At 9am on Sunday 1st July 2018, about 30 RARE members met in the McDonalds car park on Junction 35 of the M4 motorway. After grabbing coffees and McMuffins, our convoy of cars made the short trip to the farm in Pencoed that Tony Winters had secured for the Rally. We had roughly 30 acres available to us in the form of 11 fields and were greeted by the friendly farmer and his cows (a couple of beautiful Highland cows included) Tina needn't have worried as they were very shy and disappeared into an adjacent field quite quickly.
The weather was perfect for detecting, with the cloud cover keeping the temperature to a comfortable level - quite a relief after the 30+ degrees we've been experiencing lately. Buffer was the first to find a hammy, an incomplete Lizzie (but a hammy is a hammy!) and Pete Anning found a Victorian Florin in the same field. Nice Georgian shoe buckles were coming up as well as musket balls and copper coins. Throughout the day the passing trains would toot a hello, but only if it was the company that Mark, Mike and Tony work for! Word soon spread that Matthew Stoneman had found a Groat and Byron Matthews had two Lizzie hammys but the Star of the day had to be Colin Roberts who unearthed an extremely rare American 1795 flowing hair half dime. Only 86000 were minted apparently and are highly sort after by collectors, so it's no wonder Colin looks very chuffed in this photo.
By 2pm rain stopped play for most, but a few die hards carried on until the bitter end. The consensus of all, was that it was an enjoyable day and thanks must go to Tony for finding the land and arranging the rally.
Snow thwarted RARE's plans to attend Wye Valley Marches charity detecting rally on 18th March. Thankfully though, just under a week later, we got a second chance. Spring had sprung, the sun was shining and we were all able to eagerly clamber on board the coach bound for Hereford. The rally was in aid of SSAFA (the armed forces charity) and held on a farm in the village of Eardisley. During the coach trip, the usual raffle took place, followed by the handing out of maps showing the 100 acres available to us, in the form of 16 arable and pasture fields. Getting stuck behind a tank truck, delivering gas to a quaint cottage, in a narrow country lane, meant we arrived with only enough time to each quickly grab our free breakfast roll and hot drink before the start, so some of us missed the announcement about the token hunt in field 3. At lunch time, cheese burgers and an assortment of cakes were available and a raffle was drawn. Here's a list of the treasure that was unearthed and the lucky lads who found it:
Paul Minton - 17th Century trade token and Medieval spindle whorl Mark Street - Watch winder and possible Roman artefact in shape of a snake. Byron Matthews - 1875 Silver Victorian Threepence, Cartwheel penny and Thimble Darren Thomas - George II Coin weight George Jenkins - Pan Brass weight Austin Lockett - Gothic Florin and token from hunt Colin Roberts - Roman bronze coin Steven King - 1910 Silver Edward VII sixpence and 1922 silver George V shilling Brian Mitchell - 1307 Silver Edward II hammered coin Alan Jones - Silver button, thrupenny bit and back of a watch Keith Browning - Roman bronze coin, silver spoon and Cartwheel penny Paul Williams - 1572 silver Elizabeth I hammered threepence and lead toy ship Emlyn Phillips - Horn protector, George III pennies, 3 raffle prizes and a token from hunt Nigel Williams - Roman brooch, copper thimble and George II coin Matthew Lacey - Silver Victorian Shilling, Silver Hammered coin (to be identified) and 2 Thimbles Vince Rees - Roman bronze coin and Georgian coppers Buffer - Cartwheel penny and Victorian Farthings Ronnie Davies - Silver Victorian Shilling and a very pretty silver watch winder
Some others who weren't lucky on the fields but made up for it at the raffle were: Mark Watson - full day electric bike hire for 2 (he's willing to swap for bottle of rum or sherry!) Karl Jones - Pack of 4 lagers Angus Riddle - Strong, shiny trowel. I found a Common Wealth Silver hammered half groat and spookily was stood next to a direct descendant of Oliver Cromwell while waiting for the FLO to record it! I also found a 1891 Silver Victorian ten cents from Hong Kong.
4pm came around too soon and when all 25 boys were back on board (plus me) we headed for home. Well, I'm not sure the driver was initially headed in the homeward direction - let's just say he took the scenic route that added another hour onto the journey!!
Annual Beach Hunt - Barry Beach Sunday 7th January 2018
16 members braved the cold wind at Barry Island ready for the 10am start. The tide was still coming in so some of the 20 buried tokens were under water for some time. The beach was very busy with hundreds of people and dogs running around everywhere during the time we were there. As the tide receded the first tokens under the water started to be recovered. The last total I heard before leaving was 18 had been found. The first club event of 2018 helped blow away any remaining cobwebs from the festive season, so we look forward to the next one.
Byron Matthews. vice-chairman.
Let's Go Digging Xmas Rally 17th December 2017
Leaving Nantgarw at 7am. with 22 detectorists and one non-digger , heading for Hallow near Worcester for the "Let's Go Digging" Xmas rally. It promised to be a good day with a free hog roast along with mince pies, mulled wine, mulled Baileys and tea and coffee to keep us warm. There were eight huge fields available, mostly ploughed and some pasture. About 160 people attended the event so plenty of room to go wherever we pleased, The usual finds of copper coins, shotties etc were coming up with some of our members being luckier than the others.
Emlyn Phillips had a great day finding a Lizzie hammered dated 1580 along with two silver fourpences of Queen Victoria, both dated 1844. He also unearthed a George IV Farthing from 1825. Another member who had a good day was Ceri Jones, he found a beautiful silver Charles I hammered shilling and a nice spindle whorl along the usual bits and pieces . Darren Thomas was also on form finding two tokens, a love token and two Victoria silvers, a sixpence and a threepence. Granville Thomas had a small spectacle buckle, some buttons, a copper coin and a door knob! Carl Jones found two lead tokens. Nigel Williams found a George V silver sixpence dated 1909, a George II Farthing, a musket ball and some coppers. Buffer unearthed a Charles II silver milled coin, a Bread Token marked one shilling and sixpence and some coppers. Byron Matthews had a lead token, a spoon and some buttons. George Jenkins found a decorative piece of a silver brooch and some coppers. Liz McGlasson also found a piece of silver which looks like it came off a gentleman's cane, she also found a Roman coin, a "His Penny", a harness mount plus some coppers. Vince Rees found a dress weight made of lead and some copper coins. Keith Browning had a buckle and the usual copper coins.
The event finished at 4 o'clock and it was getting dark quickly as the coach left to travel home around 4.30pm and we arrived back at Nantgarw at around 6.15pm. Season's greetings were exchanged and the last coach trip for 2017 was over. We can now look forward to 2018 and more coach trips over the border.
....Happy New Year to all our members ...... Byron Matthews vice-chairman
MULCHELNEY RALLY September 30th 2017LY September 30th 2017
LASER TRAVEL vs RARE
BUS LIMBO COMPETITION
We left Nantgarw at the arranged time of 6am with 31 detectorists onboard, we were on our way to south Somerset. After the usual stop at the motorway services and a diverted route through some very narrow country lanes, we arrived around 08.20am in plenty of time for the 9 o'clock start.
Sign on was done en-block and we were given maps and a label to hang on our detectors. The site was huge with eleven fields available in varying states of ploughed, disked or pasture, plenty of choice. The weather was undecided for a while, with a couple of short showers at first then it cleared up until late afternoon.
