Metal Detecting. Beach and Land Metal detecting!

Metal detecting uk. Beach and Land metal detecting.

This is a blog of my finds and experiences as a metal detector in the South East of England.

This blog features tips and advice for beginners, as well as being an archive of my most favourite finds and experiences as a metal detectorist around these parts. Excellent resource sites are also featured here.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Paul Barford doesn't want to discuss issues with Metal Detectorists

Paul is often telling us Metal Detectorists refuse to discuss the issues that he has with them.  He claims this over and over in his blog.  In this post here, I have invited Paul to have a Skype (a free, easy to use program) discussion (rather than text-based which is easily spun) in a reasonable and polite manner.

I won't be wearing a hooded top.

This is a sincere invitation, that was unfortunately ignored when he created a discussion regarding the post the invitation was in.

So again, I invite Paul to a friendly discussion.  All legal wrangling put to one side in the meantime.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Secret Of FlowerDawn (Dingaling-A comedy fantasy metal detecting adventure!)

The Secret Of FlowerDawn (Dingaling-A comedy fantasy metal detecting adventure!)

The idea for 'Dingaling', and chaining Imps to sticks to find lost pieces of metal came to me whilst I was out metal detecting.  Surprise surprise.  A Metal Detector itself is much like an Imp, in that you have to learn about its needs and wants, whilst being very, VERY patient.

Also, a metal detector, like an Imp, can be a petulant little bugger...

Metal Detecting itself is rather quite comical for me.  I love the identification part, and how so many people can see an object so differently.  This is what inspired the wizards Korak and Silverwinds many arguments.  I also love the fact that we are literally finding objects lost in the ground for thousands of years in some cases.  It's quite magical to think that someone dropped that item, and then I, a couple of thousand years later, picked it up.  What's the story there?  Did they drop it?  Bury it?  Were they attacked?  Killed?  It really fuels the imagination.

Also, we must remember that those people who owned those items literally DID believe in Dragons, ghosts, fairies, imps, wizards, witches, and a lot more!  It feels like it puts me in direct contact with their imaginations and beliefs.

There's also something quite surreal about it.  Wandering around a field, swinging a stick in all weathers.  There's comedy in it, definitely.

I'm lucky enough to have a lot of heritage and history in the area I live, so inventing stories based on fantasy comes quite naturally.  You're always a stones throw from a Castle or Keep here in Southern England, and loads of other fantastical places.  It doesn't take much to fuel the imagination.

It's easy to imagine fairies, Dragons and other creatures in the rolling countryside here.  It's nothing new.  People have been doing it for years.

Every location and character in this story are actually based on someone I've met, or somewhere I have been round these parts.  Also in the book are serious discussions and ideas transposed to the world in which it takes place.  Discussions concerning ethics, practice.  Public opinion, archaeological opinion.  All communicated through my little story.

I've throughly enjoyed writing this book.  If you're interested, I've started to do a spoken word version through Youtube.  Here is the link.  If you want a feel for the book, here's the introduction.  I hope you enjoy it:

The bearded men that look for precious metal handbook:
To involve yourself in the art of locating lost metals underground, you should first find yourself an Imp. This is no easy chore, as the mischievous little fellows will do their damn best to not get caught, and elude you. An Imp is a free creature from the natural realm, and will take some convincing. A character of considerable persistence will be needed to befriend said magical creature - normally, a fellow with a magical background whom has become accustomed to something being on fire due to bad spell pronunciation at some point in his career. Time, patience, and understanding are the keys to a favourable capture.
Recommended steps to advancement after capture:
Firstly, an Imp should be trained to sense and detect particular types of metal. This task alone can take a number of years. A well trained Imp should shout 'DINGALING!' when swung over Gold or Silver, or 'BUGGER!' when swung over an old rusty bit of iron. If you fail to train right, you're likely to spend the better part of your day digging up old horseshoes, and other useless metals - whilst swearing, mumbling and shaking your fists at the sky a lot.
Secondly, you must work on the sensitivity of the Imp. The nicer you are to it, the deeper it will detect. If it feels like it's not loved enough, you'll be missing important items beneath it. If your Imp cannot detect metal over an inch in depth, you should spend a week with it, feeding it cake, and telling it how much you love it. This should solve the problem, until you have to repeat the process again when said malaise arrises.
Also, you should keep your Imp as entertained as possible. If you fail to sing it a song, like it just asked, its recovery time will fail as it gets bored. This will cause your Imp to sigh a lot, and miss important items beneath it. If it asks you to do a little dance, you must do so if you wish to spend the rest of the day finding precious metals.
And finally, we have to train the Imp on how to grip onto the stick you will be swinging, as the Imp detects metal beneath it. This is a time consuming task, that normally involves long term shouting, and pulling at hair. If you try to achieve this too early in the process, the mischievous little creature is likely to tell fibs.
An Imp can be a petulant little bugger, so it is important t hat you adhere to its wants and needs for best performance. You need to become a friend for life to the creature if you wish to continue detecting.
Recommended steps to productive technique:
It is advised to not swing your Imp stick too fast, as your Imp may become motion sick. This will annoy the Imp, and it will refuse to detect.
It is advised to not swing your Imp stick too high from the ground, as it will effect the detection rate. This will annoy the Imp and it will refuse to detect.
It is advised to not swing your Imp stick in any extremes of weather. They don't like it. They will get annoyed, and probably won't detect.
It is advised to not swing your Imp stick too near other Imp sticks, as their detection frequencies can become mixed, causing them to argue. This can result in both of them sulking, and refusing to detect.
It is advised to feed your Imp as much as possible. Failing to do so, will annoy the Imp, and it will refuse to detect.
We hope this manual reaches you well, and puts you in good stead concerning the collection of hidden treasure.
Dig well.

