Tag Archives: MD

Treasure Hunting with Tom

1 Jun

I’ve just had a week-long visit from Tom Barber, one of my best and oldest friends. He was eager to give detecting a try, so on Sunday (May 26th), we went out with the Oxford Blues to a farm near Brize Norton. Some good Georgian coins came off the pasture, but we didn’t have much success. Tom found a coin depicting an early automobile. It turned out to be a De Dion-Bouton 6 H.P. (1903) coin from the Shell Historic Cars Collection, issued by Shell Garages circa 1970. He also found a 1970 10p coin, before the size change (which happened in 1992, I think). 
(total time: 3.5 hours, though we split detector time for the most part). 

The following Wednesday we tried a bit of Thames mudlarking. It was an overcast day, and we didn’t have much time on the river. We concentrated our efforts on the north side of the river near the Millenium Bridge. The site was rumoured to have numerous pipe stems and bowls, and we did find many of these. Tom also found a human bicuspid and animal teeth of various sizes. Another searcher told us that there had been slaughterhouses and chandlers congregated near the spot where the Walbrook entered the Thames (not far from where we were), which may account for the numerous teeth we discovered. We also met one of the real mudlarks, a member of the Society of Thames Mudlarks, who told me (politely) that I’d be ‘pulled by old Bill’ if I scraped on the north shore, which was eyes-only to all but the society. 

After larking, eyes-only, for an hour and a half, we climbed off of the foreshore and attended A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the new Globe. 

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Daria’s EoW Theme

16 Apr

Daria watched some Deep Digger Dan videos with Gooey and me, and she wanted EoW to have a catchy lead-in song (D3 uses They Might Be Giants’s ‘My Metal Detector’; if you haven’t seen his MD videos, check out his YouTube page at: http://www.youtube.com/user/DeepDiggerDan).

She asked me several times to find a theme tune or to ask Gooey to write one. In the end, she took matters into her own hands. This is what she came up with…

Eynsham and OBMDC

4 Apr

Yesterday I was invited to my friend Gabriel’s house in the medieval village of Eynsham, Oxon, to do some garden detecting with him and his cousin Toby. The house is large and wonderful, filled with artefacts from the travels of Gabriel’s parents and grandparents (one of whom was inaugural Booker Prize-winning novelist P.H. Newby).

The weather cooperated, and we spent two and a half hours detecting, mainly in the back garden. We dug up some interested lead bits and 12p in change (including a 2p from 1979), but the camaraderie and sunshine were the main gains (along with a lovely tea featuring a Victoria sponge cake). Toby, though young, was our main finder of things; most of the strong detector hits came initially from his searching.

In other treasure news, I’ve just heard from the Oxford Blues Metal Detecting Club, who have moved me off of their waiting list and onto the club rolls proper. More details to follow.

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Toby finds the 2p:

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Finds of the day:

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Mudlark!

30 Mar

Mudlark!

I’ve been meaning to post about this for several days now; on the 25th of March, my Thames Foreshore Permit arrived. For the next three years, I’ll be able to dig on the foreshore to a depth of seven centimeters, scouring the banks of the tidal Thames for treasure and relics. If I report enough finds to the PAS and the Museum of London over that period, I’ll be eligible to apply for one of only about fifty mudlark permits, and to become a member of the Society of Thames Mudlarks.

The permit arrived with various maps depicting in detail which areas I am eligible to detect and search. I hope that my Maldon training lends itself to the Thames search. It would be a rare and fine thing to belong to the society.

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Return to Maldon

27 Mar

Armed with waders (well, one of us, at least), snowshoes, a floating sieve, and a glass-bottomed coffee can for seeing beneath the surface refraction of the river, we returned to Maldon to make another attempt at the foreshore’s secrets.

Low (spring) tide was at 6.33 am, so we had to get quite an early start. There were other difficulties, too, including a broken snowshoe, and our inability to work together as only one of us could dare the mud.

On the positive side, I began to sort out the signals the AT PRO was giving me in some very challenging ground (tidal water with plenty of junk iron). There were little rivulet intake streams cutting into the profound drifts of mud on their way to join the river; in periods of storm these must become more pronounced to drain adjacent inland areas, and they seemed likely spots for metal/coinage losses. In a couple of these I did find modern coins, and I also found an old spike of metal, probably lead.

After the tide came in, setting our bucket adrift and almost carrying it off, Kurt and I drove past the stature of the Saxon warrior Byrthnoth, who defended Maldon (unsuccessfully) from Danish Viking raiders in 991. Like the raiders, I suspect we will return to the river at some point, better armed and clad for its perils…

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Maldon Misadventure

18 Mar

In which we spend five minutes braving the deep, stinky mud (and goose poop) to detect the Crown Foreshore in Maldon.

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Surprise Unpacking Video

16 Mar

The girls volunteer to help with an unpacking video, not knowing that what they unpack will change their detecting future…forever.