The usual copper coins, bits of lead etc came up along with some nice finds for the luckier ones. Paul Minton found two hammered coins, both Eddies, and a very nice clothes fastener. Darren Thomas had a good day finding two Roman coins, a coin weight, a 14th century buckle and a token dated 1664. Phil Holt also had a hammered coin, another eddy, along with two Roman coins and a possible Saxon coin. Mark Watson unearthed a Jetton and a Roman coin. Lee Calli found a Roman Minim and 1943 threepence. Byron Matthews had a small buckle, a steelyard weight and some musket balls. Granville Thomas on his first outing with the club unearthed a thimble. Alan Jones was another finder of a hammered coin, his being a short cross, he also found a steelyard weight. Jeff Radcliffe found a Rose Farthing in lovely condition, along with a bronze ring and a button with a Tudor rose design, he also found two Roman coins and a harness mount, a very good day! Liz McGlasson had a clog clasp and a thimble. Michael Francis found a sword chape. Ronnie Davies unearthed a hammered coin and Colin Davies found a dress fastener, a token, a bag-seal, a horn protector and some copper coins. Carl Waite had a Tudor buckle and a token. Karl Francis found a Roman coin.
At around 4 o'clock most of us had made our way back to the coach, luckily, as it was starting to rain. Then the Driver told us the coach would not start as the battery was flat. He said he could not call anyone out so the firm was going to send a mechanic from their Tonypandy base, which would take him at least two hours to arrive. So some of our members pitched in to try and get the coach started. After much difficulty getting at the batteries and with the help of two cars and two sets of jump leads, the engine started. About an hour later we got away from the Rally site, arriving back in Nantgarw at 7.30pm.
A big thank you must go to the people who worked really hard to get the coach started...THANK YOU.
Hopefully the next trip will be less eventful.......Byron Matthews (vice-chairman)
Anton Rotary Club Andover 9th March 2017
We set off from Nantgarw with 22 detectorists on board for the rally near Andover. On our way we had a phone call from someone who had missed the departure time by a few minutes. The two unlucky people decided to make their own way there by car.
After the usual short stop at the Membury services we arrived with plenty of time to spare before the rally start. Maps and instructions were handed out before everyone spread out on the five fields that were available.
The usual shotties, buttons, bits of lead etc turned up. The fields were covered in flints which covered the first four inches until softer earth appeared to make the digging easier. Some hammered coins and Roman were found along with many copper coins.
Paul Minton found a cut quarter, a roman coin, a William III sixpence, a fob seal and a watch winder. Mark Watson had a very nice Henry VII groat. George Jenkins unearthed a cut half hammered which he since discovered to be William the Conqueror, along with a thimble and a musket ball. Colin Davies had the best day of us all by finding two hammered coins, a Henry and a Venetian Soldino. Nigel Williams had a Roman coin and a musket ball. Matthew found two roman coins and a crotal bell. Ian John unearthed a George III penny dated Lacey 1879 along with a musket ball. Darren Thomas had two Roman coins and a couple of buckles. Byron Matthews found a Victoria shilling dated 1844 and a part crotal bell. Tony Winter unearthed two crotal bells, a small key and a cufflink. Brian Mitchell had a George II penny dated 1744 and a Roman grot. Emlyn Phillips found two Roman coins and a thimble.
So all in all a pretty good rally for some of our members. This was our second bus trip at short notice but was well supported.
We look forward to our next foray over the border!
Byron Matthews vice-chair.
Wootton Bassett Rotary Club Rally March 12th 2017
With thirty one people on board we left Nantgarw on time, after stopping at the Leigh Delamere services we arrived on site with plenty of time to prepare.
It was raining so we donned our wet-weather clothing ready for the days detecting.
After signing us all in and getting tickets, which had numbers allocated for the free prize draw, and maps, the rally started. According to our maps there were two very large fields to detect on, getting to the fields we had a path between two lakes of slurry, which did smell strongly! The fields were disappointing to say the least, the first was long grass and wet. The next field was split into three sections, the first section was stubble but it was flooded and like a quagmire, the second was undetectable as it was just "rough ploughed" it was really difficult to even walk over let alone detect on! the third section was longish grass, so the fields were not much good. Lots of people left demanding their money back, but as we were all spread out we persevered.
As usual some of our members were luckier than others, after a count-up on the bus five hammered coins had been found, a Denarius, a large silver spoon and a small Roman brooch. Keith Browning found his very first hammered coin, it was an Elizabeth I sixpence dated 1575, It was in amazing condition and must have been lost very soon after being struck. Byron Matthews unearthed a Venitian Soldino, it was a "Galley Halfpenny ", he also had a bag seal and a heavy lead bullet. Lee Calli was the third finder of a hammered, his being a Henry VIII Half Groat along with a button made by Andrews of Swindon a local find. Brian Mitchell had an Edward hammered and some copper coins . The fifth hammered was found by Darren Rimmer, his being a Lizzie penny, he also unearthed a 1921 sixpence and a badge in the shape of a lion. Darren Thomas was the finder of the Denarius, it was in great condition, unfortunately it was later found to be a forgery! but a great find just the same. He also had a silver fastener, probably used on leather, and a George III penny dated 1806. The very large silver spoon was found by Karl Jones, it is about seven inches long and has very clear hallmarks on it, he also had a William penny and a St.Christopher. Mark Street found a Tudor buckle, a silver button with a bird on it, a Paris miners token, an old padlock and some coppers. Emlyn Phillips had a George II penny. Liz McGlasson found a silver livery button, Nigel Williams had George III penny dated 1799 and a Jetton. Matthew Lacey also had a George III penny. Buffer unearthed a silver sixpence dated 1914 and two Georgian coppers. Carl Williams found a Tudor buckle and two bag-seals. Tony Winter was the finder of the small Roman brooch and a Jetton. So on the finds front we did very well but the rally conditions were very disappointing, we will think twice about supporting this rally in the future.
There is another bus trip in the pipe-line already.
Byron Matthews vice-chair.
Annual Beach Hunt Barry Island Sunday 8th January 2017
Around thirty members turned out for our annual beach at Barry Island on a cold and breezy morning. Twenty tokens, valued at £5 each, had been buried along with some “special” tokens in plastic bags; these were for bottles of beer, chocolates and biscuits. Within an hour of the 10 o’clock start the weather had changed considerably and the sun was shining brightly, leading to coats and scarves being discarded! News of finds were filtering through, a ring, then another. At the end of the day three rings were found in total and a very nice bracelet surfaced too. All of the £5 tokens were recovered and most of the “specials”. Lots of modern coins were also found along with some jewellery. It was an enjoyable start to detecting for 2017 and blew away the cobwebs and hangovers from the festive season.
We wish all our members a Happy New Year and look forward to the forthcoming rallies.
WEEKEND WANDERES XMAS DIG DECEMBER 18th 2016
The day started at 6.30am when we left Nantgarw with 32 detectorists on board heading for the Weekend Wanderers Xmas dig near Thame in Oxfordshire. After collecting the rally fees and bus fare we held the usual raffle. There were a plethora of prizes ranging from Xmas toilet paper, booze, coin cases and even a Selfie stick! After a brief stop at the services we arrived at our destination shortly after the start time, but that didn't deter us.
On arrival we were allocated raffle tickets for the free draw and maps of the seven fields available to detect on. The usual Weekend Wanderers Xmas fayre was available in the barn i.e. free coffee, tea, mince pies etc and after 12.30 the "mulled cider " was on tap too.
