Those Magnificent Men With Their Detecting Machines
Dennis has finally bought a new detector and retired his ancient Fisher. We all thought that Dennis was waiting for the new Fisher model to be released. the one with atomic batteries and twenty-four satellite precision pinpointing. However it is a Whites, like many others in our club. All our members wish him good (but not too good) hunting!
A Small Display For A School
This small cigar box display has been made up at the request of one of our farmer friends. He is a school governor and would like the display to be presented to the school, on behalf of our club, to show finds made in the area.
CLUB DONATES ITS TREASURE TO SCHOOL, ROMAN GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
By KEVIN PEACHEY. Courtesy of the Nottingham Evening Post.
Roman and Tudor treasures have been donated to a primary school after being discovered in surrounding fields. The collection of coins, armaments and bells were presented to a tiny Primary School, near Newark, by a metal detecting club.
The Head teacher said: "The children were spellbound by the artefacts. It brings history alive for them." An Eight-year-old boy said: "It showed that people could make good things back then, not just us with all our computers and things.". "It is really good because it shows all of the artefacts from the Tudor times that we are doing in history. It is better than history books."
Their own mini-museum came about after the Ashfield club asked a local farmer for permission to scan his land. The enthusiasts uncovered various sized musket balls under the soil to the surprise of the farmer, a parent governor at the school. His daughters, five and eight, were so fascinated by the finds that he asked the club to show the items to the rest of the school's 30 pupils. In fact, club secretary, John Gough prepared a presentation box and a framed pre-decimal coin display featuring treasures discovered by the club in the area.
Mr Gough said: "The items are not worth very much but it is a bit of the history and about who used to live on the land. Many of the children had not seen pre-decimal coins."
The treasures include a Roman coin, brooch, sword belt hanger, a George III halfpenny, a Queen Victoria coin and various musket balls. Also in the collection is a spindle whorl, the weight that holds the rod for spinning wool, a livery button from an old uniform and a crotal, or jingle bell which herders tied to their livestock to keep track of them.
The Farmer said: "It gives them a real hands-on experience of history."
The Head teacher said it was difficult for children to grasp the chronology of history but this display, which would be kept at the school, would help them to appreciate the lives of the people they were learning about. "The display will be used when the topic is relevant," he said. "It is possible to borrow artefacts for these lessons but it is quite unique to have some of our own."
The children were also given a talk about metal detecting by John Gough and fellow detectorist, Jeff Oscroft when the presentation was made. The Headmaster added the new display was an example of the good links between a small school and the community.
Jeff's Winter Advice
When asked if he had any contribution to make to this issue of the club newsletter Jeff ’TT’ Oscroft, our search secretary, offered the following advice about care and maintenance of our vehicles now that winter is upon us.
Check to make sure that tyres conform to the legal tyre tread depths and recommended pressure. In addition that they are good enough to cope with situations that we, as detectorists, are likely to find on farms and deeply rutted farm tracks.
Check lights especially bad weather and fog lights. Carry spare bulbs and fuses.
Check the antifreeze, when was it last changed?
Check the battery condition and replace if suspect.
Check the screen washer liquid level, consider refilling with a quality de-icing and screen washing mixture. Check that ice removing tools, scraper and liquid de-icing spray are in the vehicle.
Keep handy a lighter or propriety car door lock de-icer.
A blanket and a first aid kit in a plastic bag kept in the boot may come in useful.
A torch kept in the glove compartment may prove invaluable.
Being detectorists most of us will have a spade in the boot but why not also a small bag of sand for that slippery start.
Find Of The Month October 2002
As a rule most of the coins that are found by detectorists are not of saleable condition, however occasionally a find is made that appears to be in ‘Very Fine’ or even ‘Extremely Fine’ condition. Please remember that when self grading coins the finder is usually optimistic and should be prepared for the grade to be reassessed by an expert usually placing it in a lower grade.
It is advisable to seek valuations from more that one dealer. Names of dealers and auction houses can be obtained from the two hobby magazines, The Searcher and Treasure Hunting. Another source of names is from the internet. Some dealers and auction houses appreciate scans or photographs of a coin before deciding to accept it for a physical evaluation.
One dealer in Celtic coins offers to supply registered envelopes with separate insurance for the coin to be sent and, if need be, return.
Since the Roman times the ceremony of ‘touching’ has taken place. As shown in the illustration the king, in this case Charles II, is about to touch a coin and give it to the kneeling man on the left. This was thought to cure sick persons. The coin was holed and worn by the sufferer around the neck on ribbon or a chain.
Edward the Confessor was the first recorded English king to perform the ‘touching’ ceremony, this was in AD 1058. This coin is believed to have been the normal silver penny of his reign. Later gold coins were used for this purpose. In 1465 a gold coin called an Angel, value 6s. 8d. was minted by Edward IV and, because of its appropriate design, it was the only coin used until the reign of Charles I ended.
The Angel was a good choice because the obverse showed St. Michael spearing and defeating the Devil. On the reverse it had the sentence, in latin, 'By thy cross save us, O Christ.'
There is no record of ‘touchpieces’ being used in the Commonwealth period. In those Puritan times the use of such an object would have been thought blasphemous.
On the Restoration of the Monarchy Charles II had a special medal struck as a ‘touchpiece’ and later Queen Ann was the last British monarch to perform the ceremony.
Written by John Gough, Club Secretary