Late Summer 2008




                                 How to alarm a Llama
New club member Paul "Wiggo" Wigginton who "sings" for a rock band gives an impromptu performance to a group of unsuspecting Llamas whilst on a club search. He particularly takes the fancy of the one at the end - the "Doll-eye" Llama.
     This photograph together with the appalling “Doll-eye” Llama pun was provided by club member John Radford.

                                        FIND OF THE MONTH MAY 2008
Coin:-  Scottish hammered silver penny of John Balliol King of Scotland 1292—1296. Found by new club member Graham Reedman. His first hammered silver coin!

Artefact:- Silver thimble. John Wardle. No photograph available.


Graham Reedman

Alexander 111 of Scotland died in 1286 when he had a fall from his horse and broke his neck. He did not leave a heir so a committee ruled Scotland acting on behalf of Alexander’s three year old granddaughter, Margaret, who lived in Norway. Various claimants to the throne resented this and civil war looked likely. Edward 1 of England was asked to intervene and his solution was for his son Edward to marry Margaret. This did not happen as the child died whilst en-route from Norway to Scotland.
     One of the claimants, John Balliol, gained enough support to be King including that of Edward 1, however Edward made a condition of his support that John Balliol swear allegiance to him. John’s reign lasted for three years until he made a pact with the French, this so angered Edward that he waged war on the Scots. His ruthlessness earned him the name “Hammer of the Scots”. John eventually surrendered and was imprisoned in the Tower of London until 1299 when he was allowed to go to France. He lived the rest of his life on his family’s estates in Picardy.

Other finds for May

Silver boot
Dennis Brown
Spindle Whorl
John Radford
Crotal bell
John Wardle
Charles11 three-pence
John Radford
Henry111 penny
John Radford

Sherwood Forester

This hand made Sherwood Foresters badge was found by Dennis Brown. A considerable amount of time and expertise has gone into the making of it, possible it was a keepsake for a loved one. On the right is a picture of a Sherwood Foresters belt buckle.

Sherwood Forester
belt buckle.


In June the club held a rally, of the twenty five hidden tokens twenty three were recovered. The lucky finders received a cash prize of either £10 or £5 for each token recovered. Also a cup was awarded to the finder of the “Best Natural Find” this year the winner was John Radford who found the watch pictured below.  He is being presented with the cup by the chairman, Dennis Brown.

                    This is not a wind up. It's quartz.

                                         FIND OF THE MONTH JUNE
Coin:- Edward1 hammered silver penny, London mint. Mary Severn.

Artefact:- Gold ring. Dennis Brown. No photograph available.

                                                 Other finds for June.

Christian Herald Golden Star Brigade. Award for children readers of the paper. 1920s to 1950s.

Queen Victoria Jubilee medallion 1837 to 1897. The oval in the centre would have contained a paper portrait. Found by John Radford

Mystery Object made of silver found by Dennis Brown.
Any Ideas!

1660 t0 1720. Found by John Radford.


                                    LEAD TOKEN FROM ROLLESTON
This lead token with the initials J.C. was found on a club search at Rolleston, Nottinghamshire, by David Hallam. A search of the census records and directories for the early 19th. century revealed that only one farmer with the initials J. C. had lived in Rolleston.
     The county directory for 1832 had a Rolleston entry for a farmer named John Cullen in it. The census return for 1841 shows John Cullen, a farmer, born in 1781 at nearby Upton, living in Rolleston with his wife Isabella, aged 55 years, and their family. The 1851 census return shows John Cullen now aged 70 living in Rolleston, a farmer with 150 acres and employing two labourers. It would appear that he had married again because his wife is now named as Elizabeth, 53 years of age.
      The 1861 census return paints a very different picture. It shows the farm being run by John’s eldest son George, 47 years of age, described as a farmer of 207 acres employing two labourers, a boy and a dairymaid. John, now 80 and a widower, is at a different address living with his youngest son Thomas. John died in 1865 aged 84.
       In the census of 1871 George Cullen is shown as a farmer and living at the Manor House, Rolleston.    Of course this is pure speculation but I would like to  think that the lead token was issued by John Cullen of Rolleston and by its recovery we have had a glimpse into the past.                                                                                                                                    JMBG                                                                   ***


                               CAR BOOT FIND.  
This delightful Wild West railway engine was found by John Radford at a club site where car boot sales are often held. The train even had its price tag still tied on it, £1.50!