Some members had more luck than others but in all five hammered, four crotal bells and milled coins found their way to the surface among the usual finds of musket balls, mastitis tubes, lead etc. Gwilym Williams found a hammered Henry VI, Paul Williams also had a Henry VI, his being a half groat from the Calais mint, he also found a silver pendant. Phil Holt unearthed a half cut, short cross Henry. Sue Pattison had two hammered, one being a Charles I half-crown and the other being a Mary groat AD. 1630-1631. Nigel Williams found a crotal bell and Matthew Lacey also had a crotal bell along with a love token, a Vicky sixpence and some Vicky coppers. Ron Ahearn also had a crotal bell and a cartwheel penny. Byron Matthews found a large crotal bell, his first after almost thirteen years detecting, he also discovered a very nice silver milled shilling of Charles II dated 1668. Ceri Jones had a William III shilling, Lee Calli found a lead token and a George VI penny. Emlyn Phillips had a Vicky three pence and a horn protector. Robert Jenkins found a horse brass and a decorative piece of a furniture mount. Nathan Almond uncovered a cartwheel penny and three other copper coins.
So our last bus trip of 2016 came to an end with mixed fortunes for our members, and home we went after a long days detecting.
We wish everyone a Merry Xmas and a Happy New year and look forward to seeing you all in 2017.
Byron Matthews. vice-chairman
Club dig - Whitney on Wye Nov 13th 2016
We met up at Storey Arms and proceeded in convoy to the farm, unfortunately the post code led some on a bit of a diversion through the countryside. 26 club members eventually made it to the farm.
This was the farm we had been to last year and the fields proved to be as quiet as our previous visit, but finds were coming up. Colin Davies found a hammered in the shape of a Lizzie half groat along with a cartwheel penny, Michael Francis had a spindle whorl, Matthew Lacey found a silver thimble, a token, a 1959 shilling, a George III penny and some coppers, a very good day for him. Mark Street had a cartwheel penny, a military buckle and some coppers. Stephen King also had a buckle, a spectacle example possibly medieval. Alan Jones found a William sixpence and some coppers. Lee Calli had a ship halfpenny dated 1938 and a large tombac button. Late in the afternoon Jeff Radcliffe unearthed a gunpowder flask with wildlife and floral decoration, a very nice find at about 2 feet down
It was a very nice day and thanks must go to Norman Oxley for finding the site for the club.
Byron Matthews . vice- chairman
Anton Rotary Club Rally. Oct.2nd 2016
The coach left Nantgarw at the unearthly hour of 6.45am for the journey to Hampshire, where the rally was being held near to Andover. On board were 34 eager detectorists, we picked up one more along the M4 and then collected outstanding fares and did the usual raffle. After a stop at the Leigh Delamere services we arrived on site in plenty of time for the start at 10am.
There were six huge fields available to detect on, so plenty of choice. Hot drinks and food were being served at the sign-on point by members of the Anton Rotary Club, who had organised the rally . Finds were varied as usual, our members found seven hammered coins, fifteen roman coins, along with an assortment of buckles, buttons, fragments of crotal bells, copper coins, musket balls etc.
Steve Rolls found a hammered of unknown pedigree, Alan Jones had a hammered and some copper coins, Emlyn Phillips also had a worn hammered coin, a watch winder, a Manchester United football badge and a nice buckle, he also found a thick copper coin that had been bent into the shape of a love token. Paul Minton was another finder of a hammered, his being an Edward, along with a Jaws harp, a Roman coin and part of a Roman brooch. Valentinas found a hammered Lizzie one penny, a George IV sixpence dated 1824 and a fragment of crotal bell. Sharon Washington unearthed an Edward IV hammered coin, a love token and part of a bronze age axe. Paul Williams was another finder of a hammered coin, his being a Lizzie sixpence dated 1567. Roy Young found a spectacle buckle, a Georgian farthing and a button. New member Lee Calli on his very first rally found some buttons. Darren Thomas unearthed a 1931 Halfcrown, two sixpences dated 1920 and 1922, two small buckles and a watch winder. Mark Street had a grotty Roman coin and a heart brooch. Andrew Jones found a flower type brooch, two parts of crotal bell, a button with an anchor on, he also found a flint which had been carved in a crescent or the letter “C”. Gwilym Williams found a very interesting snake buckle which had like a double twist on it. Colin Roberts had a Roman coin. Ronnie Davies found a circular brooch and a small sword which could be a toy or a brooch. Rob Thomas had a haul of five Roman coins along with a buckle and a bronze mount. Colin Davies found half a crotal bell, a bronze ring, a George VI farthing and a military button. Tina Pople had brass threepence dated 1937, and a Georgian two pence coin. Alan Bufton found a canon ball made from iron, about one and a half inches in diameter and a pair of buckles. George Jenkins had a very thin copper coin, a buckle, a military button and some musket balls. Byron Matthews found two thimbles, one inside the other, the outer one having deteriated badly, a copper coin and a finial, which could be from a bedstead. Michael Francis had three Roman coins, a Jetton and part of a crotal bell. Liz McGlasson found a Roman coin, a broken buckle and a part of a crotal bell. Jeff Radcliffe had two small Roman coins and a Georgian halfpenny. Paul Gough found a love token, a Roman coin and a 1937 threepence coin.
The journey home took much longer than expected due to an unscheduled stop at the services and then a huge hold-up on the Severn crossing , a queue of over a mile to get to the tolls. Apparently this was due to the old Severn bridge being closed for repairs, so all traffic was using the one bridge that was open.
Byron Matthews vice-chair
ALTON SPIRES RALLY Aug 21st 2016
The White Horses and Stones Rally 22 members set out early from Nantgarw heading to Wiltshire for the Marlborough Round Table rally, organised by Leisure Promotions at Alton Spires.
After a stop at the services we drove en route through the village of Avebury, famous for its mystic stones. There were three circles of stones of various shapes and sizes and an avenue almost a mile long.
On the rolling hills of Wiltshire we saw a white horse cut out of the chalk. During the day we were to see another three horses, one on the hill above the detecting fields. The two ploughed fields were very "claggy" underfoot, making our boots about three times bigger and very heavy.
Our finds were varied as usual with some members being luckier than others. In all four hammered were found, three livery buttons from the same household, and three pieces of crotal bell came up. A hammered Lizzy halfpenny was found by George Jenkins, it was very small with good detail and he also found a nice military button. Liz Mcglasson was another finder of a hammered coin along with half a crotal bell and a thick bronze coin. Mark Street had a strapend, a livery button and a couple of copper coins. Chris Leach found a William III sixpence, dated 1696 and a bronze finial. Darren Thomas had a good day, finding an Eddy penny, a bronze pin, a spectacle buckle, a livery button and some copper coins. Alan Jones found a clock winder and some coppers. Ronnie Davies found half a crotal bell. Valentinas unearthed a hammered Lizzie twopence and a trade weight. Andrew Jones found a George III Irish penny dated 178. Paul Gough found two halfpennies, a George I and a Charles II coin!
All in all a very enjoyable day.
