10 Things that happened on this day in History… May 24th

We love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths.

Swat up on your facts take a few minutes to think back on how this day might have been once…

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?

1218 – The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt

1830 – The story Mary Had a Little Lamb is first published.

1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic.

1895 – Henry Irving becomes the first person in the world of theatre to get a knighthood.

1915 – Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary in World War I

1943 – In the Holocaust Josef Mengele arrives at Auschwitz as Chief Medical Officer.

1956 – The first ever Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland.

1962 – U.S astronaut Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth three times as part of Project Mercury

1976 – Concorde first goes from London to Washington D.C

1994 – The four men convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in New York a year earlier are sentenced to 240 years in prison.


15 BC – Roman Commander Julius Caesar Germanicus

1819 – Queen Victoria I

1941 – Singer and songwriter Bob Dylan

1965 – Actor John C. Reilly

1966 – Manchester United legend Eric Cantona

1973 – TV Presenter Dermot O’Leary


1984 – Vincent J. McMahon – founder of the WWF (now WWE)

1995 – Harold Wilson, politician and ex-Prime Minister

2010 – Musician and bassist from Slipknot Paul Gray

What are your memories of May 24? Let us know and comment below or on the Joan Allen Facebook page.

10 Things that happened on this day in History… May 10th

We love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths.

Swat up on your facts take a few minutes to think back on how this day might have been once…

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?


1497 – Amerigo Vespucci leaves Cadiz on a voyage to find the New World


1774 – Marie Antoinette becomes Queen of France


1824 – The National Gallery in London opens to the public


1924 – J. Edgar Hoover becomes the Director of the FBI… and never steps down


1940: Germany invades as the Nazi’s claim the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in WWII.


1940: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


1941: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try and negotiate peace between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany… and was immediately imprisoned.


1954: The birth of rock and roll, as Bill Haley & His Comets “Rock Around the Clock” reaches number one in the US.


1994: Nelson Mandela becomes the first black president of South Africa.


2002: Former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for selling US secrets.



1899: World-renowned dancer Fred Astaire


1957: Bassist in The Sex Pistols – Sid Vicious


1960: Bono, frontman of U2


1968: Al Murray, comedian


1969: Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp



1566: Botanist Leonhart Fuchs


1774: King Louis XV of France


1977: Actress Joan Crawford


1994: John Wayne Gacy – US serial killer


2006: Director Val Guest


On this day in History, May 4th…

We love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths.

Swat up on your facts take a few minutes to think back on how this day might have been once…

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?

1471 Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward, Prince of Wales.

1493 Spanish Pope Alexander VI divides America between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcation.

1675 King Charles II of England orders the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

1776 Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to declare independence from England & King George III.

1799 Fourth Anglo-Mysore War: The Battle of Seringapatam: The siege of Seringapatam ends when the city is invaded and Tipu Sultan killed by the besieging British army, under the command of General George Harris.

1818 Netherlands and England sign treaty against illegal slave handling.

1904 The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.

1919 May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations take place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, protesting the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.

1945 World War II: Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg is liberated by the British Army.

World War II: The North Germany Army surrenders to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


1008 King Henry I of France

1974 Tony McCoy, Northern Irish National Hunt jockey

1985 Ravinder Bopara, English cricketer

1989 Rory McIlroy, Northern Irish golfer

2009 Prince Henrik of Denmark, Danish royalty


1471 Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales (killed in battle).

1471 Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset, English military commander (executed).

1972 Edward Calvin Kendall, American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

1938 Carl von Ossietzky, German pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

1903 Gotse Delchev, a revolutionary from the Balkans – leader of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization.

10 things that happened on this day in History… April 20th

We love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths. Swat up on your facts take a few minutes to think back on how this day might have been once…

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?

1653 – Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament, which had existed for 5 years after the execution of King Charles I.

1775 – In the American War of Independence, the Siege of Boston begins.

1810 – The Governor of Caracas, Venezuela declares independence from Spain.

1902 – Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.

1926 – Sound is added to film as Western Electric and Warner Bros announce Vitaphone.

1946 – League of Nations dissolved, as it’s power goes to the United Nations.

1961 – The USA’s attempt to kill Fidel Castro fails with the Bay of Pigs 

1964 – BBC Two launches… with a power cut. 

1972 – Apollo 16 lands on the moon.


