2014 – A Look Back

Well, here we are in 2015 and 2014 was quite a year with, once again, a few choice finds that kept me ticking over. Although it must be said, for the 36th year now, the Celtic Torque and large hoard of Roman Aureii that I have been searching for have once again evaded me.
However, that’s ok as it’s the smaller things I often derive the greatest pleasure from. So whilst I’m sure that the Torques etc lie in wait, for the time being it is these smaller items that make me ask questions I enjoy so much such as, “why is that Heraldic Pendant pierced” or “how did a Dutch coin get way out in a rural Cambridgeshire field?” Often the answers cannot ever be established but it’s the guessing and consideration of possibilities that make this great hobby so fascinating.

Finds made in 2014 by myself and colleagues have really made me just want to get out there into the fields – so I did. I saw my first ever metal detected silver penny of Henry 1st, accompanied by some superb mediaeval period buckles. Together, Steve and I managed over sixty hammered coins this year. Working some pasture back in April I found a little brass lead filled figurine of a male who I believe is King George III. The maker must be questioned though, as the figure is endowed with a well out of scale male organ. What is it? A pipe tamper, a charm, I have no idea. Although I don’t know exactly what it is, when I dug it up I laughed out loud and it really did amuse me – these memories are priceless.

I’ve spent a lot of time on several forums and must say how appreciative of them I am, particularly in relation to my weakness in being able to identify things such as hammered coinage. As always the greatest pleasure (apart from finding of course) is sharing my offerings like this and seeing people’s comments. Having made such a discovery I can’t wait to get back and start posting on the Joan Allen Facebook page, it’s highly addictive. Despite all the benefits this intriguing hobby offers us, for me some of the real positives are making new friends, attending rallies where possible, and writing both for the Internet and Treasure Hunting magazine. I can’t believe I submitted my first article sixteen years ago now. It was in 2014 that my son Brad made his first serious venture into metal detecting and I’m glad he has stuck with it, although the Green Eyed Monster arose when he found a Charles 1st Half Crown in his first seven days – yet another thing amongst many that so far I’ve waited thirty six years to find.

I attended the two Ivinghoe Aston Rallies this year, and have to say what fantastic social events they were. Combined with good chat and great finds what more could we ask for? As I get older I have begun to wonder what further encouragement I may be able to give to bring this fascinating activity to those who are several decades, or more, younger than me. I asked people on forums and got a positive feedback overall. Therefore, I’m pleased to announce I am currently working on a literary venture that hopefully will culminate in a children’s book concerning metal detecting. Hopefully, this might – if used educationally as well – stimulate younger people to become more aware of their historical surroundings, wherever they live, and hopefully encourage more than a few to step into the adventure that is metal detecting.

Whatever 2015 may bring for us all I find that I’m already wishing for the sound of combine harvesters, so no change there then. I have met some great characters and made many new friends involved with this hobby over the last twelve months and that has been an absolute privilege indeed. As always I’d like to thank Joan Allen for their continued fantastic and positive support during the last year and must once again mention that much of what they do in supporting this hobby is not always obvious – so thank you to all the staff there.

Well I guess that’s it really just remains for me to wish that you all have a cracking New Year.

Cheers all

About Julian Evan-Hart
Julian is from Hertfordshire, England and has always been interested in fossils and antiquities. Julian has written a number of books on metal detecting, and is an avid user of Minelab products.

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