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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Tale of Treasure Hunting and Rice Rewards

A couple of weeks ago I was in a local supermarket in the magazine aisle trying to find something interesting to browse through while my partner tried on some clothes. Usually I find a fishing one but there weren't any there but I noticed a 'Metal Detectorist' magazine. Now I have always been a fan of the TV programme 'Time Team' and many years ago I bought an old C-Scope metal detector at a boot sale for around a tenner if I remember correctly, with thoughts of finding some long buried treasure of unimaginable value and as I didn't seem to have any luck whatsoever with the lottery this seemed to be the answer!

I bought a few magazines on the subject and with new batteries I was ready to go. Through the summer I spend most of my days off on a beach somewhere and it seemed a great idea that after the crowds had gone home I would set up the detector and scour the beach for lost money, rings and all sorts of jewellery as I had seen a few other people with detectors do. A few days later we were on a beach on the North Coast, evening had come and the beach was almost empty. I switched on the detector, put on my headphones and with high hopes I started walking. Almost immediately it beeped, I dug a pit but nothing, took another step, beep, dug a pit and nothing.

Lesson number one, don't wear trainers with metal eyelets for the laces when metal detecting as every time you sweep the head past your foot it will beep! Lesson number two, if you wear a watch keep it away from the head if you are digging a hole and are sweeping the head over the hole for the same reason. That sorted I spent many hours on the beaches during summer evenings digging holes, some a couple feet deep and lost count of the nails, screws, bottle tops and other rusty objects I dug up but a few coins were found and sometimes enough to cover the car park or buy an ice cream but there was always the expectation of finding something valuable.

After a while and as with most new hobbies it was soon relegated to a cupboard at home and forgotten about for a few years until reading the magazine in the super market. A strange coincidence then happened when a couple days later a young couple came into Toyday asking if we sold metal detectors and I replied that unfortunately we didn't. They wanted to know where they could buy or hire one and not a children's one but a good one. I would of sent them to Plymouth but I was intrigued and they explained they were on holiday and staying at a local Forestry Commission Cabin just outside Looe with their parents. On the outside decking was a hot tub and a couple days earlier her mother had been in the tub and noticed her ring was missing and it had to of happened when she had been flicking some insects out of the water.

Panic set in and for 2 days they had searched the undergrowth between the cabin and a lake and even a couple of the maintenance men had helped but it couldn't be found with thoughts that it may of gone into the lake. I explained that I had a detector at home and if I could still get it to work I would call in to the cabins the next evening on the way home from work which I did. I didn't realise that the cabin was just feet away from the lake and the undergrowth had been trampled flat but after a coffee, we started searching. I found spoons, forks, and there were nails everywhere and it seemed hopeless but one beep was different and very faint and there under the trodden down nettles was the ring.

They were ecstatic and what had been a nightmare had become a celebration. The ring was bought forty years ago for an anniversary and as it was diamonds and emeralds the cost back then was over a thousand pounds. They explained that although insurance would of covered the monetary loss it was the sentimental loss which was the hardest to bear. I couldn't of been happier for them and refused any money but gratefully accepted a bottle of wine. The detector is now in the boot of the car ready for the next time we go to the beach!!

1 comment:

Adam McCollough said...

That's a great story with a very rewarding result. We lost Emily's wedding ring in the snow in Wales and thought it was lost forever until it appeared inside her glove!

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