Spring 2012






 The club chairman, Dave Hallam, is pictured presenting the cup for the 2011/2012 “Chairman’s Presentation” to Anthony James (AKA Postie) The award is made to the member who, in the chairman’s opinion, has contributed the most to the club in the past year or who has remained interested and determined while showing the right sort of Club Spirit.



Coin:- Ivan Falconbridge. 

Henry short cross penny.



Artefact:- Terry Hurt.

Roman brooch.




Most Unusual Find:- Gavin Phillips.




                               FIND OF THE MONTH DECEMBER, 2011


Coin:-  Dave Budding.

Edward1 long cross halfpenny.


Artefact:- Steve Smith. Roman disc brooch.

Most Unusual Find:- Dennis Brown. Miniature pot doll's head.


Coin:- Terry Hurt. Roman bronze.

Artefact:- Terry Hurt. Watch fob.

Most Unusual Find:- Sprinkler tap.



Coin:- Terry Hurt.

1898 half crown.

Artefact:- Dave Rhodes.

Crotal bell.

Most Unusual Find:- Dave Budding.

Plastic foot.


Coin:- John Radford.

Edward 111 half groat.

Artefact:- Steve Smith.

Roman trumpet brooch.

Most Unusual Find. "Lead contact lens"




John Wilkinson

Coenwulf silver penny.


Dave Budding

Palstave axe head.






Pts   Pos


Pts   Pos


2 John Radford 44   3 Dennis Brown 41   4 John Gough 36
5 Dave Budding 28   6 Jeff Oscroft 27   7 Dave Hallam 24
8 Steve Smith 20   9 John Wilkinson 15   10 Neil Tryner 12
11 Derek Battle 12   12 Gavin Phillips 11   13 Dave Rhodes  (Joint) 10
13 Ivan Falconbridge (Joint) 10   15 Tony Elliott 8   16 Carol Rhodes 6
17 June Reedman 5   18 Sylvia Tryner 4   19 Anthony James (Joint) 2
19 Bill Severn (Joint) 2   19 Alan Roberts (Joint) 2   22 Tony Warren 1



Conder Tokens, also known as 18th., Century Provincial Tokens, were first minted in 1787 by the Parys Mining Company who mined copper ore in Anglesey. They had copper and access to mints and  started to mint their own penny and halfpenny tokens to meet the needs of Anglesey where there was little low value coinage in circulation. The shortage of small change at this time was not confined to Anglesey and the practice of minting token money soon spread to the mainland. Conder tokens are named after James Conder a draper and haberdasher who was also an eminent numismatist. He was the first to catalogue the 18th., century tokens, he also issued tokens himself, the scenes of Ipswich series was engraved by John Milton one of the foremost engravers of the period.  Because Conder Tokens were minted independently of government, the creators of these tokens had the freedom to make political statements, social commentary, honour great men, ideals, great events, or just advertise their businesses. Thousands of varieties of tokens were minted, many are beautiful and intricate works of art.

Cronebane (Wicklow) copper Conder halfpenny token 1789. Obverse: Bust of Bishop Blaze with crook to right: "CRONEBANE HALFPENNY". Reverse: Shield of arms with a windlass crest: "ASSOCIATED IRISH MINE COMPANY 1789". Edge inscription: "PAYABLE AT CRONEBANE LODGE OR IN DUBLIN.



This superb display case of civil and military badges was made by club member, Dennis Brown.

     Dennis brought the case to the December club meeting and it was viewed with great interest by the members present. This is but one of his themed display cases of finds.   



After the assassination of  Julius Caesar Brutus fled to Greece whilst there he founded a mint. Only seventy two coins have been found with EID MAR on them. Could one have made it to Britain and then  lost, just waiting for some lucky detectorist to find it?     

This coin realised £350, 000 at a recent auction.


£150,000 BUCKLE!



In May, 2012, Bonhams are holding a sporting memorabilia auction at Chester. Featured in the sale is the Barbados buckle, expected to realise £100,000-£150,000. The buckle was found by metal detectorist Clive Williams, a retired advertising consultant, whilst on holiday near the River Tweed on the Scottish Borders.

   When he cleaned his find he found on it the figure of a slave being bowled out at cricket. Researching the buckle with the help of the M C C, National Portrait Gallery, Kew Gardens and The British Museum it was identified as having a mixed race man with a Navy slave chain around his neck playing cricket with an unspliced bat and set against a Barbados background, probably in the 1780s. The three stumps as depicted on the buckle were only introduced in 1777, before then the wicket consisted of just two stumps.

   The buckle has featured on Barbados and other West Indian postage stamps also on gold and silver coins issued for Barbados by the Royal Mint. Similar buckles are fairly common finds by detectorists, usually they have cricket balls, bats and stumps on them. Football themed buckles are also found.

Check your buckles - who knows!