Born on this day

1889 – Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler

1937 – The original Spock and star of Star Trek, George Takei

1964 – Actor and Lord of the Rings’ Gollum, Andy Serkis


Died on this day

1314 – Pope Clement V (b.1264)

1991 – Singer Steve Marriott (b. 1947)

1992 – Comedian Benny Hill (b.1924)

Mud Men Final Episode: A Poland Special…Poland and The Second World War

Mud Men, you either love it or you hate it, and we firmly sit in the Love camp! The series follows members of the Mudlarks Society as they hunt for items on the River Thames foreshore that may have changed the course of history. The series is presented by Johnny Vaughan and Steve “Mud God” Brooker, chairman of the Mudlarks Society…

Last weeks final special Polish episode of Mud Men features a Minelab E-Trac, Fisher F75 Special Edition and other Joan Allen bits all loaned by Joan Allen Metal Detectors!

One thing that particularly struck us after watching the final show was Poland’s relationship with the Second World War… I suppose we didn’t really appreciate a, their involvement and b, that the Polish lived in constant fear and endured the most severe wartime occupation conditions in modern European history.

I guess we also overlook at times that Polish Squadrons played an important role in the Battle of Britain, accounting for 12% of all German aircraft destroyed at the cost of 33 lives. By the end of the war Poland had flown a total of 86,527 sorties, lost 1669 men and shot down 500 German planes and 190 V1 rockets.

Now we aren’t attempting to give people a History lesson here, and we are by no means assuming authority on the subject, we are merely wishing to express our respect towards the Polish state and acknowledge the pain it went through; like many people did.

Poland and The Second World War:

After an unsuccessful First World War campaign and a German national resentment to peace terms, Hitler began driving a new German war machine across Europe in 1939.

Hitler subsequently invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939, hurling the majority of Germanys armed forces at it’s eastern neighbour; with this event considered the catalyst of World War II; the most devastating period in the history of Poland.

Based on existing guarantees of security, Britain and France declared war two days later, but they gave no effective assistance to their ally.

Mid-September saw Warsaw surrounded, despite stout resistance by outnumbered Polish forces. The Soviet Union then administered the cherry on the cake by invading from the east on September 17. For the next five years, Poland endured an environment of constant fear but with staggering courage.

6 million people, over 15% of Poland’s population perished between 1939 and 1945. The war not only claimed an unquantifiable amount of lives, it also left much of Poland in ruins; inflicting emotional and physical scars.

Hans Frank said, “If I wanted to put up a poster for every seven Poles shot, the forests of Poland would not suffice to produce the paper for such posters.”

The Germans declared their intention of wiping out the Polish race alongside the Jews, by a process otherwise known as the “Holocaust.” This process was carried out systematically, as with all things German, with all members of the ‘intelligentsia’ hunted down in order to destroy Polish culture and leadership.

2000 concentration camps were built in Poland, which became the major site of the extermination programme, since this was where most of the intended victims lived. Polish Jews were herded into Ghettos and slowly starved, with non-jewish Poles either transported to Germany for slave labour or simply executed.

Never Give Up

Poland was the only country to combat Germany from the first day of the Polish invasion until the end of the war in Europe. Despite everything, the Polish Army, Navy and Air Force reorganised abroad and continued to fight the Germans. In fact they have the distinction of being the only nation to fight on every front in the War.

In 1940 they fought in France, in the Norwegian campaign they earned a reputation for bravery at Narvik, and in Africa the Carpathian Brigade fought at Tobruk.

A major contribution to the Allied side in the 1930s came from the Polish intelligence personnel. Polish agents had secured information on the top-secret German code machine, Enigma, and experts aided the British in using this information to intercept Hitler’s orders to German military leaders.

In Poland itself, resistance to the German regime came from The Home Army (Armia Krajowa), which operated under direction of the London government-in-exile. The Home Army became one of the largest and most effective underground movements of World War II and was the backbone of a network of genuine Polish institutions and cultural activities.

By 1944 it had claimed 400,000 members, commanding wide-spread popular support. The Home Army conducted a vigorous campaign of sabotage and intelligence gathering, as a means of social defence against the invaders…

10 things that happened on this day in History… April 3rd:

We love our History, and we love to find out about interesting facts or events that happened on this very day back through the years. We picked 10 interesting things that occurred on this day throughout history, along with a handful of births and deaths. Swat up on your facts take a few minuets to think back on how this day might have been once…

1043 – Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England

1882 – American Old West: Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford. He was shot in the back by Bob Ford, one of his own gang members, reportedly for a $10,000 reward.

1895 – Trial of the libel case instigated by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.

