Commemorative Peter Pan coins have been created to celebrate the 90th anniversary of JM Barrie gifting his rights in his story to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
Scottish-born Barrie gifted the copyright of his book and play, Peter Pan, to GOSH in 1929 and the hospital has received royalties from productions of the play, as well as sales of Peter Pan books and other products ever since.
Over the last 90 years the adventure of Peter Pan and the Darling children has helped to support the hospital.
Indeed, it is such a significant gift that it received a special amendment proposed by former Prime Minister Lord Callaghan that was successfully included in 1988 in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. The rights for GOSH in the UK and Europe had lapsed the previous year, but the amendment in the legislation secured the right for the charity to royalties within the UK in perpetuity.
Six 50p coins
The collection includes six legal tender Isle of Man 50p coins, each featuring a well-known character and quote from Barrie’s story.
The special collection has been produced by The Westminster Collection in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) to help support the hospital and the seriously ill children from across the UK who are cared for there.
A donation from each set or single Peter Pan 50p sold will go directly to GOSH Charity to help support the hospital’s “most urgent needs”, presumably indicating that income is unallocated.
The coins’ creation was marked by an event at the Tower Mint on Saturday, where GOSH patient Olivia had the honour of ‘striking’ the first of 10,000 collectors’ single, silver coins with full colour illustration.
Olivia, whose father Elliot works for the Tower Mint, has the rare genetic disorder Williams Syndrome and has been under the care of GOSH since she was three years old.
Louise Parkes, Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, was at the event. She said:
“We’re so grateful to The Westminster Collection and the Tower Mint for commemorating the special legacy of JM Barrie’s gift to GOSH. The money raised from the sale of these coins will help to support the seriously ill children and young people who are cared for at GOSH, children just like Olivia, who did such a fantastic job striking the first coin on Saturday.”
The illustrations on the coins were first produced for the 2007 Oxford University Press Edition of Peter Pan and have been donated by David Wyatt for this special collaboration. The coin is completed with the approved obverse of Her Majesty the Queen by Jody Clark.
Main image: Coin illustration donated by David Wyatt, approved obverse of Her Majesty the Queen by Jody Clark.
- Did you know? The rights to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead were initially donated by Tom Stoppard to the Oxford Theatre Group which gave it its premiere in 1966, before it transferred a year later to the National Theatre. The gift enabled subsequent Oxford University undergraduate actors, comedians, technicians, and arts administrators (including myself) to mount a range of productions for many years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.