DETECTORISTS’ TRIVIA QUIZ

TRIVEA QUIZ NOW CLOSED

This time I have a quiz for you based mainly on the award winning Mackenzie Crook C4 series of DETECTORISTS. There are 20 questions. Copy the link and send your answers to me at johnwintersenior@gmail.com In the subject line put QUIZ. I hope you enjoy what I have ‘crooked’ up for you. Result in the future, but at this stage I don’t know when.

There is a small prize for the person who comes up with the most correct answers. If the quiz proves to be ‘easy’ and many qualify as winners, then those names will be drawn from a hat. Details of the prizes are at the end of the blog. Good luck.


QUESTION ( 1 and 1a )

The DIG Is a film based on the 2007 novel by John Preston, and is due to be released at the end of this month. The film depicts the discovery of a major burial site.

WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE BURIAL SITE AND WHO WAS THE OWNER?

QUESTION ( 2 and 2a )

IN DETECTORISTS WHO DOES BECKY POUR THREE PINTS OF ‘STRONG EUROPEAN BEER’ OVER? and WHO IS ‘BECKY’S’ REAL LIFE MOTHER?

QUESTION ( 3 and 3a)

Lance drove a yellow Triumph TR7 car in Detectorists.

NAME THE YEAR IN WHICH THE CAR WAS REGISTERED?and WHAT IS LANCE’S SURNAME?

QUESTION ( 4 and 4a )

This adorable dog featured in my Blog last year.

DO YOU KNOW THE DOG’S NAME AND WHAT BREED HE IS?

QUESTION ( 5 and 5a )

Various locations appear in the Detectorists, including the church, and several of the town’s shops and streets.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE TOWN WHERE MOST OF THE SERIES WAS FILMED?and NAME THE COUNTY.

QUESTION ( 6 and 6a )

WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE DETECTING CLUB FEATURED IN THE SHOW? and NAME THE PRESIDENT.

QUESTION ( 7 and 7a )

Simon and Garfunkel

GIVE ME THE FIRST NAME OF THEIR CLUB AND WHAT IT CHANGED TO LATER IN THE SERIES?

QUESTION ( 8 and 8a )

Mackenzie said he got the idea for his series about detecting enthusiasts while watching a Channel 4 programme.

GIVE THE NAME OF THE C4 SERIES and WHO FRONTED THAT SHOW.

QUESTION ( 9 and 9a )

THE SONG USED IN THE OPENING AND COSING CREDITS IS CALLED? and WHO IS THE PERFORMER?

QUESTION ( 10 – 10a )

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT’S WIFE? and WHAT WAS HIS PREVIOUS JOB?


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Heroic Pigeons

After a little research and discussion with others (David) realised that his find was really special – a canister of the sort carried by pigeons in the First and Second World Wars.

Remarkable Story


From Wikipedia – Pigeon Leg With Ring sans Canister

I’ve found three or four pigeon legs without a canister, but with an identity ring. I guess many detectorists have done the same – but the story I am about to relate is a little different …

David Hodgkinson has been metal detecting for about 20 years. Whilst using his Tesoro Stingray detector on Margate beach in Kent he found something he had never seen before. After a little research and discussion with others he realised that his find was really special – a canister of the sort carried by pigeons in the First World War. He knew that it was from that era because he had been told that Second World War canisters were red in colour and Bakelite in composition.

© Super pictures supplied by David Hodgkinson

I am often reminded – and feel just a little guilty – when chasing pigeons away from the bird feeders at the bottom of the garden, that some of their kind, almost a quarter of a million birds, probably played a part in both World Wars. Their vital role was to carry messages, a task at which they were very reliable with an astonishing success rate of about 95%.

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Metal detecting just got sexier . . .

. . . thanks to Agnes, Mabel and Beckie

Today I highlight a relatively common American find, which I first discussed in 2012. My friend Dick Stout, who has led a very sheltered life, had never even seen one in umpteen years of searching parks, tot-lots and abandoned homesteads. So, I travelled (metaphorically) across to the States to find the really bizarre. For the new detectorist’s elucidation and Dick’s continuing education I remind you of the 3 Merry Widows, Agnes, Mabel and Beckie.

Sometimes even the smallest objects can be the most interesting. Grant Hull, an American detectorist, has allowed me to show you the little tin canister he found. At first he figured it was some kind of ‘milk lid’ or ‘lotion tin’. When he found out what it really contained, he ruefully commented, “Well, I was kinda right on both counts!” This is what he found:

 © Thanks to Grant Hull for allowing me to publish his find. 3 Merry Widows was a popular brand of rubber (and, therefore, reusable) condoms. The use of condoms as a method of family planning was illegal in many countries during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The ‘3 Merry Widows’ was a popular brand of American condom in the early 20th century and the tin probably dates to the 1920s or 1930s. I understand that the three ladies were the owners of the business and it was named after a long-standing slang term for condoms that implied a certain illicit pleasure. So, there you go.