                          FROM SPONGE SELLER TO OPTICIAN!
The token, found by Jeff Oscroft and illustrated below, was shown to Grenville Chamberlain the author of ‘Nottinghamshire Advertisement Tickets’ to record, if required, for his update of the book. The token, measuring 25.70mm x 1.26mm, has the words M…. PYSER  PEOPLES  OPTICIANS in three lines on the obverse and 87 MANVERS ST  &   OPPOSITE LONG ROW   NOTTINGHAM in five lines on the reverse with a hole piercing the centre of the upper half. Grenville explained its history and use by saying that it is not a token but an identification disc or receipt and would have been issued when a pair of spectacles was left to be repaired. The system was that there were two of the discs with the same number stamped on both of them, one would be given to the customer to be produced when collecting the repaired spectacles and the other attached to the repairs. Jeff’s example does not have a discernable number on it, possibly it had been worn away or unused and not stamped. 
      Research into the optician, Morris Pyser, proved to be of interest. In 1851, aged 22 years, he lived at 7, Shakespeare Street, Halifax as a lodger. He was born in Poland (then classed as Germany) and employed as a Hawker of Sponges. By 1861 he was married to Eliza Jane, a Nottinghamshire girl, they lived at 69, Northampton Street, Leicester. Morris was then described as a Tobacconist. In 1871 he had moved to Queen Street, Sneinton, Nottingham, and was working as a General Dealer. 1881 Morris was, by now, a British subject and an Optician living at 87, Manvers Street, Nottingham, with Eliza and seven boarders. In 1885 the couple had moved to 58, Goose Gate, Nottingham, his occupation was given as Jeweller, Optician and Newsagent. The last entry for him, aged 66, is in 1895 when his death was recorded at Prestwich in Lancashire.
      The wording of the obverse of the disc seems odd - 87 MANVERS ST & OPPOSITE LONG ROW. Manvers Street was and is off Carlton Road but ‘opposite Long Row’ is vague and does not seem to be a permanent address, perhaps it was a market stall?  
      Although not strictly an advertising ticket Grenville had the identification disc/receipt recorded already but did not have an example in his collection, Jeff soon  remedied this and gave him his disc.                                                                                                                  JMBG

Claudius 11 Gothicus was born in Illyria in A.D. 214 his parentage is obscure. He rose as a statesman and soldier and, in A.D. 259, Emperor Valerian made him the general in chief of all the Lower Danube. He is believed to have given his assent to the assassination of Gallienus and succeded him in A.D. 268.
     His exploits in the field against the different tribes of barbarians known collectively as Goths earned him the name Gothicus. Unfortunately in A.D. 270 when aged 56 he died of a plague that the barbarian hoards had carried with them onto the battlefield. His short reign only lasted two years.

Commemorative A/E Antoninianus struck after his death.
Found by John Gough on a club search.


                                    WELCOME BACK DARREN
The stunning gold medieval clasp lock, pictured below, was found by Darren Hoyle on a recent club search in  Nottinghamshire.

                         1.                                              2.                        3.             4.
1. Front (?) view of clasp lock with a five pence coin for comparison. All views are about 1½ times actual size. The                    clasp lock measures 17mm. X 13mm. X 4mm. 
 Rear (?) view.
 End view showing ‘keyhole’.
 Opposite end view.
The only other example of a similar clasp lock to be found was in the Fishpool hoard discovered about eighteen miles away from the site of Darren’s find.
     Darren had only rejoined the Ashfield Club two weeks previous to finding the clasp lock after a break in membership caused by work commitments. The find was made on his first club search after rejoining.


Details of the Fishpool hoard taken from the AMDC newsletter number 2, Summer, 2000.


On the 22nd., of March, 1966 the largest hoard of medieval gold coins to be found in England was unearthed by builders at Fishpool. The hoard included several hitherto unknown coins of Edward IV and some high quality jewellery. The jewellery comprised of a heart shaped blue and white enamelled brooch (the colours of the House of Lancaster), an amethyst pendant, a sapphire roundel, a quantity of gold chain, a gold padlock (which is the only known example of its kind) and four finger rings.
     The coins, 1,237 in all, were all gold. The English coins were nobles, half-nobles and quarter nobles of Edward 111 (27), Richard 11 (12), Henry IV (38), Henry V (266), Henry VI (606) and Edward IV (63 all in mint condition). There were also 33 Anglo- Gallic salutes of Henry VI, one demi and 12 lions of James 11 of Scotland (1436-60), 11 ecus of Charles VI 1 of France (1422-61) and 166 coins of the Duke of Burgundy, mainly riders of Philip the Good (1419-67), also two forgeries of Henry VI English nobles with cracks in the gold outer plating exposing the base core.
                                                     CORONER'S INQUEST.

On the 15th.-16th. of December, 1966, at Mansfield, the Nottingham District Coroner Mr. C.A.Mack held an inquest into the Fishpool gold hoard and the jury returned a finding of 'Treasure Trove'. Mr. Mack also ordered that the papers concerning the inquest be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a view to possible proceedings to be taken against four of the five men who had found the hoard. He also advised the British Museum not to consider them,  for one moment,  entitled to  receive one penny reward for  their  find. However the  fifth  man, Bernard  Beeton  received  £1,485 and  had 85 coins  returned to  him, and  a ‘lucky little boy', Master D. Welham who had wandered on to the site received the four of the coins he had picked up.

                                                        EXPERT OPINION?