Byron Matthews vice-chairman
Anton Rotary Club Charity Rally 20th March 2016
Tisbury rally Wiltshire. Sept 6th 2015
The coach left Nantgarw at 7 am prompt with 31 detectorists on board, stopping to pick up one more member at the outskirts of Newport. After collecting all the monies for the rally entry and bus-fare, the usual raffle was held. We had a plethora of prizes as usual, and a varied assortment they were! We stopped for a short break en route and arrived at the venue in plenty of time for the start. Due to the narrow lane, the coach had to park some distance away so we had to get our food etc; off and safely put near the entrance for later in the day. When we arrived we were met by one of the organisers with maps and a red label to tie onto our detectors. One of the conditions of attending was to show our NCMD cards, so these were collected on the way to save time. When I showed a large handful of cards to the organiser he took our word and didn't want to check them! The morning fields were two huge ones and a smaller one which were covered in "light stubble" it was a massive area to cover, then around 12.30pm another five fields were opened up to us. These were a little better as some of them had a small crop on them, making for easier swinging in all 190 acres were available. The usual finds were coming up, shot-gun ends, buttons, bits of lead etc, and as usual some of our members were luckier than others but most found something of interest. Colin Roberts found an hammered coin, an Edward III penny, Paul Minton also had an hammered of Edward III. Brian Mitchell found a Roman coin and a small buckle, Rod Holt uncovered a silver love token. Alan Jones found a very nice seal matrix bearing a "squirrel and nut" pattern. Byron Matthews found a strange lead object which could be a trade weight or a gaming token, also a medieval buckle plate and a large pimple button. Ceri Jones found a 14th century French jetton and a very nice dagger hilt made of silver. Mark Street had two buckles and a pot-leg. Darren Thomas had a very good day uncovering a very nice bee-hive thimble, five Roman coins, three buckles, a George IV farthing and an unusual lead artefact with letters and symbols on it. Paul Gough found three Georgian coppers, a George III gaming token and a pot-leg. Michael Francis found a half-groat of Charles II. Rob Thomas found a crotal bell, two Vicky half-pennies and a pimple button. Colin Davies had a musket ball, and a Vicky halfpenny along with a George III farthing. Ronnie Davies found a Lizzie threepence. Mark Watson had a Roman minum, some coppers and a pot-leg. Martin Goodman found a pot-leg and what might be half of a Roman coin. Liz Mcglasson found some musket balls. Gavin Wood found George III penny dated 1806. So, along with the scorching hot sunshine, the catering and trade stands, we all had a very enjoyable day.
Byron Matthews (vice-chairman)
Whitney-on-Wye Rally 19th July 2015
With the wind and rain blowing strongly in our faces, 22 members met at the Storey Arms Carpark for an 8.30am departure to Whitney-on-Wye but as we made our way the rain stopped and out came the sun and lovely blue skies. We met Norman Oxley along the way and followed him to the farm by ten o’clock we were spread out on the nine fields allocated for this dig with some fantastic scenery surrounding us. The Black Mountains were to the west and the Malvern Hills to the east and the splendid Herefordshire countryside in between. The finds were diverse to say the least, a coin from Norway was found along with a coin from Belgium and an Irish modern, some Roman coins and a button from the Canadian army! The usual Georgian coins, buttons and shotgun ends were found but the find of the day must go to Paul Williams who found a Roman knee brooch which was in perfect condition, well done Paul. Two people each found a sword hanger, Mark Watson and Liz Mcglasson and three hammered's between them. Mark had two Lizzie threepence and one that we can't recognise. Liz found one with a hole in it which had probably been worn around the neck of the person who lost it. Byron Matthews found a Roman Dupondius in a mole-hill! he also had a bridle attachment of a hook on a ring which had a nice patina, a lovely bag-seal with a portcullis on, probably from Elizabeth the first’s reign. Paul Minton found the Norwegian coin, a " two ore" value dated 1887, he also had a barrel-tap key. Dennis Pople was the finder of the Belgian one franc and the Irish modern two pence coins, a Roman coin and what could be a silver hallmarked brooch Gavin Wood found the Canadian army button. Alan Bufton had a florin dated 1942, a knife and a Georgian. Norman Oxley found two farthings and a sixpence. Paul Gough found a very nice bronze bee-hive thimble, a bull head sixpence and some Georgians. It was great to see Ian John back in action, he found a bag seal which he donated to the farmer, well done Ian. Austin Lockett had a very nice barrel tap key. Norman Gowan had a Cartwheel penny, a heart shaped pendant and a bullhead sixpence. Rob Thomas found a spectacle buckle, a cartwheel penny and some Georgians. Carl Meyrick had two silver sixpences, one dated 1921, a threepenny piece and a George IV coin. Colin Davies had a Florin dated 1948, a 1940 sixpence, a George V farthing and a bell. Some of our members had either left or were still on the fields when I was gathering the list of finds, so apologies for anything missed. It was a great day out with great weather and lots of finds. Many thanks must go to Norman and Ann Oxley for finding this farm for the club dig. Here’s to the next time.
Byron Matthews . vice-chairman
March 22nd 2015 - 19th Royal Wooton Bassett Rotary Club Rally
Starting from Nantgarw at 7.00am, 32 detectorists settled down for the trip to the Swindon area for the 19th Royal Wooton Bassett Rotary Club rally.
This time we had a 49 seater coach so plenty of room to stretch our legs.
A sat-nav malfunction lead us seven miles off course but we still arrived with plenty of time to get ready for the 10am start. We all had to check in and were given a ticket and a map of the site. The ticket had a unique number on it that was entered into a free draw for various prizes. There was also a main raffle for which tickets had to be purchased. In the barn where registration took place were catering and trade stalls. On offer was free tea or coffee, also on sale were hot breakfasts, bacon butties etc, plenty to feed you up for the day. Seven fields were available to detect on so it looked like a great site, unfortunately the fields had the dreaded “Green waste" scattered all over, so good targets were hard to find. The rally started with a air-horn at 10am and finished at 3.30pm . We left the site around 4.15pm as most had made their way back to the coach earlier.
As usual shot gun ends, grotty copper coins and bits of lead etc came up, but some of us were luckier than others. Three halfcrowns were found, Matthew Stoneman found the oldest, a Charles I circa 1600’s, Nigel Williams had a Queen Victoria Jubilee halfcrown in fabulous condition dated 1887 along with a George V shilling. The third halfcrown fell to Neil Francis who had an Elizabeth II dated 1963 and a 1970 shilling. Rob Thomas found a very interesting threepence token issued by a London company. Rod Holt had a bull-head six-pence of George III. Steven King found a very nice complete 1700’s buckle, Alan Jones had a William III shilling along with 2 x copper pennies and 2 x halfpennies. Carl Jones found 4 x copper coins of dubious vintage. Paul Williams had a medieval buckle and a silver gilded button, his best result of the day was winning the first prize of a huge hamper in the main raffle draw, well done Paul! Ronnie Davies had a Georgian penny and a button. Byron Matthews found a three-penny bit of Elizabeth II, a farthing and a red toy lorry manufactured by Lesney (pre Dinky). Paul Minton found a very interesting
decorated lead object about two inches in diameter. Colin Roberts had Georgian coins, Mark Street found a George II halfpenny and Darren Thomas a Girl Guides badge. Nathan Almond a George V penny and a ship halfpenny, Paul Gough also had a ship halfpenny and a lead toy dog with three legs!
It was an enjoyable day, the weather was kind and despite the green waste we had a great day out.
Now we are looking forward to the next trip over the bridge.
Byron Matthews (Vice-Chairman)
March 8th 2015 – Club Rally Penllyn Moor Well over thirty members turned out for the dig on the “Once a year fields" on a day when the weather was not very good, but this didn't dampen the spirits of those present.
Twenty tokens worth £5 each, were spread over a very muddy field and all were eventually found by some lucky people.
The mud on our boots made them three times their size and they weighed a ton!
Not many natural finds came up but three members were lucky, a socketed axe-head, a roman brooch and a gold ring were found by three lucky people. Well done to them.
It was an enjoyable day, even in the miserable weather. We now look forward to the club BBQ sometime in the summer.
Byron Matthews (Vice-Chairman)
Annual Beach hunt – Barry 4th January 2015
Around 15 members braved a bracing Barry beach for our annual beach hunt, 20 tokens worth £5 each had been buried over a large area both on dry and wet sand.
A ring had also been buried as a special token and the finder was awarded a special prize (Handmade sock teddy), that finder was Rob Thomas.