1922 – Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1933 – First flight over Mount Everest, a British expedition, led by the Marquis of Clydesdale, and funded by Lucy, Lady Houston

1948 – President Truman signed the Marshall Plan, which would foster the recovery of war-torn Europe.

1954 – 100th Boat Race Oxford wins the 100th Boat Race by four-and-a-half lengths from Cambridge in rough conditions on the River Thames.

1968 – Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn., less than 24 hours before he was assassinated.

1973 – Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, though it took ten years for the DynaTAC 8000X to become the first such phone to be commercially released.

2000 – United States v. Microsoft: Microsoft is ruled to have violated United States antitrust laws by keeping “an oppressive thumb” on its competitors.

Born on this day:

1366 Henry IV of England (d. 1413)

1643Charles V, Duke of Lorraine (d. 1690)

1924Doris Day, American actress, singer and animal rights activist

1924Marlon Brando, American actor (d. 2004)

1946John Virgo, English snooker player

1964Andy Robinson, English rugby player

Died on this day:

963William III, Duke of Aquitaine (b. 915)

1287Pope Honorius IV (b. c. 1210)

1606Charles Blount, 1st Earl of Devon (b. 1563)

1950Carter G. Woodson, American historian, author, and journalist, founder of Black History Month (b. 1875)

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History? 

What is the best Metal Detector?

Let me set the scene….

It’s Wednesday morning, the sun is shining like mid July and whilst the kettle boils we decide to discuss what we think is the best metal detector. Now, i say discuss, but discussion soon turned into debate and debate into protesting and justifying our choice.

Unfortunately, whilst we could have continued to discuss what is the best metal detector out there all day, we sadly had to crack on with work; so we asked you…

Here’s what some of our Facebook friends had to say… Let us know what YOU think is the best metal detector and why, and see if you agree with any of the choices below…

Andy Holbrook: It’s got to be the minelab explorer 11 with a pro coil you can’t beat it!

Paul Rambo Campbell: Minelab Explorer XS with S.E.F Coil. But still think laser B3 & Power max 2 are worthy detectors switch on and go.

Graham McCall: Fisher F5 brought from you of course!    Thanks Graham!

Rob Capper: F75 for depth, F5 for coin shooting. Love em both thanks J.A. 🙂    Cheers Rob! 

Marcus Virgo: Xp goldmaxx power awesome machine deffo number 1 in my book! 

Hugo Fernandes: For starters, nothing like garrett ace 250! 

Julian Evan-Hart: I’ve been detecting for about 36 years too. I started off with several different makes including the then legendary Arado 120B. “The best metal detector eh?” now theres a question. I reckon the effectiveness of all machines is influenced by a combination of mental frame of mind (good or bad mood) determination, and Lady Luck. What then assists these come from the manufacturer and are performance and build quality. These have to be balanced good build quality and poor performance and excellent performance with poor build quality are non -runners. As a detectorist I feel that since I invest hundreds of hours researching and searching then Im at a stage where I deserve to have the best equipment on the market. Not what others say is the best what I feel and know from my experience to be “the top kit” For me and all my close detecting colleagues this perfect balance and “top kit” is provided by Minelab products. The X-TERRA series is unbeatable in its price range and the upper echelon models are in a league of their own. I remember my first Explorer 1 and how it destroyed the finds rates of my colleagues, so much so that they all went and got one…..well that was well over a decade ago now and Minelab have never let us down since….consistency, quality and top finds rates what more assistance could we ask for?….Jules

Peter Wathall: minelab couln’t agree more

Antony Provan: Dowsing stick.  Ladies and Gentlemen, Antony Provan… *round of applause*.

Chris Hughes: For 36 years I have only ever used C-Scope and don’t intend to change now. Current machine is 1220R.

Andrew Longman: XP Maxx power for me!

Alan Miller: Digging deeper with the DFX.

March 23rd – On this day in history:

At Joan Allen we love our History! Whilst you sit enjoying your elevenses, have a look below at 10 things that happened on this day, March 23rd.

Can you think of any interesting things that happened on this day in History?

1657 – France and England form alliance against Spain; England gets Dunkirk

1808 – Napoleon’s brother Joseph takes the throne of Spain

1840 – The first successful photo of the Moon is taken

1956 – The Islamic Republic of Pakistan becomes an independent republic within the British Commonwealth (National Day)

1963 – The Beach Boys release Surfin’ U.S

1976 – International Bill of Rights goes into effect (35nations ratifying)

1977 – The UK’s Labour government survives a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the House of Commons thanks to support from the Liberals

1991 – Saddam Hussein is defeated by allies fighting in the Gulf War, and he steps down from his position as Prime Minister of Iraq.

