Hertfordshire - 10th October 2010

posted Oct 11, 2010, 12:57 PM by Tony Smithurst
The Golden Helmet Rally
Well, what a difference a week makes, certainly with regard to the weather.  Last week, Sawbridgeworth ended wet and a bit chilly.  This week after a misty start we ended with clear blue skies.  Another 7am start for MH, TS and PH and only a slight delay at South Mimms where MH was extricated from the Waitrose shop trying to locate the bag of Sherbet Fruits with the most red ones in (that's ny girl...).

We had been allocated the field on the opposite side of the road to last week.  It was recently ploughed with no stubble and whilst still a bit damp, considerably drier and less adhesive than last week.  The ground improved throughout the day, dried out by the sun, as we were to discover.

On the finds front, the day, it has to be said, belongs to TS, the undisputed Deus Master (well at NARC anyway, perhaps because his is the only one).  Finds were a tad sparse in the morning for seemingly everyone else (as evidenced by one detectorist overheard mentioning that he might as well get his scanner out and listen to the 'planes coming in to Stanstead as there was b*gger all else happening).  TS achieved not only the Holy Trinity of Bronze (George VI half penny), Silver (a cut quarter - four pellets in quadrant, so Henry IIIish), and Gold (jockey's helmet brooch/pin) but the latter, rather than putting icing on the cake had a diamond on the top!  Extraordinary and well done!  As a relative novice to the hobby I am still impressed with finds others would I am sure discard as rubbish, but it was clear to me that the gold find was something rather special from the number of requests to 'show us yer helmet'  (pause, shudder and rapidly discard the various images that suddenly manifest themselves).  We managed to fight our way back to the car through the throng of clamouring admirers for a spot of lunch.  I think TS was finding it hard to drink coffee and grin both at the same time.....

In the afternoon the sky was cloudless and hot enough for t-shirts.  Signals were more prevalent compared to the morning although prone to converting to iron when dug.  Very odd.  However, TS found a couple of 5ps so kept his finds record in the positive for both halves of the day.  My only consolation prizes were a button and a lead seal; clearly not in the same league.  Had I known we were in the presence of greatness I'd have limo'd TS in the Jag rather than the old Volvo.

The informal debrief afterwards brought some more finds to light: two potin halves (though non-matching), a silver-washed antoninianus, a couple of fibulae, a George V shilling, pennies dated 1874 and 1747 and a half penny dated 1860.

On the way back, the SatNav decided to take us through the wilds of Hertfordshire rather than the motorway.  It made only 10/15 minutes difference overall fortunately but it did provide some amusement leading to despair and then thoughts of how far one could shot-putt a SatNav.

A fine day - and you only get sunshine like this in England....
Submitted by Peter H - 11/10/2010