‘Some things should stay hidden. Especially those things that have a very real impact on the lives of the people that are near it. Sometimes hidden things are meant to never be found, but sometimes, just sometimes, they manage to set up events in the real world, that will eventually bring their freedom. Some things, just need an audience.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Paul Barford and his obsession with hoods?

Ah, Paul Barford and his obsession with hoods.

I wish that were as cheerful as it sounds...
The 'Strata Martyr'

Most of you will know who Paul Barford (The Strata Martyr) is, and will already know about his opinion of Metal Detecting, and the fact it should be banned.  He’s constantly trying to create a us V's them war between archaeologists and metal detectorists, when in actual fact there are good relations between the two, and a lot whom work together to proactively preserve history.  Yes, it can get rather zesty here and there, but I believe things have moved forward through positive communication over the years.

It's not only the metal detecting community that has a problem with the man.  Those within his own community are quite often on the end of his razor tongue and opinion concerning protocol, techniques, and opinion of bodies such as the PAS.  

If you thought his opinion of Metal Detectors was negative, you'd probably do well to avoid his opinion of FLO'S (Finds liaison officers) and their colleagues (People who are over-worked due to constricted funding budgets)  Oh and of course, Paul doesn't like museums.  Waste of the taxpayers money, apparently:

Everybody agrees that the hoard was recovered by less-than-archaeologically-proper means, buy which its scholarly value is much reduced. The museum can do little more with the hoard than heap it in a case with the remains of the lead 'envelope' a label by the side saying what it is (not too many words) and shine a spotlight on it. People will stop gaze in, see the pile of shiny silver, say "Oooooo", then "Aethel..-who"? and walk on. 

The mans actual input (hands in the mud) is little or non-existent, whilst others in the aforementioned communities are out there preserving history in a positive and proactive manner.  Pauls time is spent mostly on judging those people on his important blog, from which he posts between one and five posts daily.  A very time consuming task, I'd expect.  Of course, these people who are actually doing something about preservation need to be hounded by his written word.  He's very important like that, is our Paul.

A lot within the archaeological community have flagged Barfords underhand tactics, such as creating multiple blogs, multiple Facebook accounts, and bare faced lying (more of that later) to just get an opinion across as correct.  It's interesting reading if you do some thorough research on the man.  

Give him his dues, Paul Barford is an absolute master of twisting words and spin.  He’s much like a politician in the essence that he can take something, and deviously twist it for his own agenda.  His whole blog is testament to this.

A good example would be his consistent attack on the 'underclass.'  If you read through his blog, you’ll see that his ultimate message is that all metal detectorists are unintelligent, classless cretins that shouldn’t be allowed to associate themselves with historical preservation of any shape or form.  We are all in this to make money, and 'hoik' whatever we can from the ground.  Even if intentions are sincere, they matter not as we disrupt anything that needs investigation via archaeology (missing the point that archaeology is massively underfunded, and the items found wouldn't have been found without a metal detector, and in most instances wouldn't be investigated anyway.  Maybe Paul should try dowsing to find archaeological spots?  He also enjoys ignoring the fact that Metal Detecting has, in many cases been the catalyst for further archaeological study, with positive results-although I do agree that more has to be done concerning the protection of valuable sites)

This is something that only archaeologists should be involved with (although rumour has it that Paul has failed his attempts at a degree on many occasions - I cannot verify this)

The way he maintains that message throughout is to consistently hammer home the fact that all detectorists are uneducated thieves, that can’t speak nor write properly.  We see it time and time again.  It's clever psychological manipulation, which enforces his ideal.

