Shouldn’t Someone Look For Jo & His Crew?

At precisely thirty-five minutes past eleven on the night of January 23rd 1944 it was bloomin’ chilly and, if you were still up and outside, you would have been able to see the warm plumes of your breath in the cold, still night air. A fine sparkling frost coated the countryside and the occasional cock pheasant called from the numerous small copses in the locality. If you lived in or near the village of Shingay in Cambridgeshire and you looked up into the night sky you might well have wondered what that aeroplane was doing just circling round and round. Exactly two minutes later, making the time now eleven thirty seven, you would have witnessed the aeroplane – or at least heard it – enter a very steep dive. After a few seconds, hearing the engines start to scream, you might have thought “come on guys pull out of that.” At eleven thirty eight it would have become clear that the steep dive had been terminal for both aircraft and anyone inside it as a colossal explosion shook the window panes in local houses and a massive billowing orange fireball lit up the surrounding countryside. Read more of this post

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When a coin is spend worn

Half Penny William IIITwo decades ago I came up with a phrase I use a lot today: “Spend Worn.” It was born from finding Roman Sestertii that, although they had retained very little detail, curiously still had a lustrous smooth glossy green (or other) colour patination. It’s a term that does not apply to corroded, deliberately filed, defaced or mutilated coins, just coins where the details have been gently and gradually eroded. Since then I have used the term on numerous occasions and, while I don’t claim to have invented it, I first had it published in a Treasure Hunting magazine in 1999. So, if no one used it prior to that well maybe I can take the credit…. Read more of this post

Using and interpreting Google Earth

Metal Detecting FindLike many metal detectorists I use Google Earth to have a look at the land that I search and to scope out potential new sites. The Time Shift icon on Google Earth allows you to essentially go back in time, sometimes as far as 1945, which is fascinating research. This icon is particularly useful with crop marks, as some show up better under certain light conditions, with specific crops and when there are certain moisture levels in the soil. On one of the estates I searched, for example, I noticed a field that clearly had strip lynchets on it. These medieval plough lines normally show up as lighter and darker soil stripes across an arable field – on pasture they are best observed as the sun sets and shadow falls across the lines. Read more of this post

On This Day in History…. 10th April

10th of April may appear to be a day just like any other, but in fact it has marked some fairly momentous events, births and deaths over the years. Of which, we’ve noted a few below for posterity. If you think we’ve missed any out then let us know in the comments! Read more of this post

Metal detecting, whatever will you find next?

Out DetectingI guess many of us have had that so called ‘X-Factor feeling’ when a certain find just pops into your thoughts – a few minutes later you find it! Sometimes it might not be quite as quick – maybe you were talking to a mate a week ago about it, or perhaps even in the car on the way to the site. Whatever the case, doesn’t it feel good to show that find to the very people you talked to about it? It’s almost as if you have a rather satisfyingly psychic aspect to your personality…I chat a lot about Celtic Torques and Roman Coin Hoards but so far the X-Factor spirit has not helped me with these. Read more of this post