The Oldest Trade in the World

No, not that. Flint knapping is perhaps the oldest trade in existence, dating back to the Stone Age when arrow heads were chipped from pieces of flint. Probably the best exponent of the art in the UK is Will Lord who has been involved in knapping and prehistoric technology since 1975. I was privileged to see him in action [thanks to Jon Adkin] during a metal detecting rally held East Sussex a few years ago. Please click HERE to learn more about Will. There is a wealth of information and videos on to Net. This is simply an introduction to a remarkable guy.

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Tin Can Alley

When I was a kid growing up in the 1940’s new toys were few and far between, but we were quite resourceful and spent many happy hours with old, throw-away tin cans. For example, we made holes in the bottom, fitted with string and used them as stilts. What a racket we made clanging up and down the street! Now, we’d probably be issued with an #Antisocial Behaviour Order [ASBO] for disturbing the peace. 

Because of stage-4 decrepit amnesia I can’t remember all the games we played, but several involved the humble tin can. Can you remember the tin-can telephone connected with a length of string for talking to your mates? Just two old tin cans, but it’s the stuff that memories are made of. Cans played a big part in weddings too. When was the last time you saw the happily married couple’s car clumping and clattering down the road with half a dozen cans tied to the bumper?

#Now called Criminal Behaviour Order.

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FUMSUP – a First World War lucky charm

This strange little chap was familiar to thousands of British soldiers

I don’t think Steve Grundy is a metal detectorist, but he was interested in my blogpost on the subject of sweetheart brooches, and contacted me about a curious little item in his collection. I must confess that I’d never come across this before, and was rather intrigued.

The brooches I highlighted earlier were, in effect, good luck mascots. What Steve showed me was a good luck charm, popular in the 19th and 20th centuries and often given, by wives and girlfriends, to soldiers about to go to war. The tiny charm has an interesting history, which the Victorians probably believed …

The Fumsup (Thumbs-Up)👍is believed to hark back to Roman times and the days of the gladiators. The story goes that the emperor would decide whether a gladiator would live or die. A ‘thumbs up’👍meant he would die and a👎(Thumbs Down) would mean he would live. This is opposite to what we think today.

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Talking the Torc

My friend Dave, whose wife has recently become a convert to detecting, ruefully admitted that she was finding more interesting artefacts than him. He contemplated whether he had become complacent and should be re-examining his detecting technique, especially as she was using what could only be described as a ‘cheap beginners’ machine’. Was his swinging action too fast? Was he ignoring what could be positive signals? Or what? 

Beginner David Booth’s experience also amplifies the fact that it’s not the make of machine we are using and it’s not necessarily the type of land we have at our disposal, but it’s more likely to be our own fault that we don’t find anything. I hesitate – that’s a bold statement!  David found treasure in 2009. What follows is an extract from my scribblings at the time.

David Booth pictured with his find of Iron Age Treasure. Courtesy of JACKPHOTO
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