There are plenty of examples of this throughout his blog, but just to simplify things, I'll use myself as an example.  Paul is obsessed with the fact I have a hooded top on in some of my videos (I do apologise.  It's the cold sometimes, you see.  I thought that quite obvious.  In addition, I sometimes have to shield Sol from burning my Celtic noggin.  In the instance of below, I came straight in from the cold, and was so excited about Gregs items - I started filming)  It's a very clever tactic that appeals to those that believe that anyone with a hoody within this country is part of the 'chav' culture.  I.E hooded top = chav = metal detectorist = sub-par human  He’s subconsciously trying to get the message over that I am just some lout who shouldn’t be involved in preserving history.  Here is an example:

'Addicted to bleeps' is the somewhat gormless individual depicted in his hoodie in Greg's bedroom involved in the A20 Near Maidstone Anglo-Saxon grave trashing scandal ('Hoiked Finds Seen in Greg's Bedroom'). 

He then enforces this point by ridiculing language.  Something he does over and over on his blog when regarding metal detectorists.  

The "Sweetman Hoard" (sic) two archaeologist wannabes, one in a hoodie indoors, discuss brooches "wiv emralds or roobiz, look at th' culah" wot Greg dug up ("wot waz the signal like mate?"). Note after he's hefted it and turns the disc brooch over, a bit drops off. At 1:12 you can see what looks like a fresh break, which looks as if it results from being levered out of the ground (by scrabbling about blind at the bottom of a "five inch wide hole" 7:49, "half came out"?). The other one is broken in the self-same way.  The commentary can only be classified as a total display of crass ignorance by the sort of people to whom British law entrusts the  who were responsible for the recovery of associated archaeological items (they don't even know who Coroners are and what they do, clue, it's not "cleyn Treasure finds wiv speshal chemicalz"). 

In the above, you can also see the cunning way he implements ideas, and sells them as truth.  I.E the break happened due to the item being leveraged from the ground.  There is no proof to back this claim up, as many items can be damaged or destroyed by other factors, including ploughing.  The 'bit that dropped off' was a small piece of mud, stuck to the back.  Either way, anything dropped was safely caught on the paper placed beneath.  Put there...incase anything was dropped.  Also note the 'Archaeologist wannabes' comment.  It's interesting to note the negative outcome of that comment.  We got plenty of venom telling us WE WERE NOT archaeologists from that comment, even though WE never said we were.  I can look at my A levels in Media studies, Sociology, and English to know I'm not an archaeologist, thanks.

Recently Paul put up a post where he accused myself and Greg of throwing away a 'lead artefact of importance' in one of my videos.  The piece of lead, was just that - a piece of lead, with no historical significance other than it being a piece of lead.  He has since pulled this post down (Hmm...I wonder why)  

Once the idea has been implemented that these people are unintelligent cretins, who shouldn't be allowed near his bit of mud, he'll enforce the opinion with his inevitable boorish conclusion in blue.  A conclusion he only comes to via his own opinion, and little facts, or facts that are made up on the spot.  The propagandist cherry on the cake: 

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners" of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy". 

Paul consistently asks Metal Detectorists to engage in conversation, but as soon as they do,  he (like Nigel Swift (who hides in bushes, apparently) & other Blogging heroes - plenty of evidence of this to come later this year) enjoy spinning the conversation to fit their own agenda.  Serious questions are often ignored, and ridiculed time and time again.

Metal detectorists Greg, Baz and Liam may not like that, they may not wish to take part, they may even wish to avoid even thinking about it (even to the extent of avoiding mentioning the names of people debating the issues) and they may be "disappointed" that others want to discuss it - with or without them - but yes, the rest of us will continue to expect a healthy debate to come to a positive resolution. That is not a question.   

Another of his tactics is to annoy people, using different media, and different accounts and push them until they inevitably bite.  When they do bite, he’s got them hooked and will always quote their response as a universal reflection of metal detecting, thus enforcing his opinion concerning the class of a metal detector.

I'd throughly recommend you don't take my word for all this, and do some research on the man, and especially take note of how his blogs are constructed and written.  Very clever from a legal point of view, and written so that it looks as though something is truth, but protected in the instance of libel.  