1998 – The motion picture epic Titanic wins 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards

2001 – Russia’s Mir space station ended its 15-year orbit of the Earth, splashing down in the South Pacific.

Source: BBC, Wikipedia, historyorb.com, infoplease.com, history.co.uk, brainyhistory.com, on-this-day.com

Etiquette in metal detecting

Etiquette in metal detectingI was asked if there was any particular etiquette when starting out in metal detecting, so I have done some research and found the following list from the National Council for Metal Detecting.

Most of it is common sense, but it is a great “refresher” or introduction into the exciting world of metal detecting as we have come to know it.

I also feel it sums up our hobby by showing that we are a respectful and mindful bunch of people. Over the next few articles I will also be expanding on some of the legislation surround our exciting hobby

“NCMD Code of Conduct

  1. Do not trespass. Obtain permission before venturing on to any land.
  2. Respect the Country Code, leave gates and property as you find them and do not damage crops, frighten animals or disturb nesting birds.
  3. Wherever the site, do not leave a mess or an unsafe surface for those who may follow. It is perfectly  simple to extract a coin or other small object buried a few inches below the ground  without digging a  great hole. Use a suitable digging implement to cut a neat flap(do not remove the plug of earth entirely from the ground), extract the object, reinstate the grass, sand or soil carefully, and even you will have difficulty in locating the find spot again.
  4. If you discover any live ammunition or any lethal object such as an unexploded bomb or mine, do not disturb it. Mark the site carefully and report the find to the local police and landowner.
  5. Help keep Britain tidy. Safely dispose of refuse you come across.
  6. Report all unusual historical finds to the landowner, and acquaint yourself with current NCMD policy relating to the Voluntary Reporting of Portable Antiquities.
  7. Remember it is illegal for anyone to use a metal detector on a designated area (e.g. scheduled archaeological site, SSSI, or Ministry of Defence property) without permission from the appropriate authority.
  8. Acquaint yourself with the definitions of the following documents: –

    (1)Treasure contained in the Treasure Act 1996 and its associated Code of Practice, making sure you understand your responsibilities.

    (2)Advice for Finders of Archaeological Objects including Treasure 2006.

  9. Remember that when you are out with your metal detector you are an ambassador for our hobby. Do nothing that might give it a bad name.
  10. Never miss an opportunity to explain your hobby to anyone who asks about it.

Appendix A to the NCMD Constitution
Revised February 2000
Amended AGM June 2007”

The best thing about metal detecting is…

Over the weekend, whilst having a quiet cuppa and listening to the dishwasher gurgling round, i started to think about what an old school friend I’d bumped into in the Supermarket had asked me after we’d updated each other on our lives to date…

“Metal Detecting? What is good about that? Don’t you just trudge through fields and dig up bits of old tat?”

Once those words had left his mouth, i remembered exactly why i had nothing to do with him and had ‘sadly lost touch’. He clearly had no idea about it and yet was making a judgement on me and my wonderful hobby. How dare he.

I carried my mood with me into Monday and into the office; along with my overly large packed lunch. The guys thought i was being tetchy and overreacting but I was still annoyed. I think what annoyed me more was that, when he had asked me the question, my answer as to why i go metal detecting and enjoy it was less than succinct and simply didn’t do it justice. Hence i turned to my colleagues and trusted Facebookers for support and reasons why our hobby is so great!

Here’s what you said…

Paul Vernon: “Getting out from the stress of every day life”

Peter Davey: “The best feeling for me is Holding that Roman coin i have Just found and thinking whys it here, who dropped it did his wife have a go at him when he got home? Love it :)”

Doogles Lydiate: “The whole thing, it’s a fantastic hobby, especially the fantastic surroundings.”

Allan Vint: “Uncovering and discovering hidden history”

Paul Rambo Campbell: “Discovering finds that people from my village can once again see and hold, they say that’s better than going to a museum when all you do is look at then through glass”

Jason Leach: “The getting out on a Sunday, having 2 disabled kids to look after during the week, i need the break! Once on the field, i’m in my own little world, surrounded by the Devon countryside & sea views & the excitement of not knowing what the signal could be…”

Trevor Jones: “Everything that we pull out of the ground has a history/story, even the shotgun cartridge (of which there are plenty) and I love working through it.”

Marcin Malkuszewski: “Definitely the connection with past, with people who held the same item hundred or few hundreds years ago…time travel in miniature?”