I have sponsored many people on detecting forums over the last few years, from those collecting money for animals, fundraising for a child to have special surgery or doing a skydive for charity. But here’s something different … Keith collects money for charity by dressing up in white plastic!
Keith the Stormtrooper
It’ll be no surprise to learn that detectorists also engage in other hobbies and pastimes, a common one being fishing. But delve deeper and you’ll find stranger and more exotic ways in which they spend their time.
Keith Dodds of Northumberland is a stormtrooper in the 501st Legion. Yes, I didn’t know what it meant either! After talking to Keith and doing a little research, I will briefly explain.
“Stormtroopers are elite shock troops … wearing imposing white armour, which offers a wide range of survival equipment and temperature controls to allow them to survive in almost any environment. They wield rifles and pistols with great skill, and attack in hordes to overwhelm their enemies.”
Keith the Detectorist
The UK Garrison, created in 2000 and inspired by the Star Wars films is basically a ‘costuming group’ who attend events all over the raising money for charities including Children in Need and the Make a Wish Foundation.
Since the group’s inception, the 501st has become a mainstay at major conventions around the globe, a common sight at charity events, and a group who simply share a common interest in wearing movie-quality costumes.
It will come as no surprise to learn that sometimes, like detectorists, they are often looked upon as rather odd, a bunch of geeks or nerds. Instead of funny clothing – usually full camouflage dress – they dress up in white plastic.
It took animal lover Keith seven months of dedicated work, building and adapting his own armour to the same specifications of the suits made for the first 1997 Star Wars film. Recently he has appeared at shopping centres in Shields and Newcastle raising money for his favourite animal charities, the PDSA and the RSPCA.
His partner encouraged Keith with his ‘cosplay’ (costume play), his grandson loves the suit and his two detecting mates think it’s good to have more than one hobby. In fact it was one of them who got him started! I’m sure he also gets a seal of approval from the charities he helps! You can see Keith’s JustGiving page HERE.
Keith tells me that Minelab have helped out by donating items that he was able to auction on a detecting forum.