Unfortunately, there is a dark conclusion to my blog post.  I cannot speak about details here,  so please don't bring them up (they'll just be deleted) but Paul involved himself deeply in a situation, where I was bullied online by people demanding certain information from me.  When I explained politely that I wasn't able to  share that information, I started to get threats on my life.  These have since been investigated, and the conclusion is quite interesting.  Especially if you consider that certain people like to create multiple alias's online.  Allegedly.

In addition, the mis-information also regarding the subject was sold to a number of news outlets for money.  'Someone' has made a nice amount from this mis-information and presumption.  Not Allegedly.

In many instances, the conclusions that had manifest did so through 'credible sources' and were believed.  However, this couldn't be further from the truth, but the damage to my life has been done, and this damage has been extensive.

In conclusion, readers I ask you one question.  Just one question that I want you to ponder, as you move off to other locations within the world wide web.  And that question is:

'When pursuing legal action.  What do you think the chances are of my legal team actually finding a 'Paul Barford' who lives in Poland?

All the best.

An added note:

I invite Paul to a discussion concerning the above topics via Skype.  I'd like to engage in positive conversation about the topics he feels so passionately about, and how they relate to Metal Detecting.  I don't think a reasonable discussion could hurt, do you?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Managed to get out to a pre New year hunt with Greg and Laura.  Found some lovely little pieces including a hammered. and a cartwheel penny!

But...I lost my phone.  Not entirely bothered about the phone, but the video footage of my daughters first Sports day and Christmas on it.  My fault, as I should have backed it all up!

Anyhow, here's the video.  Hope you enjoy it:

Saturday, 4 October 2014

My Metal Detecting Book!

Welcome to the Secret of FlowerDawn - a Comedy Fantasy adventure based around the art of finding lost metals underground...

And here is a link to the first five parts!  

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Awesome Matrix seal on new land!

Went out for a dig today with my friend, Paul (his second ever dig)  We were only there for two hours, but some nice finds came up!  Here's the video:

The Matrix seal:

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Help! I don't find anything when Metal Detecting!

Help!  I don't find anything when Metal Detecting!

Here's a question I recently answered on my Facebook page.

I honestly believe that metal detecting is is an evolution.  Yes, you get the people that buy a metal detector and find a hoard on their first time out, but this is very, very rare.  The TRUTH is that we don't always find good stuff.  Anyone that's been in the game for years will tell you that the norm is finding absolutely little, over and over.  It's completely normal.  I think that if you don't understand that, you won't stick with metal Detecting for very long, as the constant expecting can only lead to frustration.

It takes time to learn.  Some people say it's an art.  The older I get, and the more I metal detect, the more I'm inclined to agree with them...

Psychology of a Metal Detectorist.

This metal detecting lark can be frustrating at times.  I can go out on trips and find hardly anything at all, but then find tons the next day on the same spot!  Don't forget, this is largely a luck game.  If you don't walk over it, your detector won't find it.  It's also very much a psychological game.  Try not to beat yourself up if you're having no luck.  Understand that the more you metal detect, the higher the chance you have of finding items.  Alongside the points I make below, It's really as simple as that.  But trust me, there have been times where I've wanted to lob my detector, and be done with it...

Just try and empty your mind.  Don't expect too much.  Enjoy the time outside and exercise.  Don't be hard on yourself.  The finds will come IF they are there.  Strangely, my better finds come when I'm relaxed, and expect nothing.

Research of a Metal Detectorist.

Do you know about the history on your land?  Do you know where things might have happened in the past?  Look at and check if there are any pathways or any features that have long since gone.

If there are, then hit those areas.  If you find a 'hotspot' (a place where two or more items have come up) then scan that place as methodologically as possible.  We should be doing that on ALL of our land, really.

When I say 'methodologically' I mean gridded out in your mind (or physically with sticks and tape) and scan that area in a straight line up and down, really really slowly.  Painfully slow.  If you are thorough, your finds rate will rise.  This is something I ignored for a long time, until I was educated by the older lads at my club.

If you still find nothing at least you KNOW you've given the place a good going over the best you can.  You'll sleep easier.  But using a method like that, you're unlikely to miss items.

Also look at Google maps or the map that is embedded on the side of this blog. Are there any unusual markings on the maps that stand out?  Such as old structures.  Round structures that may have been roundhouses.  Go into local libraries and do the same with the local maps in there.  These places have a wealth of local information that maybe relevant to your land.

