Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Broadstairs Detectorist


Remember how I said it seemed the only place I could use my metal detector was on the beach?

Well, I've come to the beach.

I took the train to Broadstairs yesterday, where Dave and I visited a few years ago. I'm shacked up at the same little hotel, in fact -- me and my metal detector. This time around, Dave, not wanting to be part of this thrilling opportunity to encounter riches beyond measure, stayed back in London with Olga.

When I first got into town yesterday around 1:30 p.m., I had lunch at the little cafe above (a vegetarian English breakfast, actually). I then walked 30 minutes or so to Botany Bay, the area where I'm staying.


I should preface all this by saying I experimented with the metal detector on Monday afternoon in our garden. I'm still trying to learn which settings to use and which tones to listen for. This was the one object I found -- I'm not sure but I think it's a folded chip of aluminum. So exciting -- NOT.

I thought sure on the beach I'd have better luck. I mean, so many people gather there -- granted, not at this time of year -- and aren't coins and jewelry routinely spilling from their hands and pockets?


Apparently not, because this is all I found after two hours of beach detecting. I scanned with my detector for so long that my right arm became weak with muscle fatigue. I could barely hold my camera to take this picture. (That's an old rusty nail at lower right.)

I thought I might at least find a penny or two, to offset the cost of this £150 trip. As I told Dave, though, all joking of riches aside, I don't expect this to be any kind of profit-making venture.

The detector is still a bit of a mystery to me. Sometimes it beeps and I can't find any cause. It doesn't seem impossible that some of the beach rocks may have iron in them -- would that cause it to react? Or am I just overlooking my real target?

Anyway, I'm going to go out this morning and try some more before I head back to London. I'll let you know how it goes. I think I may be the world's worst detectorist.


At least it's kind of fun. It gives me an excuse to walk the beach!

19 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

The "Corona Extra" bottle top is probably valuable as it was the favoured tipple of The Vikings on their voyages from Scandinavia. It is said that "Corona Extra" was largely responsible for the raping and pillaging that occurred.

Mary said...

Your blog title sounds like a good one for a book. Sorry the findings weren't too exciting, but at least you got out and dusted yourself off.

John Going Gently said...

No a place I ever want to revisit

Colette said...

It is going to be fun reading about this new hobby of yours and seeing all the "loot" you uncover.

Ms. Moon said...

Remember when detectorists came and searched my yard and found virtually nothing? They were so disappointed.
I was too!
But yes, it has to be a fun hobby. And you're outside and walking about and there's always the chance that you'll find a treasure.

Sharon said...

How fun! I hope you are enjoying your day at the beach!

ellen abbott said...

three bottle caps, three tent stakes, a rusty nail, and I don't know what that other thing is. about what you'd expect I guess. you need to go out to some farmer's field or a deserted homestead. do they have deserted homesteads there?

robin andrea said...

It looks like fun to be be a detectorist. There are riches hiding somewhere. You will find them!

Vivian Swift said...

I know a guy here on the north shore of Long Island who goes hunting with his metal detector, but he's also got a good eye and frequently finds non-matallic stuff like honest-to-god voodoo dolls. I didn't know we had Haitians in the area, but they do make voodoo dolls and tend to bury them (which is what you're supposed to do with a voodoo doll) in the one swamp that we have on this part of the isle. So you never know, you might become very eagle-eyed because of this hobby and find stuff just because you're doing a close reading of the ground.

Edna B said...

That's a very interesting little restaurant. As for the detector, I've always wondered how much fun one of those could be. I think after a little practice, your findings will be a little more exciting. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

Red said...

There's always the hope of finding the mother lode!

jenny_o said...

I admire your enthusiasm and persistence, and also your very amusing description of your quest! How deep is the detector supposed to be able to find metal? Maybe the sand shifts more in the winter due to heavier waves and covers all that money and jewellery with a greater depth of sand. The beach in front of our cottage changes significantly some years. When we used to spend every summer there, it was always exciting to see a lot of sand had come in. We were less enthused when it was carried away and the rocks just underneath were all we had for a beach.

Catalyst said...

I read recently about people finding ancient "things" using metal detectors along the banks of the Thames. Or was it the Seine.

Moving with Mitchell said...

It does look like fun. If you find a gold ring with the initials MSB and a 1/4k diamond at the top left of the letter M, it’s mine. I lost it on the beach in 1969. It would be a pinkie ring now. It was Rockaway Beach, but who knows we’re the tides took it. There’s a reward!

Karla said...

Have you watched "The Detectorists" on Netflix? It's HILARIOUS! I think it's just awesome that you took yourself and your detector to the beach! I love your wanderings and writings!

Penelope said...

