Heart of England weekender at Wootton Wawen

By Aaron Reynolds

I must admit, I was a latecomer to this weekender rally, arriving on Sunday morning for a day of detecting. It was great to see everyone recovering from the night before, huddled around the fire pit with cheeseburgers, sausage sandwiches and a tea or coffee prepared by Heart of England’s master chef, Mr Sid Perry. It was a gentle start to the day, sipping a coffee and watching everyone slowly leave their tents and camper vans.

Figure 1- warming up by the fire

Today, I planned to do something I had never done before; River detecting. After several years in the hobby, I have never had the opportunity to try detecting in flowing water. I’m all up for trying something new. Heart of England had a lovely cut of the river Alne, with permissions for both sides for quite a distance. A small group of us wanted to hit the river, so we all headed off together towards it after a brew and a chat to start the day.
Now, here for my big mistake. I had realised in the car while on the way to the rally that I had forgotten to bring my waveguide, which was essential for the machine I was using to work underwater. The waveguide is a passive antenna which clips to the wireless coils of the Deus, ORX and Deus II, and wraps up the stem (like a standard coil wire) to the remote control, where (in the case of the Deus II) it will fit onto two small notches on the control box to pass the signal from the coil to the Remote without losing the signal from the coil (the coils are fully waterproof, but are not able to pass the signal through more than about 2-3 inches of water). I’ll explain how I could still detect in the water a little later.

Getting to the water’s edge, one by one we set up our machines and took the first brave step into the stream. As always with cold water, after the initial shock, it soon warms up and becomes much more tolerable until you barely register the cold at all. We also benefited from a sunny day, with the light coming through the canopy and warming the water a little more. I managed to detect without the waveguide by combing over the more shallow areas at the banks and for the deeper areas by skimming only slightly under the surface of the water, not deep enough so the signal couldn’t get through but deep enough to reliably register signals. At the banks, the water level was only ankle deep, while at the centre, it was up to my knees. Even skimming the water with the coil, I could reliably locate targets in the deeper areas, but digging them out is the hard part.

Figure 2- Sid Perry recovering targets

Pinpointing isn’t easy in rivers, as I have learned firsthand. I have a new height of respect for those who primarily detect rivers or streams, as finding the target with your coil is the easy part. Actually, recovering the item is a different challenge altogether. There is also a lot of ferrous metal that builds up, sometimes masking targets or making pinpointing much harder, as pinpointers don’t discriminate. If it’s metal, it will be setting off your pinpointer, so you may be chasing the wrong item entirely that your main detector discriminated against. That’s not to mention if it’s buried in all the stones and silt at the bottom, which is very difficult digging. Let me tell you, field detecting is much easier than river/stream detecting.

Figure 3- Detecting in the shallows

Going along the banks, I had a few pieces of aluminium, a small, tapered piece of lead and the top of a glass bottle, unfortunately modern. Despite this, many of my fellow diggers were in luck, with an interesting large token found, a couple of modern coins and a plaque of some kind featuring the crystal palace found by Peter Pesti. This was an interesting plaque initially resigned as rubbish but turning it over brought the wonderful decoration to light. It was a bit damaged with a corner missing and some dents and the usual wear you would expect from sitting in a flowing river for however many years. Strangely enough, the corner piece of it was found a few hours later by Shaun Murton. I’m not sure about the identification yet, but an interesting find either way.
After a couple hours of wading around in the water, I decided it was time to have some food and dry off. I detected most of the way back to the car but didn’t pull anything worth noting up, unfortunately. After a drink and drying off, I intended to go out on the pasture again. Still, I got stuck in conversations with other diggers, sharing stories and having a laugh. The next time I checked my watch, it was already 4pm, and I had a long way back to travel home, so I packed up my equipment and got ready to go.
Heart of England are a great group to go detecting within the midlands, run by Phil and his trusted admin team. They are always very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help people out. Several times I have seen either Phil or Sid going through machines with people, whether they are newcomers to the hobby or seasoned veterans unfamiliar with a new machine. If you are looking for a friendly, bubbly and enthusiastic club to go digging with, I’d recommend them highly. They are passionate about recovering relics of the past and learning more about the history of the Heart of England.
Groats, half-crowns, Roman coins and many more awesome finds made their way to the surface and in lucky finders’ hands, so overall, it was a great dig. Sometimes it’s okay to go home with nothing special and still be happy that you had a great day out and saw some rarer finds. My highlight was trying river detecting for the first time, and now I have a newfound passion for wanting to try the more extreme side of river detecting; being submerged and scanning the riverbeds with both my coil and eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed my first time (even though I forgot some equipment which would make it easier) and will be aiming to search riverbeds again soon.

Figure 4- Sid Perry and I

Rodney Cook Memorial Metal Detecting Rally – May 2022

by Aaron Reynolds

Firstly, I’d like to thank all the staff and marshals at the Rodney Cook Memorial one day metal detecting rally. It was truly amazing to speak with you all and express our love of metal detecting, charity events, and the love of the hobby together. This doesn’t begin to mention the countless detectorists who attended, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you. I have not seen how much we have raised so far, but I imagine it will go a long way to help the RUH (Royal United Hospitals of Bath) Forever Friends appeal, which supports patients who require more care than the average patient. Raising over £100,000 so far, the RCM rally continues to support local charities. I couldn’t be more proud of the whole team for getting it so far along, raising an incredible sum that will make a big difference in many lives.

The briefing.