Walk the land before you detect it.  Are there any areas on the field that stand out to you?  Such as dips in the land?  These could be settlement areas.  Places that people used to live on in the past.  Also check the area outside of these areas, as it's where people might have traded or fixed items.  Also look for slightly raised land or any locations that you can get a good vantage point from.  Somewhere that may have been used strategically in the past.  Lot's of items are found in these areas.

Technique of a Metal Detectorist.

Also, make sure your technique is up to scratch.  Don't raise the head on the out-swings.  Make sure the head is always parallel to the ground throughout the swing.  Keep it as near to the ground as possible.  You'll be amazed at what you can miss through bad technique!  And of course, like I said before, keep it slow.  Also, make sure the shaft is long enough so you're not stooping or leant over in any way.  You must be comfortable to be able to achieve good technique.

Other Factors.

Is the land recently ploughed?  This can make a difference.  Sometimes you get soil that is a bit 'fluffy'.  This makes it harder for the detector to find items due to the air pockets in the earth.  I find the best land is packed land such as pasture, or ploughed that has had time to settle.  Recent rain makes a difference as well, as it effects the conductivity of the metal.

Understand your Metal Detector.

Lastly, understand your metal detector.  This can take a while.  Really get to know it.  Create a test bed, and understand the tones that different items make.  Place coins flat, and scan.  Then re-dig them, and put them in sideways.  Same tone?  Make a mental (or physical - using a notepad) note of what tones are coming out of the machine.  Understand what the 'faraway' tones are.  A lot of people tend to ignore the weaker, distant tones, thinking that the detector isn't too concerned about it.  It doesn't work like that.  These are probably good items at depth or smaller items.

Learn about sensitivity, and ground balancing.  Again, understand your metal detector.  Spend time with this.

The Karma of a Metal Detectorist.

I'm a spiritual guy.  I try and keep my Karma as shiny as possible.  How does this relate to detecting? Well, I treat the land with respect.  I always fill in my holes.  I treat finds with respect, and I even say a little 'thank you' to whoever when they come out.  I treat my farmer with respect, and I treat my fellow metal detectorists with respect.

But most of all, I treat Metal Detecting with respect.  It's an art that we take for granted sometimes in this country, and it's something that we should all be fighting to keep for the further saving of our own heritage and history.

Good luck.  Sincerely :)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Silver Hammereds for us!

Went out Metal Detecting on a field we had high hopes for with Greg.  We'd been on it when it was heavily stubbled, but had no luck.  So, we hit a different area this time, and hit a great hotspot.  Can't wait until the crops come off it this year, so we can get back on!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Metal Detecting tip: Look for any dips in the ground.

Lookout for any obvious dips in the ground!

When I first started detecting, I always avoided these areas, because I always presumed that they were bomb craters from world war two.  The area where I live was heavily shelled in the war, and these holes and dips seem to be all over the place.

My friend Mick, who has tons of metal detecting experience told me that a lot of these dips were actually settlement areas from times gone by.  Places where people had dug in, and then settled themselves.  Mick gets about 20 hammered coins a months off his lands, and certainly knows his stuff.

Of course, in some instances it will be bomb holes.  But there is also a good chance that they are also settlement areas as well, so make sure you head for them if you have them on your land.  You'll soon know if a bomb hit, as you'll be digging loads of shrapnel!

Pay particular attention to the area around the hole as well, as this is where people may have sat, traded, fixed clothes etc.

There is a good example of a settlement area we found in this video:


Friday, 18 April 2014

Metal detecting a VERY Roman site!

Out Metal Detecting with Greg on a very Roman site.  The place where I found my first ever Roman coin!

A great adventure with some awesome finds in the Autumn winds!  Also found a shrine!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

An Impromptu permission brings us some great finds!

Saw the farmers harvesting, and went and asked...

Great day Metal Detecting.  Got my own little digging buddy as well.  Watch to the end to see why fortune favours the bold!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Metal Detecting an Anglo Saxon site!

Greg and I went out to one of our fields today.  The stubble was an absolute nightmare, but some great finds still came out!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Gold at the end of the rainbow!?

Metal detecting very, very close to where the Romans first landed.  Also chase a rainbow, looking for treasure.

Get some nice finds out there...

Friday, 11 April 2014

Nearly hit by a Golf ball on my new land!

Wow, that was close.

I still can't figure out where the hell it came from, though?  I'm in Narnia out there.  The nearest houses are very very far away....

Who knew metal detecting could be so dangerous?

Anyway, I love this bit of land.  Some great little finds!