IN times of political upheaval people seek the reassurance of the familiar - especially when it comes to money.

We get endless TV and press coverage of the effect of Brexit on the relative value of the pound - which is serious stuff as our modern currency is only paper and has no real value.

In the late 9th century when the Anglo-Saxons were fighting the Vikings - and largely losing to them - even the Scandinavian invaders were conscious of maintaining the value of what was then a silver-based economy.

Evidence of this reliance on cut pieces of silver bullion and coins was provided a few years ago by spectacular later Viking finds at Furness and Silverdale.

By the 880s the Vikings had taken over the territory of all but the West Saxons but they provided their subjugated peoples with money they knew - in the form of imitations of the silver pennies produced by Alfred the Great.

Their production was described by William Mackay at a Harrogate conference held by the British Association of Numismatic Societies.

He said: "The imitations were designed to circulate and were often well produced."

They were accepted as there was still a need for coinage in the Viking controlled areas of the Midlands, often termed the Danelaw.

The likely dates for the imitations are between 880 and 885 and hoards of them have been found in Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

If you have an unusual coin, or other historic item, which has turned up in the garden or was found with a metal detector then it can add to our knowledge of the past.

On June 28 the Dock Museum at Barrow is hosting a finds day from 1pm to 3pm with Stuart Noon, who is the finds liaison officer in the North West for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.