Good friend Dick Holmes was visiting from the Carolinas. He has done quite a bit of beachcombing and artefact hunting near his hometown in Robeson County (arrowheads and other objects), and he was keen to do some searching here in England. We arose far too early (4.45 am) and took the Oxford Tube into London. Low tide was meant to be at 7.51, but when we arrived at London Bridge, it looked to my rookie eyes to be still in full flood. Only when we got to the London flat of Dick’s cousin were we able to double-check times and confirm that it was in fact low tide. By the time we made it back and across London Bridge to some steps leading to the foreshore, we only had an hour and a half until the tide obscured the searchable area.
We made the most of the time we had, however, bending to the work with a will. In short order, Dick turned up some large bits of articulating iron. I found a lovely pottery fragment with a raised flower on it, as well as a (possible) pipe stem [Ed. note: Nope, it was rubber-insulated wire; 28/4/13]. I also found a modern, base-metal ring. Dick found a tile fragment, a large chunk of sea glass, and various bits of nautical ironmongery. In total we collected 28p in modern coinage, mostly corroded.
Our finds were all eyes-only. We did break out the AT Pro for a moment, just to get a sense of the difficulty. I set iron disc up to 45 and used the sniper search coil. It did work well once I got used to listening ‘past’ the squelches: we turned up a couple of pull tabs hidden several inches down in the gravelly mud. But there were so many objects scattered on the surface that the machine didn’t seem necessary given our time and tide constraints.
It was a fun hunt, and it was great to spend fair-weather time on the Thames with a mate. The experience also whet my appetite for more larking. Watch this space…
(1.5 hrs, eyes only)