This token was found on the River Thames foreshore at Putney Bridge, London by a metal detectorist. It has been dated to the reign of Tiberius in the first century A.D. The name given to such a token is a Spintria, this one shows a man and a woman on a couch during an act of a sexual nature. The reverse side has the Roman numerals for 14 on it. No one knows if such tokens were used in brothels to pay for services or if they were gaming tokens used in an exotic board game.

           This is thought to be the only token to have been found in Britain, although many have been found in other regions of the Roman Empire. The demand for Spintriae by collectors is strong, prices for individual tokens ranging from £300-£15,000 at auction. Spintriae have been found depicting other sexual acts and with numerals ranging from 1 to 16 on them, it is thought the numbers represented the value in asses. At the time 16 asses made one denarius. Anyone wishing to see other examples of these tokens can do so by visiting, on the internet, Jeffrey Fishburn and reading his article, “Is That A Spintria In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Pleased To See Me?” Just Google, (www.scribd.com/doc.51228927/SPINTRIAE).  Another site with examples of spintriae is on Wikipedia at http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/spintria.


COMMITTEE FOR 2012—2013   




Dave Hallam

John Gough

Mary Severn



Jeff Oscroft Pat Walker John Radford
In addition to his position as chairman Dave Hallam is assisting as a site secretary.


Graham and June Reedman are also committee members. June is the search marshal with responsibilities for the conduct of searches.

They both are shy and declined to have their photographs taken  requesting that  caricatures be used to represent each of them.

After weeks of browsing the web and various books, including the Kama Sutra, it was unanimously decided that the  image on the left was the most accurate likeness.  


For a number of years John Gough, has collected the small brass advertising or tailor's buttons, like the one illustrated here. Most of us regard these little buttons as an annoyance and more than likely they are consigned to the hedge bottom or junk box in disgust. Realising that the buttons are being degraded by the minerals and fertilizers in the soil he started to save them, he is recording them individually and researching the tailors or companies named on them with the intention of writing a book about them and their buttons. Would club members please save these buttons in any condition for him with, if known, a note of the general area where found.



Part of a longer article by Priscilla Langridge published in 1974 by Coin Monthly

Most engineering companies allocate to each of their mechanical engineers a number of tool check tokens. These are generally round and coin-like with a punched hole in them, and are usually marked with the engineers personal identification number. Generally ten such tool checks are issued to each mechanic when first employed by a company, and thereafter he must personally account of these. When ever he requires to borrow a tool from the work store he must hand in one of his tokens for each tool required. The storeman places the token either on a rack or on a cup hook over the borrowed tools place, and this enables him to keep a check on tools borrowed. At any time necessary he can tell who has borrowed a particular tool. If the tool is loaned out and is then urgently required before its return, it can be sent for as the person borrowing can quickly be traced. Many engineering tools are very costly items and using this ‘tool check’ system such tools are less likely to be misused or mislaid. No one is considered to need more than ten tools from the stores at any one time.

STRICT SECURITY.   Engineering companies have their own distinctive ‘tool checks’ which they have minted to order, and which arrived from the maker in sealed bags, and these are guarded as closely as money! Strict security is observed over these carefully guarded checks and their allocation. It is the practice for an engineer’s clocking in number to be punched onto each one of the ten tool checks allocated to him. Generally the supervisor or chief chargehand has either his surname or his initials punched onto his checks, whilst all other mechanics under him only their personal number. A careful record is kept in a book by the storeman of all the employees’ names, numbers and initials used on the issued ‘tool checks’.  Once a tool is borrowed by a mechanic, he becomes responsible for that tool. When finished with he must hand it in personally to the storeman, who will in turn hand back the mechanic's personal check. Early issues of tool checks appear mainly to have been struck in brass. All pieces I have so far noted have been uniface, having a small hole in them, and bearing on them the name of the issuing engineering company and the words TOOL CHECK. Many of today's modern issues are made from a brass alloy, some from aluminium, but plastic tool checks are now used by some companies. The illustrated uniface tool check of C A Parsons Ltd is made of brass and is 26 mm in diameter. It has a raised outer rim and in a beaded border and bears the engineer’s clocking in number. Due to the strict security enforced by engineering companies over their tool checks, collectors are likely to find it extremely difficult to obtain any sample specimen for a token collection. Whenever they are obtainable, and indeed obsolete issues are occasionally offered for sale by dealers, a small selection of such pieces make for variety amongst more modern tokens. Together with a brief description of the engineering company to whom they once belonged, details of where minted is available, and period used will add to their interest.

FAMOUS ENGINEER.   Charles Parsons was the founder of C A Parsons. He was a famous Tyneside engineer and in the year 1884 he invented the steam turbine. The Admiralty showed no interest in his invention so he went ahead and built his own ship THE TURBINIA. In 1897 at the Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead he sailed his new ship in and out of the majestic lines of battleships at a fantastic speed of 34 ½ knots. It was after this that he received contracts for his invention. Parsons was the son of an Irish peer and studied maths at Cambridge. In 1876 he patented his epicycloidal engine which was the forerunner to his steam turbine. He established his own engineering works at Heaton in 1889. His steam turbine engines were used in two famous ships, the Lusitania and the Mauritania. He was appointed head of the electrical department of Clarke and Chapmans. The company of C A Parsons has amalgamated with a number of others throughout its history.




