Archives For July 2014

It’s taken some time, but I have managed to fix another popular post from 2012 relating to that curious children’s toy, the shy cock. Alas, all the comments and some of the updates have been lost. 

The original title was a big mistake, but very popular with search engines directing thrill seeking surfers to my blog. Because I didn’t want them to be too disappointed, I changed the title to Child’s Toy Found by Detectorists.

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Something quite unusual is happening in the UK at the moment. We’re basking – in my case melting – in the heat. But I’m not complaining. Not much anyway. The catalyst for this this blog post was an item on the BBC website and the Sunday Times about the perils of the English countryside where they mentioned cows, wild boar, adders, deer … but not much about the little critters … the insects!

Sun

Sunday Times Detail

For detectorists out in the field, kepi-type hats are essential to protect the neck from the sun, but how many have to good sense to take other precautions … until it’s too late!

The threat of mosquitoes was far from my mate Dave’s mind when he set off last weekend for a couple of days detecting. After all, this was England and not the Med! He’d remembered the cans of beer.

When he returned home, his arms and legs were a bloody mess, both literally and metaphorically. On the Monday, he had to take a day off work because he felt so ill.

Anyway, I guess the farmer is pleased for this very un-British summer. The crops are lusher than normal due to the best growing season for years, and insects are also having a whale of a time. Through the shimmering humidity, detectorists should be aware, not just of the mosquitoes, but clouds of other potentially dangerous insects. This is a very bad year for biters. The ants are also on the march!

Horse flies are flourishing and are also capable of giving a painful bite to humans.  In the North East we called them ‘clegs’. Then there are the blood-sucking ticks that can transmit Lyme disease, which can result in death if untreated. It’s a battlefield out there!

Then there are the irritants! When encountered in the field, they can drive you crazy. I’m talking about thrips or thunder flies. On days like this it is far too hot to leave doors and windows closed. I’ve just read hundreds of solutions for keeping them off plants … but none for suggesting how I can prevent them from getting behind my computer screen!

If this situation becomes the norm then I’ll be seriously thinking about buying shares in companies that make insect repellant! But remember, it’ll only take one bout of severe cold winter weather to banish silly thoughts like that from my mind!

A find from the Thames foreshore proved initially to be a bit of a poser for the UKDFD identification team. Nigel Nicholson eventually came up with the definitive answer he had gleaned from an article in the March 1997 copy of The Searcher magazine.

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The Lead Whirligig

22nd July 2014 — 29 Comments

Some of my favourite and often visited old posts have disappeared forever; the blog posts on the kind of children’s toys found by detectorists were popular, especially the one on ‘Shy Cocks’; so hot with search engines that I had to change the title to ‘Unusual Toy’!

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One of the most popular posts of the last three years was the one dealing with how others view metal detectorists and a light-hearted questionnaire for hobbyists to see whether they really deserved the appellation of ‘geek’. I saw my words copied and posted on detecting forums all over the world. A sure sign of popularity … pity the copy and paster posters hadn’t bothered to acknowledge the source!

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Un nouvel XP, un nouvelle aventure!

Have you signed up for the GMP Newsletter yet? You can do so by clicking and subscribing HERE. Their latest story is on the discovery of the Zutphen Quadrant that appeared in the March 2014 Searcher, and you can read it by clicking HERE.

Navigation Device

Sicco Siegers with the quadrant and XP detector

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Royal Christmas Box

13th July 2014 — 19 Comments
Christmas bolx closed

Princess Mary’s Christmas Box – © Dave Clarke

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This blog attracted a lot of interest when it was originally posted. Alas, it is now lost and what you see is only a partial resurrection based on what I remember and what I’ve gleaned from an earlier piece of writing. The comments generated and the pictures I received from subscribers at the time are now gone. Sorry.

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Anyone who has visited Sutton Hoo will view the huge ship grave and the National Trust exhibition of priceless royal treasures with a sense of awe and wonder. It is over sixty years ago since this seventh-century Anglo-Saxon burial ground and great royal grave was unearthed in a Suffolk field. It still has an inescapable fascination.

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