Most of the attendees managed to find a token and as all of the tokens were found it was lucrative for some members who found more than one!
The beach was very busy with dog walkers, children and even a pair of horses galloping in the surf.
Most of the New Year’s cobwebs were blown away and the club's first event of the year went off successfully.
Byron Matthews (vice-chairman)
The Weekend Wanderers Xmas Special Dig 21st December 2014
We set off on time from Nantgarw for the long trip to Buckinghamshire with 22 club members on board . The first surprise of the day was to be greeted by a lady bus driver, a first for us i think , she did a splendid job getting us there and back. We arrived at the rally site at approx 9:20, so in good time for the start . We were given tickets for the free raffle to be held at lunchtime , and a map of the 22 fields available for us to wander over . As we were going back for a snack and to check the raffle we noticed a gathering at a cordoned off area in a field near to the farm This turned out to be our second surprise of the day, a hoard of Saxon coin's had been found! Naturally we went for a look after having something to eat, apparently this was the finders first signal of the day, the FLO was there directing things and measuring and bagging the coins. When operations were concluded and a sort out and count of the finds were done it turned out that 5251 and 1 cut half coins were found in all . This could possibly be the biggest hoard of Saxon coins found to date in Britain . The coins were of Aethelred 2nd (the unready) (978-1016 Ad) and Cnut ( 1016-1035 Ad). Various figures were being bandied about how much this hoard is worth, a million pounds or more! We'll wait for the official offer from the British Museum where the coins are at the moment to know what they are really worth.
As the day was coming to an end we heard about another hoard being found, our third surprise. This turned out to be by our very own Chairman Paul. He had uncovered what looked like a vessel which could have something in it , it did have pottery and bone. Unfortunately this turned out to be a copper pot of Roman or Saxon origin, with no coins in it sadly. Our members didn't find any hoards but they did find plenty of items. Besides the copper vessel Paul Minton also a Georgian penny, 2 x halfpennies and a pot leg, Byron Matthews found a Hammered Lizzie dated 1571 , a Cartwheel penny and a couple of copper coins, Brian Mitchell had three musket balls, Paul Gough had two copper coins , Matthew Stoneman found a silver shilling of George 5th. George Jenkins found a Georgian penny and a very large bullet, Rod Holt had a cut half hammered of Henry and a horse nose brass, Gwillym Williams found a Roman loom weight, Austin Lockett was one of three finders of crotal bells, he had a very nice fish scale patterned one along with two copper coins, Steven King found what could be a large ring or a child's bracelet, Nathan Almond found two coppers, Ceri Jones four pennies of George 5th all in the same hole! Carl Jones also found four coppers of George 2nd in the same hole! What a coincidence. Rob Thomas was another finder of a crotal bell and a Roman coin, and a brace of copper coins of George 1st and George 2nd. Ronnie Davies was the third finder of a crotal bell along with a Georgian copper coin. This was a very eventful trip and most of us found something of interest. So we look forward to more bus trips in 2015.
We left Nantgarw at 7 o'clock with 18 bleary-eyed detectors on board heading for Hampshire to attend a charity rally in aid of a local church near Andover.
We were using a new bus company this time, Laser Travel from Tonypandy.
We expected to stop at the usual services on the M4 but to our surprise the driver turned off the motorway at junction 15 following his sat-nav; we then stopped at a small service on the outskirts of Marlborough, which was very pleasant.
We arrived at the rally site around 9.30 in plenty of time for the 10 o’clock start. The fields looked very inviting; they were vast and had been rolled in readiness for the rally. Unfortunately the fields didn’t live up to their appearance and proved to be very short on finds.
We gallantly stayed searching until the stop time at 4 o’clock and the nearest we got to anything Roman was the helmets and swords brought for the occasion by one of the “naughty boys “at the back of the bus.
Finds were very few but some did manage to find a hammered, Colin Roberts found a Lizzie penny and a cap badge of the Essex Regiment. Austin Lockett also found a Lizzie hammered sixpence. Darren Thomas had a bag seal, Mark Street found two unidentifiable copper coins and Byron Matthews had a George V farthing dated 1923.
Our youngest member, Jesse Holt found a 1866 halfpenny of Queen Victoria, his father, Phil Holt found a large silver spoon which was hall-marked but unreadable. Ceri Jones had a 17th century buckle, Matthew Stoneman found a Vicki penny, a thimble, a musket ball and a four hole button. Carl Meyrick had a nicely decorated button, Nigel Williams found a George III farthing and another finder of a farthing was Ronnie Davies who had a George II. Finally, Robert Thomas had two copper coins, and the usual musket balls, buckles and shotgun ends also turned up.
We returned to the M4 on the usual route, the A34 and made good time back to Nantgarw. We are now looking forward to the next bus trip which hopefully won’t be too long in coming.
Club dig at Gilfach Goch - June 1st 2014
Eighteen members and two juniors met in the lay by/bus stop for a 9.30am start of the convoy to the farm. We were met by a very enthusiastic farmer who gave us a run down on the local history.
There was a roman road running across a couple of fields but unfortunately was overgrown and boggy in places. He was very proud of how long his family had been at the farm by saying his grand-daughter was the “Tenth generation” to live there.
The farm was situated on the top of a hill, so the fields all fell away steeply downhill. Going down was easy but returning to the car for something to eat needed some rope and crampons!
Finds were not easy to come by but some members did get some interesting items. Some of the coins found were a hammered Lizzie, two cartwheel pennies, one was a second edition 1803, a Vickie shilling, a George the sixth sixpence, a farthing of undeterminable age, a florin and a few coppers.
Half of a very large horse bit/bridle came up and the usual bits of lead along with a reflector off a vehicle, probably a tractor!
The farm was around two hundred acres so there is plenty of land to go back to, the farmer said we were welcome at any time and grass would be cut off the fields we couldn’t get on this time.
We were blessed with good weather which helped to make it another enjoyable day for the attendees. Many thanks must go to Norman for arranging another dig for the club.
Byron Matthews. Vice-chairman RARE
Flemingston Club Dig May 4th 2014
Twenty eight members met in the car park in Cowbridge for the first club dig for quite a while . We left in convoy and headed for the farm in the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan , hoping to find something of interest.
The farm had lots of land available to detect on, so after getting our instructions, we were off! As usual there were georgian coins, buckles and musket balls coming up, but it was quite a quiet area for most of us.
Some interesting finds were had including a Bristol halfpenny token by Paul Gough, who also had a nice watch winder.
Matthew Stoneman found a George 3rd bull-head sixpence dated 1820. Ronnie Davies also had a George 3rd coin, his was a penny along with a cartwheel penny.
Colin Roberts also had a cartwheel penny and a George 3rd halfpenny. Norman Oxley found a part of a socketed iron age axe, two georgian buckles and a George 5th sixpence.
Byron Matthews found a small complete spectacle buckle and small mount for a belt or harness.
Ceri Jones found a spectacle buckle too and some pieces of an ornate buckle.
Carl Meyrick had a very nice button with three feathers adorning it, he also had a very old window latch.
The Holt family were out in force, Rod found half a nut cracker and an old metal comb, Phil had a very nice George 2nd halfpenny dated 1738, and last but not least, the youngest member of the family, Jesse, unearthed a George 5th penny dated 1918 in very good condition.
The weather was very nice to us as it was warm and sunny most of the day with one or two suffering a little sunburn! Later in the afternoon we started making our way home and looking forward to the next outing of the club.
Many thanks to Norman for arranging the event …......