Occasionally a detectorists may find a “Cartwheel” penny or, more rarely, a two pence piece, in the fields. The unwieldy size and weight of the coins give rise to the question of why were they issued? A brief account is given below:- In the 18th., century the coinage in Britain was in poor condition. As many as two in three copper coins were debased or forgeries. Unable to combat this problem the Royal Mint closed on 1760. This naturally led to a shortage of coins in circulation and resulted in the spread of an unofficial token coinage issued by towns, businesses and private people. The limited purpose of these tokens, inconveniency and sometimes dishonesty on the part of the issuers caused a private citizen, Mathew Boulton, to attempt to solve the problem.

After numerous petitions the government decided to commission Mathew Boulton to produce 45 million new penny and two penny coins. He minted the new coins at his Soho Works in Birmingham, using eight of the new steam driven Boulton and Watts presses. Each press was capable of striking eighty coins per minute.

In order to defeat the forgers each copper coin was of the finest engraving and weighed 1oz for the penny and 2oz for the two penny piece. The weights being, in 1797,  the value of the copper used in each coin.  However they soon proved to be unpopular and were nicknamed “Cartwheels” due to  their large size and weight. All “Cartwheel” coins have the one date, 1797 on them. The coins had a secondary use that of 1oz and 2oz.weights a few have been found with countermarks indicating they have been used for that purpose. The time saving by anyone dealing with large amounts of these coins would be the ability to just weigh them and receive a correct value instead of counting them by hand. “Cartwheels” have also been recorded as having been made into small boxes. This was done by hollowing out the obverse and reverse of two coins and joining them together by means of a screw thread so they could be unscrewed to reveal a small hiding place.

Mathew Boulton’s hatred of forgers did not stop at a new coinage but in 1799, at the age of 71, he led a raid on three premises used to produce counterfeit coins. Battering the doors down he and his men captured two of the forgers and recovered a large amount of counterfeit coins and coining equipment.

                      MATHEW BOULTON                                      SOHO WORKS   




OBVERSE:- Legend in sunk letters on flat rim GEORGIUS 111 D:G : REX. Bust left. REVERSE:-Legend in sunk letters on flat rim BRITANNIA and the date 1797. Britannia is seated, right, with a shield on a rock by her side are waves with a three masted ship in the distance. She holds an olive branch in her right hand in the left a trident, beneath the shield and to the right the word SOHO.

In 1806 Mathew Boulton minted at the Soho Works an extended range of smaller and lighter copper coinage, one penny, halfpenny and farthing, the two penny denomination being discontinued. 



Some of the members of the Ashfield Metal Detecting Club in the picnic area of the Dog and Duck in Clipstone enjoying a drink and a snack. In the background can be seen the ruins of King John’s Palace that featured in the recent ‘Waste of Time Team’ programme.  


For some time now Gavin Phillips has been parking his Renault Megane on search sites with a bucket on the field near the car boot. This is not to answer calls of nature but to collect scrap metal found during the search. Gavin will accept all kinds of scrap metal from ring pulls and tinfoil to ploughshares and crashed aeroplanes, however he says that an odd piece of gold or silver would not be turned away! The first picture shows Gavin’s Megane and his trusty bucket. The second is of a proud Gavin with his first ring pull. The third picture is two of Gavin’s ancestors with their equivalent of a Renault Megane. If you wish to donate scrap metal found on your own sites Gavin will be delighted to take it off your hands for a small fee!


The best book on Roman Nottinghamshire I have read! This book sets out, in a very entertaining way, all the known facts about Roman Nottinghamshire. 

   Roman Nottinghamshire is an authoritative yet accessible examination of the history of Roman civilisation in the county. Mark Patterson has written a fascinating narrative of how this evidence came to light and has been (mis)interpreted over the years, sometimes leading to controversy.

   He is driven by a sense of wonder at the influence the ghosts of ancient Romans continue to exert on Nottinghamshire and seeks to reveal the ancient landscape that lies just under the modern. The main road, the Foss Way, is well known, but elsewhere in the county there were towns, villas, forts, and temples. Surprising evidence of the Roman occupation continues to come to light all around us, including finds of coin hoards, metalwork, pottery, mosaics and pagan curse tablets.

   This paperback book can be obtained from Five Leaves £11.99. The Book Depository £9.08 free delivery and W H Smith, order on line and pick it up at the branch of your choice, £8.51. The way I obtained mine.            



Edward 1V 1461-1485.


The Ashfield Metal Detecting Club reserve the right not to be responsible for the  correctness, completeness or quality of the information  in this newsletter and does not, necessarily, support the views of the contributors.


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