The Yanks are Coming

Ardent American detectorists – or should I say ‘relic hunters’ or even ‘coinshooters’ – used to swinging in tot-lots and searching on sidewalks – have a dream. And that is to visit England to do some real detecting. Canadians and Americans are lured – and here I am quoting one of the organisations organising the tours – by phrases like …

With your metal detector you will have opportunities to discover gold, silver, lead, or bronze antiquities thought lost forever. Touch history by finding clues in the fields . . . or discover the whereabouts of an unknown Roman villa.

Detecting expeditions search private land, in archaeologically interesting places, to uncover many spectacular finds including ancient coins and artefacts, dating from the Bronze Age through to Celtic, Roman, Medieval and. the present day.

And so on. After reading some of the claims, I wish that I were American or Canadian and eligible to go on one of these trips. Good finds are almost guaranteed. Alas, I could never afford it …

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Scribbling and Sharpening

In the past I have often scribbled about hammered silver coin caches, Anglo-Saxon hoards, Roman burials and all the other magnificent finds made by detectorists. I was privileged and very lucky to have the opportunity to relive the exploits of the finders and tell their stories. And for that I think myself very fortunate and honoured to do so. That’s how I get my ‘fix’ even today. Today’s offering is rather mundane.

The teacher always had an ‘industrial’ pencil sharpener attached to the desk at the front of the class.

If you are of a certain age you will remember the pencil sharpener attached in a rickety fashion to the edge of the table in your secondary classroom. Probably not, but I have vivid memories of countless disasters trying to sharpen my pencils. Something starting off at a length of  five or six inches usually ended up annihilated and unusable. I hated them.

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Does this fit the bill … ?

Late in January 2009, Pete, a detectorist living in Thornaby near Stockton-on-Tees, found something that closely resembled yet another tractor part. He told me that  all bits of metal like that usually end up in the scrap bin or the bucket marked ’unidentified’. This item looked so insignificant, he almost slung it in the hedge without a backward glance. I’m pleased he didn’t. No doubt he is too! I am reminded of that good piece of advice given to me when I first started detecting, and that was to never throw anything away. 

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Metal Detecting Videos

Taking Umbrage

I’ve been under the weather lately and as a result don’t have a blog for your delight and delectation. Instead I am going to repeat a post that garnered a lot of attention at the time and had over 40 comments. Apologies to my regular subscribers who will have read this before but maybe you will enjoy it second time around. It will be new to some …

WARNING – Don’t read any further if you can’t laugh at yourself
If you are an easily offended detectorist/videographer with a recent humourdectomy operation, I suggest that you give this blog a miss … make a coffee, have a spliff, go fishing or summat.

Does anyone agree with me that 95% of videos made by detectorists whilst on a dig are crap and not worth watching? They fail to engage with the audience. Gone are the times when a day’s detecting meant carrying no more than a machine of your choice, a spade and wearing sturdy boots.

Today, it is essential that you kit yourself out like a budding documentary maker and record every button and buckle for your legion of followers to drool over. Make your bliddy mind up. Are you a metal detectorist or a videographer?

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