Annual Beach Hunt at Barry Island - Jan 6th 2013
Around 30 members turned up at a breezy Barry Island on the morning of Jan 6th for the first club dig of 2013 .As usual it was a token hunt and 100 old sixpences had been buried for us to find . We were very successful as 99 of these tokens were found ! The usual rules applied , ie. A raffle ticket for every token found ,unfortunately the prizes had been left behind,as were the raffle tickets,so the draw was left until the club meeting on jan 16th . This did'nt spoil anyones enjoyment as it was another day out with like-minded people after all . Some bling came up , one lucky person found one and a half gold rings , well done you !Other bits and pieces came up that were not as significant but added to the enjoyment.The tide was in fully at 12.30pm but there was plenty of beach to detect on. Some of us stayed and followed the tide out for a while . Besides ourselves there were hundreds of people walking the beach , most were exercising their dogs, and there was a vast assortment of breeds on show from a Bulldog to chihuahuas and every size and shape in between ! (more pics on the gallery more tab / gallery) Another enjoyable day for RARE members and a chance to blow away the cobwebs ! We are now looking forward to the first bus trip of the year . Byron Matthews . vice-chairman
Weekend Wanderers Xmas Dig - Dec 16th 2012
We set off from Nantgarw at 6.30am for the long trip to Hampshire for the Weekend Wanderers Xmas dig . It was held on the same farm as last year, but on different fields which had been ploughed since they were last detected . There were around 300 detectorists present who spread out all over the three available fields .The weather was not as cold as expected but we took advantage of the free hot drinks and mince pies on offer all day in the barn , there were apple pies and mulled cider too . The twenty two members who attended had varying degrees of luck with finds . Mark Harford found a George 3rd halfpenny,2 x Romans and a thimble. Jeff Berryman found a Sestertius , a George 3rd penny and a nice silver button decorated in a rose pattern. Ceri Jones had a Vicky sixpence. Ian John found a love token. George Jenkins was lucky to find a Medieval Annular brooch , a 17th cent. Farthing token and a broken casket key . Jo Watson found 2x Roman coins , a large distorted buckle and a shoe fastener .Mark Watson had 2 x hammereds and a thimble .Gwillym Williams found 2 x hammered coins and a token . Tina Pople uncovered a copper farthing,a buckle and some pieces of brass . Robert Thomas found 2 x Romans , 2 x Georgians and a lead token . Carl Meyrick had a silver button , which was hallmarked , a complete spectacle buckle and a strap-end . Norman Gowen found a George 3rd 1806 halfpenny in very good condition . Norman Oxley had a Vicky farthing and a spectacle buckle . Paul Minton found a hammered coin, a cut half hammered and 2 x tokens . The rain started to come down quite heavily around 2.15pm so most made their way back to the bus , some hardy members stayed out on the fields for a bit longer ! . The coach was parked with the off-side wheels on the grass verge , in the same spot as last year , but due to the rain softening the earth it was bogged down and even though we tried pushing it was stuck ! We asked the farmer if he could help and he brought out this huge “payloader” machine which pulled us clear with no effort at all ! This is the farm with a herd of Water Buffalo , those big black beasts with massive horns , which luckily for us were away in a distant field for our safety . I did manage to get a photo of some in a barn close to the farmyard , see enclosed . That was our last trip of 2012 and we now look forward to many more in 2013 . Happy New Year to all our members. Byron Matthews. Vice chairman
Weekend Wanderers Rally - 23rd September 2012
We set off from Nantgarw at the ungodly time of 6 o'clock, to get to the rally by the 9 o'clock start, with twenty two bleary eyed people on board. After the usual pit-stop at the services en-route we arrived in plenty of time to register our presence. We were given a lime green bracelet, to be worn on the wrist, and a light green label to fix to our detectors, along with a map of the fields available and their layout. Because the site was so big there were tractors available to take you to whichever field you wanted, at a charge of one pound per ride.
The coach was parked near the entrance on very hard ground, so we thought it would be ok there all day, but, as the rain started falling the farmer sent us a message telling us to move it into the nearby farmyard onto a hard standing. That was a very wise move as the entrance became a quagmire as the day wore on and many people left the site early because of the bad weather, many having to be towed out with a tractor. Because the coach had moved and some members were out on the fields at the time, it did cause a little panic until they found out where it had been moved to. There were lots to see at the site, a big marquee with trade stands selling everything from detectors, coils, headphones etc., a bar to get you wet inside too! It was a very well organised event and even had portable toilets out in the fields as well as in the camping area. The reports coming in of finds were very thin on the ground, it seemed that everyone was finding the same things, bullets and buttons in particular, as usual some of our members were luckier than others. Joanne Watson found four Roman coins, a big lead token and a small lead token. Her brother Mark also found three Roman coins, a buckle and the back half of a silver button. Nathan Almond had a Roman coin. Mark Newbury was also a finder of a Roman coin along with Norman Gowen. Robert Thomas did a little better than most with five Romans! Byron Matthews found a copper love token and a lead weight used on a net for trapping rabbits. Carl Meyrick had a small buckle, Lee Newbury found a gilded button . John Watts , on his first outing with us, found a pistol shaped handle, could be off a draw or an implement from a kitchen.
As the weather stayed wet from early morning we all made our way back to the coach earlier than expected, because we were all present we left the site about an hour before schedule, arriving back at Nantgarw at a respectable time. Although the weather and lack of finds were the main things remembered about this trip it was still an enjoyable day out detecting with like minded people.
Byron Matthews (Vice-Chairman)
Wantage Rally - 9th September 2012
We set off from Nantgarw at 7:00am, with 22 members on board, after the usual short stop at the services we arrived at the site in plenty of time before the start. The rally was run by the Wantage Round Table and there were three big fields of stubble for us to detect on. A nice touch was them having marshals on each gateway into the fields and manning the crossing points of the busy country lane for our safety. At the sign on area there were refreshments available, toilets and a FLO from the regional museum to log and identify the finds. All in all a very well organised rally.
The area was known for Roman habitation as a hoard of coins had been found in an adjacent field. This showed with the amount of Roman coins found by several of our members. Joel Goldthrite found a Radiant Barbarous, silver cuff-links, two thimbles and a very nice button adorned with a rifleman. Rod Holt, David Evans and Mark Street had a small roman each, David Harrison was lucky with two Roman coins, a large Crotal bell and a ring. Chris Leach found a lead Roman brooch in the shape of an alligator. Mark Watson had a Roman groat, a Rose Farthing and three Spectacle buttons. Steve Evans had two Roman coins and a small lead seal which had a portcullis on it, probably Medieval. Tina Pople had the best Roman coin in the shape of Silver Denarius, she also found a spectacle buckle. The Romans kept turning up, Charles Price found two coins and a zoomorphic mascot in the shape of a chicken. Brian Mitchell rounded up the Roman coin collection by uncovering three!! A couple of Hammered coins were found by two of the ladies, Ann Oxley had a James 1st .dated 1606/07 and Jan (g.i.jan)Davies was lucky with an Elizabeth 1st. Paul Minton found a Saxon pin, a Medieval Strap Mount decorated with blue enamel and a single loop buckle dated between 1250-1430. Byron Matthews had a spectacle buckle and a Nokia mobile phone!! Everyone found lots of buttons, bullets, lead and the usual bits and pieces. The weather was very kind to us with sunshine for most of the day. The only mishap we had was at the end of the day when the bus refused to start due to a flat battery!! We waited around 45 minutes for a mechanic to arrive from Newbury with a couple of heavy duty batteries and a set of jump leads. It only took a couple of minutes and we were on our way home. We arrived back at Nantgarw weary but happy. The next trip is the Weekend Wanderers Rally on Sunday Sept.23rd. Bring it on!!
