What were these NCB tokens used for and where are they from?

Recently a small hoard of tokens similar to the ones illustrated appeared for sale in the North West of England. The person that turned them up was not sure where they had originated from but thought they may have had some connection with Agecroft Colliery near Manchester.

The tokens are all 27 mm in diameter on on a thick brass flan. Some of them appear to have been originally issued with a milled outer edge. None have the usual suspension hole for hanging. Broadly speaking these tokens fall in to two categories. All carry the stamped initials NCB above an incuse stamped identification number (all less than 90) which has a "dot" punched out against its bottom right hand side. To both sides of this identification number plus beneath it are  three letter M's. Where the token designs differ, to form the two categories mentioned above, is what is stamped against the left hand side of the lower "M". On one type there is the letter "X" whilst on the other type is what appears to be a "V".

Could anyone throw any further light on the origins and use of these rather crude looking tokens? It has been suggested by one fellow collector that they may be canteen or Pit Head Baths tokens.

Submitted By : David Shaw & Emyr George.
Date: January 2005.

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