Starting Out

I used to go fishing, until I worked with this chap who had a metal detector, and one day he brought a dog eared copy of a very popular metal detecting magazine to work with him to show me and a few of the items he had found, and like Paul on the road to Damascus I was instantly converted. Just holding a Roman coin and other pieces of ancient artifacts in the palm of my hand sent a tingle up my spine, to hell with fishing, this is what I wanted to do. My friend also belonged to a metal detecting club, and he asked if I would like to go along to the next meeting, just to see what it was all about. So along I went.

I was surprised to see how many people were there, around 40 members were milling around the room when I walked in, and a very friendly and helpful bunch they were, even though I was a complete stranger. They were just about to start their "Find of the month" competition and so I decided to take a quick look at the finds they had laid out on the trestle table at the front of the room, it was the last straw, I had to get out there and start finding these hidden treasures for myself. There were Celtic items Roman items, crosses rings and even an ancient axe head, I was well and truly hooked.

I joined on the spot and within a couple of days I had bought my first detector, a Fisher 1210, simple to use, just switch on and go. Of course I didn't have a clue what I was doing, which didn't dampen my confidence in the slightest. So off I went to the local wood and proceeded to dig up several drinking cans and their ring pulls, about 50 nails and even a bucket along with an unidentifiable pile of scrap that had been dumped there years before (does any of this sound familiar?), then I remembered that there used to be a children's play area close by that had been shut down many years before and was now grassed over, there used to be some swings a slide and a roundabout. So with determination etched on my face, I decided to try my luck over there, and that's where I found my first little bit of treasure, a Victorian penny - I was over the moon. I also noticed that the signal was slightly different for the penny compared to all the junk I had just dug out from a two foot hole, and so I had also had my first lesson in metal detecting.

From then on I learned to listen to the type of signal I was getting before I started to dig, and the more I listened the more the finds improved and the junk got less. I still dig up lumps of broken plough from time to time and the odd horse shoe, but who doesn't?

The next step was to find some farmland and a sympathetic farmer to let me try my luck on his land. Well as most of you will know, it's a very daunting task knocking on a farm house door in the middle of nowhere, so ignoring my bellyache and dry mouth, I took a deep breath and smartly rapped my knuckles on the door. At least a dozen dogs started to bark and very shortly the door swung open and there I was face to face with my first farmer. What I said to him I have no idea, and I am sure I must have sounded like a complete idiot, but he must have understood some of what I was saying, as he just smiled and said that Yes it would be OK for me to go on his land on one condition, if I found a bag of gold, he was to get half of it. I agreed. This happened many many years ago now, but I still get the butterflies in my stomach every time I knock on a farmers door, and just in case you are wondering the answer is no, I never did find a bag of gold, in fact I can honestly say that I have never found any gold what so ever, but I have had my eye on this field tucked away at the bottom of a meadow and near to an old ford crossing, and you never know, you just never know.......

I updated my machine to a Silver Saber II and a good little detector it has been, it gives me a good clear signal and has a good depth to it. I have looked at the all singing all dancing type of detector and the men who have bought them, they seem to me to spend all day twiddling with the buttons - no thanks. Plus the fact is I am to old now to be digging two foot holes all day long anymore, I would rather let the plough bring it up to the surface for me each season. I still have my Fisher 1210, and in the past I have found cut quarters and the odd hammered coin, including an Edward VIII Farthing, so it hasn't done bad.

Another season is approaching with glorious days out in the fields and good company to detect with, what more could an old man you ask for.

Good Hunting and always be positive...

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