Sunday, 13 May 2012

Metal detecting on a MMDC rally near Birmingham.

I would like to start this blog of with a massive thank you to all who were involved with the setting up and running of the rally. Here is a link to MMDC web site.
It has been a lean time for detectorists over the last month or so with the inclement weather being the main problem. The other problem is that most fields are being seeded, or are already in seed. that leaves pasture land as the main stay of detctorists. Now there lies another problem as warm wet weather makes grass grow, and long grass and detectors don't mix well.
About 60 detectorists had turned up to catch a few rays and enjoy a healthy day out in the wilderness.
There were 70 acres on offer, most of it had some remnants of ridge and furrow showing in the topography. the grass indeed was very long in a couple of the fields which made detecting difficult. The weather was set fair as the 9am start approached.
A quick demonstration from some of the very friendly stewards on how to dig and refill you holes in pasture was observed by the eager crowd, then off we went.
My first find was a 1940 penny with a lovely patina on it.  
Possible mount with red inlay.
The going was tough in the first field i headed for with the grass keeping the search coil at least 3 inches from the soil. The weather however was fantastic, which always adds value to the experience. digging conditions were perfect with the sandy soil giving up its secrets readily. i moved across the road to the field behind the farmhouse where i found what i thought was my oldest find. i think it is a decorative mount with red enamel inlay, but i would accept any observations (no its not a shotgun cap).
Directly behind the farmhouse i found a rather large workhouse token the likes of which i had never seen before.

Birmingham Workhouse 1815 copper penny token:
Obv: BIRMINGHAM 1815 ONE PENNY, view of workhouse.Rev: ONE POUND NOTE PAYABLE AT THE WORKHOUSE FOR 240 TOKENS above and below shield of arms.Weight 70 grams, dia: 45mm
Workhouse token.
A rather nice intact buckle came up from the same location.

I had noticed that rather a lot of what appeared to be charcoal flakes were spread throughout the soil in the field behind the farmhouse. I then moved into the furthest field from the car park which was littered with ring pulls, the grass was almost unworkable in this field, consequently I did not last long in there.
I popped back to the car park to have my finds photographed and to take on a drink and a snack. A couple of the guys had found hammies which spurred me on a bit, as the thought of a nice piece of silver in my hand seems to give me a lift.
Cattle tag.
I then set off for the narrow strip of field which had the most defined ridge and furrow on it. Here I found that 9 inches bellow the surface was a heavy layer of charcoal (burning). It was in this layer that I found most of my finds.

1 of two George ii farthings.
Silver bracelet.
I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on the layer of burning as it was well defined in all of the fields. My own thoughts were that at some point the land had been allowed to fall into a wild state, and then it had been cleared by burning, but that's only a view of my own, please post your own ideas in the comments.

Ear ring with gold gilt on it.

I went on to find a silver bracelet without hall marks, which had a flower decoration around it. and what I believe may be furniture mounts in the way of a leaf and a flower.
There were two rig like objects and a fairly modern looking pendant with text on it. Two buttons came up with gold gilding on them. I think this is gods on way of torturing detectorists as when you turn that clod over and out pops a circular gold item, your heart misses a beat.

I also uncovered a small gold gilt link or ear ring along with tiny watch winder, which I seem to find on a regular basis.

The whole day was a fantastic experience, which i send my thanks for to the organiser.
I arrived back home at about 5.30pm with a sun tan and the onset of severe man flue!

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