Necklace and Sugar Plumb (sic) Token

This advert is so delightfully worded and cheerfully revolting. The eye-catching newspaper ads of the day show exactly what might be gnawing at your intestines. Source: The General Advertiser 1748.

No groaning, please. You may have seen this stater on a previous occasion, but many haven’t.

When I was a rather inexperienced detectorist and found my first gold stater, I simply thought, “That looks rather nice,” and stowed it away in the pocket of my jeans. 

The use of the word ‘first’ suggests that there may have been more. I live in hope! With the benefit of hindsight and if a second is ever found, a ‘detector dance’ will be executed and ( I wrote at the time), the precious coin placed carefully and snugly inserted between two layers of foam in an old baccy tin, then tucked in the zipped compartment of my finds’ pouch. Time to phone Securicor to escort me home. If I want to show anybody in the field, it’ll take more extracting than an over-packaged Tesco tea bag.  Aye, that all comes with experience and learning. Even though I exaggerate a tad, you will understand my meaning.

Over the years I have regurgitated the next piece of advice in different forms and on many occasions. When you start detecting, ALL FINDS, whether gold or glass should be regarded as interestingly significant in their own way and should be treated as such. DON’T DISCARD ANYTHING until your knowledge has increased and you are absolutely 100% sure that it is the dross you originally thought it was. Although it embarrasses me to relate the tale now, I confess to discarding a large fragment of La Tène brooch thinking it as just another piece of old metal; so I do speak with some authority on the subject.

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The gloves are on . . . or are they?

Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis) is usually caught through contact with soil or water contaminated with animals’ urine . . .

Steve Redgrave’s gold medal partner killed by rats’ disease: Rower dead in days from water-borne illness . . .’

That was the headline I read in a 2010 newspaper about Steve Redgrave’s rowing partner, Andy Holmes, dying of Weil’s disease. Another story warned of deadly bugs lurking inside our dishwashers, and a killer strain of E.coli in vegetables. It got me thinking about the unseen hazards associated with detecting! The World Health Organisation described the strain of lethal bacteria that killed 18 people in Europe as ‘very rare’. Britain reported seven cases. And now we have all the potential dangers of COVID-19.

Weil’s disease is usually caught through contact with soil or water contaminated with animals’ urine

Are you one of those who habitually use your mouth as a coin cleaner or eat your sandwich without washing your hands first? Are you a cavalier detectorist who boasts that you have never met anyone who has subsequently died, think it’s all a scare story and have never met a farmer who wears gloves when muck-spreading? Then my advice is to beware and maybe think twice. Picture shows Andy Holmes and Steve Redgrave showing their medals from the 1988 Olympics.

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‘Gynaecological’ Silver Penny

The featured image shown below is of a King Edward I (reigned 1279-1307) hammered penny.

Until Edward’s reign, the hand-hammered silver penny was the only coin circulating in Britain. Because each was struck by hand, no two coins are ever alike.

A number of my posts in the original blog were lost. That is a pity because they were rather unique and detectorists still ask for them. This short post about the penny is one I have managed to resurrect and added more information.

Living in the close-knit society of a County Durham pit village in the 1940’s was quite a revelation for a small and inquisitive boy. Lots of everyday happenings like birth and death I tended to take for granted; traditions were just accepted and never really questioned.

There were women in the village, always elderly, who were regarded as ‘wise women’. They were trusted and called when there was a birth or death. With the latter, they would attend to the body, washing, preparing and ‘laying it out’.

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