 1897 and 1899. Obviously one of these must relate to this medal.

Two other things make this medal interesting. Firstly it states that this is a 'Gold Medal' but clearly it is Bronze. Another medal awarded to Westley Richards from the same exhibition is gilded bronze.The second significant fact from a historical point of view is that 1899 is the same year that the second Boer War (1899-1902) began and this appears to be the last exhibition attended by the company in South Africa.


  • vance daigle on April 30, 2019 at 7:09 pm


    Cool story!!
    Another pebble in the pouch.

    In Christ

  • David Hodo on May 1, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Love it that the historical discoveries seem to never end at WR. There is just no predicting what Trigger or one of the other guys will find next week or next month! But for sure will be something interesting to we Explora followers!

  • Peter Buckley. on May 1, 2019 at 3:28 pm


    Looked up these medals and some interesting facts came to light, firstly the Gold medals were hall marked ‘Birmingham’, (what’s the odds on that), one such Gold Medal was inscribed ‘Silver Medal’, a Gilded Bronze inscribed ‘Gold medal’, your latest discovery a Bronze inscribed ‘Gold Medal’ and so on, it’s quite obvious that there were differing levels of awards that used the three different medals!
    But what a find, such a wonderful published addition to the history of ‘Westley Richards’.
    “What Next” !!

    Best regards


  • The “Old Git” on May 1, 2019 at 7:48 pm


    What a great find!! Fantastic legacy from your forebears.

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