Report by Byron Matthews (Vice-Chairman)
Henry Axford Shield - 2nd September 2012
The annual inter-club competition began with members of both clubs meeting in a pub car-park then proceeding in convoy to the search site.
Forty five people in total were present, twenty five from RARE and twenty from Cardiff Scan Club. After a short welcome and briefing we were off onto the very big stubble field.
Thirty tokens had been planted to count toward the raffle of which twenty four were found. Another six tokens, painted red, were to count for the actual competition. All six were found, three by each club! To break the tie the result was worked out by average and as Cardiff Scan had the least members present they were declared the winners of the Henry Axford shield for the second year running. A further two tokens were buried as “ special prizes “ and both were found. The finder of the replica Serstertius won a bottle of whiskey, while the finder of the replica silver halfcrown of Queen Ann was rewarded with champagne! Well done both...
Apart from the token hunt, members were finding the usual buttons, buckles, copper coins, lead etc... Some of the members had more luck than others, two silver Denarii were found by Norman Oxley (rare) and Alan Leeson (Cardiff). Five hammered coins surfaced during the day, Mike Davies (rare) found what was classed as the find of the day in the form of a Henry 8th Groat in beautiful condition. Pat Goode (Cardiff) recovered a Henry half penny, Rod Holt (RARE) had a hammered coin which is yet to be identified, Phil Holt (RARE) also had a worn hammered and a small phallic brooch, possibly Roman. Ian John found a very nice Commonwealth half groat in fantastic condition. Stan Phillps (Cardiff) had a Bristol farthing token, Roy Young found silver in the shape of a George 6th sixpence, dated 1941. Carl Meyrick (RARE) also had silver, a George 3rd sixpence circa 1820. Ian Magee (RARE) found half of a fibula brooch. A young lad, Joshua Hathway, the son of one of the Rare members, did well with his Maplins detector by finding a very old hook off a horse harness, probably used on a large farm wagon, he also had a large horseshoe, could they be connected? Well done Joshua!
Around 12.30 we made our way to the BBQ which had been smelling very nice across the field for ages. There were hot-dogs, curry, cakes and biscuits, along with cold drinks for our consumption. Huge thanks must go to Gwillym and Debbie for their sterling work over the hot stove for our benefit.
At the end of the day, after the reckoning up of the scores, the raffle was held. All the tokens found were exchanged for tickets and many prizes were claimed.
We all enjoyed our days detecting and thanks must go to the people who organised the day and spent time planting all those tokens. It was nice to socialise with friends old and new and may the good relations between our clubs continue .We look forward to the return in 2013.
Byron Matthews, RARE Vice-Chairman.
East Stratton Charity Rally - 15th April 2012
We set off from Nantgarw, on time at 7.00am, in a coach which resembled a silver bullet and had a seating arrangement like a Boeing 747. Unfortunately the usual 30 seater coach had been booked out so we were given this 70 seater instead, so we had plenty of room to stretch out. We were met by one of the organisers to guide us to the site and park the coach in a covenient position near the entrance to the fields. The rally was in aid of the local church's restoration fund so we were asked if we would fill out a “gift aid” form so they could reclaim the tax on our donations, many of us did so.
There were huge fields available, they had been ploughed and seeded so the going was pretty good. Although the sun was out most of the day, the colour in our cheeks was from the pretty strong wind that blew all day. The rally was well attended, at least three hundred detectorists were there. The FLO's table had a queue waiting to record finds all day, even right up to 4.30 when were leaving. As usual our members had differing luck on the finds front. Most had the usual buckles, musket balls and georgian/viccy pennies etc but others were a bit luckier.
Norman Oxley found a Cartwheel penny and three Viccy pennies, he also had a very nice 18thc watch winder, Paul Minton did'nt find a great deal but he did find a 1912 George 5th penny, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking almost to the day.
George Jenkins had a silver threepence of William 3rd. Dennis Long found two Roman grots and a nice belt decoration. Charles Price also found a belt decoration in the form of a strapend. G.I.Jan Davies was lucky to find a Roman Nummus of Constantine dated 318-324 ad. Joel Goldthrite found his first cut half, a Henry 3rd. Brian Mitchell had a Basingstoke Token 16th/17thc and what the FLO described as a Cruci form mount, for a belt or harness. Byron Matthews had silver by finding a really battered hammered and a milled William 3rd sixpence, he also found a swivel attachment and two belt decoration studs. Sue Paterson had a George 5th shilling. Rod Holt found a buckle of the 13th or 14th century. Phil Holt was luckier than his father, he found A Roman Republican Denarius, two crotal bells and a strapend. Colin Roberts also found a crotal bell. Mark Watson found a quarter hammered which is yet to be identified, he also had a thimble and a buckle. Steve Rolls found a Saxon strapend and a Jetton. Dai Griffiths had musket balls and a thimble. There seemed to be lots of thimbles found as Phillip Evans had one too, along with a very nice livery button which had the figure of a horse on it. So it looks like our members had an enjoyable day.
The ladies had a good day too I am told, at the Membury services, on the way up, they “mistakenly” went into the Gents toilet! They must have enjoyed that because they did the same thing on the return journey too! So once again it was an enjoyable day out for R.A.R.E. Club members and guests, and we did something to aid a charity too. We look forward to the next outing in a few weeks time.
Byron Matthews, Vice-Chairman
Royal Wootton Bassett Rotary Club Rally
The day started badly when the coach did'nt turn up at Nantgarw by 7 0'clock, we were informed it had broken down shortly after leaving the depot. We eventually got rolling 50 minutes later, much to the relief of the 37 detectorists on board.
After a short stop at the services we arrived on site with plenty of time to spare to sign-on , be given a map and instructions and an entry ticket with a number on for the prize draw at lunchtime. Detecnicks had a trade stand with lots of detecting items for sale. There was plenty of hot drinks and food available all day for those in need of sustenance.
There were 15 fields available, lots of people headed for the stubble one, or the ploughed one next to it, full of expectation of a good haul and hoping for some luck. Unfortunately for the majority of our members it was not to be, the usual things like buttons, buckles, penicillin tubes, shotgun ends etc were the norm.
Some of our members and guests were luckier than most. Paul Minton found a hammered of Lizzie 1st dated 1566, GI Jan, on her first outing with the club, had a belt mount 1500-1700, a “poor man's ring”, a spindle whorl and a horse brass. Charles Price found a William 3rd love token and a pigeon ring, with the leg bone still in it! Brian Mitchell had a George 1st halfpenny and a William 4th farthing. Jo Watson had an unusual lead horse bridle mount. Steve Rolls was happy with a James 1st half groat and a George 5th sixpence. Carl Jenkins found a modern silver ring with what looks like a screw head design on it.
Some of our Cardiff Scan Club guests had good day with Leyton Jones finding an Edward 3rd hammered penny 1344-1351, a Roman coin of the house of Constantine ad 330-335 and an Elizabethan lead token dated 1558-1603. Eric Harvey found a Nuremburg Jetton 17c and a Roman Nummus 320-402 ad. Alun Jones was lucky with a Henry 3rd longcross half.
So that was the first coach trip of the year over and we headed back to Nantgarw, tired but happy and looking forward to the rally across the bridge.