 Marion Archibald, assistant keeper of coins at the British Museum, said that she believed the hoard was deposited in the ground in early 1465. Other opinions give the date as between early 1464 and early 1465. Either just before or just after the battle of Hexham 15th. of May 1464 when the Lancastrians were defeated by the Yorkists (Wars of the Roses).
      When it was interred the hoard would have been worth £400. Miss., Archibald said in her opinion that the gold had been hidden with the intention of retrieval, it had been hidden in some sort of a container as indicated by the coins being stacked in neat piles when found.
In the final event the four men received ex-gratis awards of £5,228, £4,172. 10s., £2,501. 10s. and £244 - substantially less than the value of their finds. The jewellery and the bulk of the coins were retained by the British Museum.

                                              THE ELUSIVE MR. THOMPSON

Fifty four of the coins were recovered from a firm of antique dealers who had paid £23,610 for them from a man giving the name Hewlitt Cosgrove Thompson, from Northampton, who told them that the coins were from his grand-fathers collection. Mr. Thompson was never traced. Two coins were recovered from a London dealer and one coin was brought back from Denver U.S.A. having been recovered from the brother of one of the workmen on the building site where the hoard was found. It makes one wonder how much more of the hoard went missing, and what its full content was.                                                                                               JMBG


Copyright Trustees of the British Museum.
I was handed the following poem in a pub a some time ago. Although it has nothing to do with either the club or our hobby I thought it worthwhile to include it in the newsletter.      JMBG


Anthony James

            NEW MEMBERS
Anthony James is a postman who originally took up metal detecting as a teenager. He then had a break to pursue other activities and returned to the hobby about three years ago. He uses a Garrett Ace 250 and a Minelab S E.
Richard Waite is retired and has been detecting for about two years.
He uses a Hawkeye detector.


Richard Waite

The next few issues of this newsletter will have drawings of figures that may be found on the reverse of Roman coins. It will be in no way a complete catalogue of all the reverse figures or even of all their poses. I hope it may help club members to identify, together with the book ‘Identifying Roman Coins’, the odd Roman ‘grot’ when it is recovered.

1. ABVNDANTIA      2. AEQVITAS              3.  AETERNITAS      4.  AFRICA               5.  ANNONA

6.  APOLLO                     7.  BRITANNIA        8.  CERES                 9.  CLEMENTIA       10.  CONCORDIA            

1. ABVUNDANTIA. Abundance, plenty. Female figure with a cornucopia (horn of plenty) and sometimes ears of corn.
2. AEQVITAS. Equity, plenty. Female figure with scales and cornucopia, sometimes with a sceptre.
3. AETERNITIVS. Eternity, stability. Female figure with globe, Sol, the sun god is sometimes depicted.
4. AFRICA. Female figure with various objects and an elephant trunk on the front of her head dress.
5. ANNONA. Corn harvest. Female figure with cornucopia, sometimes ears of corn, a corn bucket and the prow of a ship.
6. APOLLO. Son of Jupiter. Male figure with various objects including bow and arrow, serpent, lyre, harp or a pastoral crook.
7. BRITANNIA. Britain.  Female figure, seated left foot on a rock, head resting on her right hand. In her left hand is a spear, by her side is a shield.
8. CERES. Goddess of agriculture. Female figure usually holding torch and corn ears, sometimes seated.
9. CLEMENTIA. Clemency, mercy. Female figure seated holding branch and sceptre. Sometimes leaning on a column.
10. CONCORDIA. Harmony. Female figure sometimes seated holding patera and cornucopia or sceptre. As CONCORDIA  MILITUM she holds two standards.


This is a small book of only 48 pages but don’t be put off by that, its usefulness by far outstrips the lack of pages. The 166 line drawings of the commonest types of Roman coins together withdescriptions will enable metal detectorists to quickly identify their finds. It is subtitled “A Practical Guide to the Identification of Site Finds in Britain" and it certainly lives up to that.
      I bought my copy of the book in 1986, but I am unable to remember what I paid for it. This edition is now out of print but was reprinted in 1994 by Seaby, and copies  can be bought for £5.95 from Regton at Birmingham or on line. 
A really useful addition to a metal detecting library of reference books.


A request from a fellow detectorist Mark Powell was posted on the UK Detector Net for help to conduct a national survey of lead spindle whorls. The aims of this survey are to record the regional variations in pattern types, numbers found and rarity. Also to start a national identification and classification system for spindle whorls. Mark would like images all spindle whorls, no matter if decorated or not, and in any condition. The details required are images of both faces and a side view of each whorl and, if possible, the diameter, weight and where it was found ( Just the county will do). Images and data to Club members who require assistance with photographing, measuring, weighing and the internet please contact:- John.Gough at a club search or meeting or on  


The figure on the left is one of the older club members thinking hard about an article for a future issue of the club newsletter. He is not named for legal reasons. 

Seriously, articles, suggestions, photographs and ideas are urgently wanted for the newsletter. Apart from two or three members who contribute regularly, other club members do not seem to be interested. The more contributions that come in, the more frequently the newsletter can be issued. 

If this photograph inspires anyone to do anything for the newsletter please contact John Gough at a club meeting, on a club search or by email to  Thank you.                        JMBG.



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