As Sold on eBay containing 3 condoms and advertised as REUSABLE . . . Perhaps this was referring to the tin . . . 🙂

You may find it hard to believe, but it’s true. In 1873 any form of contraception was illegal in the United States, punishable as a misdemeanour with a six-month minimum prison sentence. The act was designed to prevent the sale of obscene literature and pornography. You can read more about this and a history of the American condom by clicking HERE.

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A Case of Mistaken Identity

. . . We immediately pronounced it to be a Roman relic and he was persuaded to take it to the museum . . .

THIS POST HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH METAL DETECTING

Sometimes even the ‘experts’ in the archeological world can be wrong in their assessment of metal objects. Such mis-identifications makes one realise that often the person with the real edge on determining the past use of a find is the detectorist with years of experience. The moral of this tale is that we mustn’t take for granted that everyone in the archaeological world (or indeed the hobby) knows everything about everything. If in doubt, seek a second opinion.

I was reminded of this fact in a book read recently, A Personal Memoir of Aylesbury in the 1920’s by WR Mead, who had spent an idle day with friends during the summer holidays excavating in the garden for ‘likely treasure trove.’ The childhood incident had stuck in his mind but, in fairness, I think the details are of doubtful authenticity and may have been embellished in the retelling.

Mead says: “Nothing materialised during the morning dig save for some inconsequential oyster shells (there were many others in our own New Street garden). However, during the lunchtime, absence of the principal digger enabled a broken spearhead from some nearby railings to be concealed at the bottom of the excavation.

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TRENCH ART?

Trench Art is commonly defined as any decorative item made by soldiers or prisoners of war, where the manufacture is directly linked to armed conflict or its consequences. The most common example found by the detectorist is a decorated shell or bullet casing from the First World War. The term is also used to describe souvenirs made by soldiers during WW2, but is much more uncommon.

The term trench art conjures up a mud-spattered soldier in a soggy trench crafting a souvenir for ab loved one at home while dodging bullets and artillery shells. I think that image is far from the truth. The origins can be quite diverse and can include mementoes of war made by convalescent soldiers, souvenirs made by prisoners of war in exchange for food, cigarettes or money and so on. The lighter, fashioned from a cartwheel coin, was supplied by Mr Miyagi.

Art objects from the trenches of WW1 were generally created during pauses in battle, which could last weeks or months. These extended periods of time offered the soldiers’ ample time to carve or etch scrap metal into souvenirs. A soldier certainly needed a hobby to occupy his mind during these seemingly endless periods of inaction. The spent shell casings were plentiful so they became his material of choice.

The cynics will even tell you that enterprising French and Belgian citizens in the 1920s made such artefacts. Today, commercial firms offer ‘trench style art’ to those tourists touring the European battlefields.

The origins of trench art lie in the so-called ‘Prisoner of War Work’, in existence from the Napoleonic wars, and probably earlier. This work is characterised by its exquisitely intricate nature – impossibly labour- intensive, conjuring up images of months and years in captivity with little or no activity but that which you made for yourself.

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Tudor Gold Aglet

The AGLET s simply a lace tag that prevents the fibres from unravelling.
Take a look at the Tudor example found by Oliver!

Oliver Clark talks with John Winter

I don’t use a detector so I rely on my eyes and trusty rake. I started mudlarking in late 2013, and because the three-year Thames Foreshore Permit is valid from January to December, this meant that it only covered me for just over two years. I now have a regular licence.

Oliver astride his moped

Despite this, that single purchase was one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I’ve always had an avid interest in finding long lost items from the past and used to do field walking with my dad when I was a boy.

One of my first significant finds on the Thames was a complete Georgian wig curler. Initially I had no idea what it was, but I knew it was ‘a something’. It wasn’t until one popped up on one of the Facebook groups I realised exactly what it was.

A Georgian wig curler

It’s often like this; if I’m not quite sure what it is, I pick it up and identification might come months or even years later. Having said that, I try not to hoard too many things. I regularly take back bits that have outstayed their welcome in my expanding collection of overflowing Tupperware boxes.

For those of you who have never heard the term before and don’t know what an aglet is, they are decorative ornaments used at the end of points (laces) to secure a garment, and are and often found in pairs on hats, or dresses. See Ian’s Shoelace Site for more information.

The best time to go mudlarking depends very much on the tides, which means I often find myself down there in the middle of the night armed with a head torch and accompanied by a friend. I find it more magical searching at night although it can be pretty scary. It’s very easy to get cut-off from the tide, or stuck in mud, so for safety reasons it’s always essential to go with at least one other person.

Funnily enough, most of my little gold bits have been found at night. Perhaps it’s something to do with the way my torch illuminates and highlights the gold.

Take a look at the portrait of Elizabeth de Valois, Queen of Spain – 1568, and especially the jewels. Notice the ribbons tying her sleeves and skirt are tipped with long, golden pearl-set aglets.

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