I understand there is a learning curve with metal detectors. I am sure you would get better if you had more opportunities to try. And a lot of success depends on sheer luck. But good for you on taking a solo adventure. I hope you met some interesting people and had some tasty food.

David said...

Not only is it fun (correction, rather expensive fun) but it also provides a good story, both for the next dinner with guests, but also for the blog! Ah, what we do for a good story! The true artist.

Steve Reed said...

YP: Now see, I was more drawn to the "VK" bottle cap. Don't you think that clearly means "Viking"?!

Mary: I love that expression -- dusting myself off. It did feel like that!

John: Understandably. I do enjoy it there, though.

Colette: I don't think I'll be doing it a lot, just because getting myself to the beach is no easy feat, and I'm not likely to go through the trouble to secure permission to do it anywhere else!

Ms Moon: I think it's like golf. Being outside in pleasant surroundings is the main attraction -- the activity is secondary.

Sharon: It was fun! But I'm glad to be home now, with the metal detector back in the closet. :)

Ellen: Oh boy, do we ever. There are plenty of truly historic abandoned places, but none where I could "prospect" without going to great lengths to get permission. Metal detecting in England is so different from the states, where you're searching for essentially modern stuff. Here, you could find museum-quality Roman or Saxon hoards. Hence all the layers of bureaucracy.

Robin: It will probably be an intermittent hobby at best.

Vivian: Yeah, I could see how you'd find other things just by looking down all the time! (I'm pretty good at finding stuff anyway, as we all know.)

Edna: Maybe! And maybe I need a busier beach. I'd like to take the detector to Florida.

Red: LOL! We can dream.

Jenny-O: I don't know how deep it penetrates. The depth gauge on the detector goes to a maximum of 8 inches, I think, but it could read deeper, I suppose.

Catalyst: Yeah, with the proper licensing you can detect along the Thames and find truly remarkable stuff. But there's also a lot of junk in the Thames -- tons of rusty iron and aluminum cans, for example. Seems like you'd be getting so many readings it would be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff!

Mitchell: Ha! Those would be some serious tides! My stepbrother lost his class ring in the ocean in California. I'm sure someone later found it using a detector!

Karla: Thank you! YES, we watched "The Detectorists" and loved it. In fact, that was partly what inspired Dave to give me a detector. I kept watching the show and saying, "That looks like fun!"

Penelope: It was a fun little trip. It's always good to have a change of scenery.

David: Yeah, you really have to look at it like any other hobby -- something you spend money on, rather than something that will bring IN money. There are so many times when I do things and think, "Well, it will be good for the blog!" LOL

Beth Reed said...

This is such an interesting post. I wish you could have found lots of treasure. In fact the other day after my eye started healing, I clicked on a link from a news article that took me to a few rabbit holes but I finally settled on a story where a young girl (10 years old) spent lots of hours in the garden with her mother.
One day she and her mother were weeding and what not when she found a very odd looking piece of metal, a coin. Being a kid she put it in her room and left it there.
Tragically her mother passed away suddenly and that metal coin became to mean a lot to her. It reminded her of all the times she and her mother spent hot summer days in the garden.

Fast forward 10 or so years and she decided to get some information on the coin. She took it to a museum (Somewhere in England) and was advised to take it to a coroner because they are the ones in charge of old currency,
Instead she was satisfied with the little information she had gotten and took it back home and forgot about it until the Police showed up at her home and arrested her... Yep you read that right.

The museum called the coroner to see about the coin. The coroner said she had never came in so he called the police because of some kind of law that she had broken. I don't remember the names or the law and details like that but it was a huge deal and thankfully the prosecutor's and the judge decided to take into account that she was just a little girl when she found the coin and dropped the charges but she still has an arrest record so I totally understand your need for permissions.

The story goes on to tell the story of two men who were friends in Arizona I think and one had a metal detector and he went over to his friends property to work the mans land and struck it RICH.... $4 million dollars..
They split the loot fifty fifty and the money ruined their friendship. The guy that had the metal detector sued the man with the land because he wanted all of the money.
My phone froze up so it took forever to read the story because it was one of those click next page type things and Chrome always freezes up on me.
The man with the land gave permission to some kind of group to search the land and struck it RICH a second time. This time it was worth mega millions. The man split it right down the middle once more.

The story was neat. When we were in the recession and it was so bad the man wanted to do something special so some one else could strike it rich so he loaded up a back pack and bought a huge chest and took it up into the Rocky Mountains. He then filled the chest up with gold coins, jewels, and some other things.
He wrote a poem and posted it online and it holds the clues to where the treasure is. He receives emails from people begging him to tell them where he hid the treasure. But he lets the poem be clues enough.

I never could access the poem or the rest of the story but I thought it was so neat and then to read your post it is like WOW! So don't give it up or get discouraged because you just might find your treasure when you least expect it... Hugs!!!