The Hawking Ring or Vervel

17 December 2014 — 4 Comments

Hawking rings or ‘vervels’ are rare detectorist finds. They were once attached to the leg of a bird of prey as a mark of ownership and those made of silver help in illustrating the development of hawking as an aristocratic pastime in the 17th century. A modern analogy would be a pigeon ring that bears details relating to the owner. If a bird was lost whilst hunting, then it could be identified by the vervel and thus returned to the owner. The tags were often inscribed with the owner’s name, residence or coat of arms – the latter was especially useful as not all the locals would be able to read.

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No Escaping Christmas!

14 December 2014 — 21 Comments

I understand that no matter how hard I try, Christmas isn’t going to go away. I’ve decided to embrace it this year by not being a self-centred misery guts full of false bonhomie. Here’s the Christmas card I’ll be sending to all my friends this year. That’s a good start, don’t you think?


© JW – I love dressing-up!

That classic line Bah Humbug, from the mouth of Ebenezer Scrooge, is a perfect example of the the miserly ways of some modern-day wrinklies. But not me … not this year anyway!  :-)

I’m sure that you’ll understand why I can come over all curmudgeonly at this time of the year. Things can become rather hectic and I tend to get just a little short tempered. In reality, I am so excited about Christmas. I love it … but roll on the 26th when I can catch up on my sleep and have a short rest! 

It’s taken me some time to realise that the worst thing you can do is let anyone know that you dislike Christmas. I told you that three years ago and was ostracised and treated like some kind of freak. People also assumed that I was tight-fisted miserable old git and anti-fun. As a result of these entirely unfounded assumptions (short, muffled chortle) all it did was make it even harder to escape the festive season and learn to hate it even more! 

Bring on the mince pies and as much turkey as I can eat. I love it! Ho, ho, ho!  :-)


This has been a public announcement on behalf of the Winter Solstice Party (technically, the Depths of Winter). What better time to crack open a bottle or two (or three) of Pinot, investigate the sloe gin and sample the Scotch that has been maturing in the kitchen cupboard for the last ten years?

After all, I have made it through the shortest day. Every day afterwards is a little longer, brighter and closer to those long, warm summer evenings that we miss so much at this time of the year. Let’s go metal detecting!

GIVE IN – after all, it’s only once a year …

The season of goodwill. Happy Christmas to all my followers, friends and others. I wish you successful digging next year! 


There has been an update to a previous blog on Dr. Winn’s Black and Blue Reviver. You might like to check it out …


In October 2013 I blogged about a pipe tamper found by Jim Crombie in Fife, Scotland. I went on to add another two blogs on the same subject and have now managed to resurrect and amalgamate them.

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I’ve seen the light!

8 December 2014 — 7 Comments

Let’s get this out of the way first – if you are a metal detectorist expecting erudite and educative scribblings on the world’s greatest hobby then I suggest that you read no further. This is not for you and I don’t want to waste your time; it’s just that I’ve seen the light!

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Harlene for the Hair

5 December 2014 — 12 Comments

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 be more. I live in hope! With the benefit of hindsight and if a second is ever found, a ‘detector dance’ will be executed and the precious coin placed carefully in a plastic bag. It will then be snugly inserted between two layers of foam in an old baccy tin and carefully tucked in the zipped compartment of my finds’ pouch. Then I’ll 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.

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NB: This thread is detecting ‘lite’, so leave now if you don’t wish to read scintillating writing with a touch of verbal humour – or humor, for my friends across the water.  

I find it funny, curious but complimentary that a detectorist friend of mine likes to call me ‘a wordsmith’. I don’t see it that way, but must admit that it appeals to this coal-miner and aspiring scribbler from Wearside in County Durham.

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Cover Jan 2015

January 2015 Cover – © Rodger Shearer

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UK Detectorists find so many personal items like buckles, buttons and clothes fasteners in fields because in past times they were literally spread on the land along with human waste. There wasn’t a sewerage system or refuse collection as we know it today.


The little room – © JW

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