Report by Byron Matthews, Vice-Chairman
Annual Beach Hunt - Barry Island January 12th 2012
More than twenty intrepid members turned up for our annual beach hunt, the first outing of the new year. 50 tokens, in the form of chinese coins with square holes in them, had been planted earlier. Also buried were 5 painted halfpennies worth £10 each to the lucky finders. We all met back at Paul's van for the draw at lunchtime, every token found was rewarded with a raffle ticket. Everyone had donated a prize for the draw, mostly unwanted christmas presents, along with some bought prizes. 44 of the tokens were recovered so all the prizes were claimed. All of the £10 tokens were found too, so the lucky finders got cash!! After the break about a dozen or so members went back on to the beach, as the tide was well out. A couple of people were lucky and found gold rings, and one a silver ring. Well done to those members. It was a very enjoyable day out and the weather was amazing, it didn't seem to be the middle of winter, it was so mild.
This is hopefully only the first of many outings to rallies around the country we hope to get to this year. Happy New Year to all R.A.R.E. Members.
Byron Matthews, Vice-Chairman
Norman Oxley - Cardiff Arms Park - 6th November 2010
Norman Oxley @ Cardiff Arms Park
I would like to pass on my thanks to Norman Oxley for helping to save my marriage!!
While producing the Wales v Australia rugby last month in Cardiff, I managed to lose my wedding ring attempting the BBC's 'Passing the Ball through Brain Moore's Mouth' challenge.
With no sign of it anywhere and the programme about to start, I wasn't looking forward to explaining to my wife how I'd lost my ring throwing rugby balls around Cardiff Arms Park.
Fortunately Norman came to the rescue, and after more than an hour's search, Norman managed to detect the ring before my wife found out. I still haven't told her!!
We were sat in our cars at 7:00am, waiting for the coach to arrive at Pontypridd car-park, watching the rain hammering down!! As we had booked with a different coach company we didn't know what to expect and up pulled this bus with "Dave’s Coaches" emblazoned on the side. It turned out to be the very one used in the popular TV series " Gavin & Stacey". On the way to Somerset, the rain continued to pour down with vengeance, but, as we approached the junction to leave the motorway it stopped and stayed dry for the rest of the day!! Were we lucky or what?
We reported in at the Spaxton Village Hall, where there were loads of cars and people eagerly awaiting the start. In the hall a full English breakfast was available for £3.50, so some of us tucked in and it set us up for the day. A convoy of cars, vans, mini-buses and coaches left for the site, travelling through the lanes and being directed by marshals on the junctions. At the site were toilets and a barbeque area where hot food and drinks were available all day.
Around 130 acres were offered for detecting, pasture, stubble and a couple with longish grass, so we set out to the fields of our choice. As usual some of our members were luckier than the others, but we all found something of interest. Paul Minton had a Lizzie hammered and two romans, Ann Oxley found a nice horse brass, Mark Harford had a religious type medallion and some coins. Chris Leach was lucky with a William 4th hammered. Brian Mitchell had a good day with a silver thimble, which has gothic type letters on it which may say "regard" and two Viccy halfpennies, one dated 1862. Mike Coburn found his first William 3rd love token, which he say’s he’s giving to his wife, how romantic!! George Jenkins found a hammered Henry, a religious medallion, a silver spoon and a cartwheel penny. Rod Holt had a worn hammered, various coins and some buckles. Dai Griffiths found a nice jetton, Robert Thomas found a battered hammered, but a hammered none the less, and a musket ball. Norman Gowen had a roman radiate and another religious type medallion, the third of the day, makes you wonder what went on at this site!! Byron Matthews found a cartwheel penny, a large pot-leg and a badge with a crown and VR stamped on it. The usual bits and pieces were found by everyone.
Ian John was having his first try at metal detecting, with a garrett 150 which one of our members had lent him...a very generous gesture by Leighton Poar. During the afternoon two people were seen lying on the ground digging a very deep hole, at least four feet, in one of the stubble fields!! Spectators were stopping to look into the hole with interest. It turned out to be an aircraft crash-site from WW2. A cigarette case was also found in the area , but that has to be confirmed as part of the accident, the area was cordoned off by the archaeologist on site. At the end of the day some of us had our photo taken with our "famous" transport and we made our weary way home, looking forward to the next RARE outing.
RARE Coach Trip - West Hanney - 12th of September 2010
A coach full of Rhondda Artefact & Research Enthusiasts made it's way to Oxfordshire to attend the Weekend Wanderers Summer rally at West Hanney. We eventually arrived at the site, after wending our way through the countryside due to being diverted off the M4, as it was closed both ways over three junctions, because of a police incident. The farm drive was lined with trees sporting the flags of the nationalities attending, America, Canada, Holland and many more including Wales!! Meeting us at the registration point were Boudicea and some Romans, all in realistic costumes. The coach was directed to it's reserved parking place, on concrete. Some RARE members were attending the whole weekend, so they came along to welcome us and give us the gossip and finds from the previous day, after setting up and having a quick snack, while checking a map of the fields, we were off.
In field number one, there were some Irish coins buried, as a token hunt with the first prize being a Minelab Etrac!! I think all the tokens had been found on the Saturday. As this site was where the Saxon grave was found last year, most people made their way to that area, but the actual grave site was cordoned off. Due to the size of the farm, 19 fields were available, the organisers had laid on tractors and trailers to convey people to the outlying fields and charging a pound a time, all these monies going to charity. Dotted around the fields were Portaloos, a great idea. The Weekend Wanderers, had put a great deal into the organisation of this event, well done to them. There was catering at the farm yard, supplying hot food and drinks, a bar and a live band on the Saturday night. There were also trade stands from all the well known dealers. The FLO's were in the big marquee to assess and register the finds. As usual tales of gold, silver and other interesting finds filtered through the fields.
Not too far from the saxon grave site, there was a great deal of activity, it looked a little like Time Team were there, using a mechanical digger!! Lots of onlookers surrounded the area watching with interest, someone had found something deep and still had a signal at four feet!! Apparently it turned out to be the site of a Saxon Longhouse, this site turns up something every year. We were due to finish at 6:00pm, but most of our party were back at the coach early, all detectored out!!
On the trip home, tales of what was found, meeting old friends etc helped pass the time. Luckily the motorway had re-opened, so no detours on the return journey. As usual, some of our members had been luckier than others but a variety of items were found. Phil Jones, our Treasurer, found a very old looking dagger, with a lovely patina, but a young FLO dismissed it as a "mis-cast modern letter opener". We dont think so, and are looking forward to what our FLO has to say about it. Des Thomas had an unusual find of Shoe Pad. Robert Lewis found a very nice Tudor clothes fastener, both Dai Griffiths and Dai Evans found very small thimbles, which could have been made for children. Dai Evans also had a Medieval strap end and a couple of lead tokens. Carl Williams had a good day with a Vessica Seal in excellent condition, he also had two lead tokens with the inscription, RH 1800 on one side and a horse on the other, a lizzie threefarthings and, of all things, a Spanish peseta dated 1900. Rod Holt found a worn hammered, of unknown pedigree, but a hammered non the less. Stuart Sutton, uncovered a Jetton and a couple of Roman grots, Norman Gowan had a lead token and part of a Jaws Harp. Both Andrew James and myself (Byron Matthews) found silver in the shape of Victoria six-pences (1841 and 1888 respectively). It was a very nice day, at a well organised event and we are all looking forward to our next outing to Spaxton on 3rd October 2010.
Report By Byron Mathews (RARE Vice Chairman)
RARE Members on BBC's X-Ray Programme
Our two members "Alan Jenkins and Ray Coburn" were on the BBC's X-Ray programme in June 2010 and the programme included information about the FID's "Free Recovery Service " for lost items and a bit about our wonderful hobby. The programme even includes X-Ray presenter "Lucy Owen" having a go at metal detecting with her low and slow swing.