Arriving at the dig, we drove in to see lots of smiles and people setting up, and we quickly parked up and followed suit. After getting geared up, Seb and I had a chat with some detectorists and made our way over to the briefing area, ready to start. The briefing was to-the-point, clear and well communicated by Gary Cook himself, and then the hoards of detectorists were off.
As usual, I waited 15 minutes for everyone to disperse and had a chat in the meantime with some of the marshals, who were incredibly helpful and kind. Walking out into the first field I wanted to tackle, first hole and boom; A ship halfpenny, all the way from 1946, right in the entrance to the field. Considering my usual find rate, it was a good sign for me.

First hole!

Getting further into the field and a couple of buttons later, I had a fantastic signal ringing in my ears, and I plunged the spade in after pinpointing. Turning over the clod, I found the target straight away, staring me in the face; A broken crotal bell. There were small fragments around a considerable chunk, including the top loop, with the ‘ringer’ still nestled inside. The ringer was iron and had rusted over and loosely bonded to the shell of the bell, keeping it in place until I had it in my hand. It had decoration, and I believe (from the little knowledge I have on crotal bells) that it was an older variant, with a drilled casted loop at the top as opposed to the more common later method of adding a sprew after casting. Broken or not, it was my first crotal bell, and I was over the moon. I have been searching for one for a long time, and it finally came up for me.

Broken but glorious!

After an hour or so, following a quick stop at the food van for a snack, Seb and I decided to try the other fields. The second field we tried was the main field (the field we parked in for those who attended), and we slowly made our way up to the top field near the Saxon church. These fields were buzzing with detectorists (naturally, considering the location and what others had found there in the morning). I didn’t have much luck on these fields, but I did pick up a couple more buttons for good measure. Speaking to other detectorists, I found that there were quite a few with hammered coins, even some lucky souls with a few of them in their finds box. It was great to see them nonetheless, especially the Gold Louis (XVIII?) in the find’s cabinet for the event. Well done to that lucky finder.
I also had a great chat with Mike and Dennis, part of the RCM team. They were delightful to talk to, and I can’t wait to see them at the next RCM weekender. I hope they managed to get a bit of detecting. The marshals deserve it more than us for the fantastic job they do!

As I was sweeping with my XP DEUS II, I approached another detectorist’s hole and received a great tone. I’m used to checking holes and retrieving the trash from them that some detectorists leave behind, but it seemed this target was slightly off from the existing hole. Reopening the plug, I manually pinpointed the target and dug in my spade, pulling up a find many would consider trash, but I quite like – a lock, still clasped around a bracket. Long past its days of operation, I still class this as an intriguing find. There might not be hundreds of years of history behind it, it may not have seen the rise and fall of various empires and tyrants, but it has its own story that will likely never be known, same as every other artefact or relic. Before spending its life drowning in soil and worms, it probably once acted as an attempt to keep something or someone safe from others, and based on where I found it, still locked, it did its job until the end.
We have all had the padlocks on the Deus II remote at some point (diving mode, for those not in the know), but now I can say it literally!

Locked up!

We made our way back to the main area for the raffle, which was a great success. Lady luck wasn’t by my side, but many lucky detectorists got their hands on some detecting equipment, RCM merchandise or some other donated prizes and bottles of bubbly. I’m sure everyone left with a smile and was content with their finds and/or rewards. Most of all, we all got together as a community to raise some cash for a great charity. Of all the rallies we visit, the RCM is always guaranteed to be a great event to attend, and I will always recommend it as one of the friendliest and well-run rallies in the UK.
Lastly, I’d like to give a big shoutout and thank you to Gary Cook, whom I consider the leading architect of the RCM team. He ensures the events are as enjoyable as possible, makes sure everyone is safe and happy and sets a new bar when it comes to rallies. If you have attended an RCM rally, or are considering joining them for a weekend, be sure to give him a firm handshake and a thank you. This wouldn’t be happening without him. Thank you for having us, RCM. It was an absolute pleasure.

Gary Cook (right), Seb (behind) and I, Aaron (left).

Deus version 4.1

Dear XP Customers,

Please note that from last week we started to deliver the DEUS with version 4.1 installed and will continue after our Christmas holidays.

The Deus version 4.1 update will be available to download from XP website at the beginning of January only.

Don’t hesitate to contact Nigel or Marcus at Regton, Gary Blackwell or any of the XP authorised dealers if you need further technical explanation about the 4.1.

All at XP would like to wish you a happy and exciting 2018!



Adam Coil and Cnut penny

XP Deus Elliptical HF Coil

XP Deus Elliptical HF Coil

Adam Staples

I’ve been waiting 7 years for an elliptical coil for the Deus. Ever since I first tried the Deus on iron-infested ground, and realised its potential to open up these sites, I have longed for XP to take it one step further with a smaller coil. The small footprint of the new 9.5” x 5” coil combined with the higher frequency choice of 14/30/80khz meant I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one.

XP deus Elliptical coilAfter a few weeks of experimentation with the new coil, the combines finally started to roll and some of our favourite sites were becoming available. The elliptical had already proven itself useful, searching amongst the oilseed rape stubble and pulling out tiny finds that we had missed on previous searches, but now was the time to really put it to work on a contaminated site.

Our venue for the day was a large wheat field, the stubble had been harrowed down and conditions were near perfect. Last year we had discovered a small Roman site, field-walking had revealed an abundance of Roman pottery and an area of occupation approximately 100m x 100m. The soil was black here, littered with iron targets both large and small and the good finds were mainly small Roman coins, a perfect challenge for the new elliptical coil.

Adams XP Deus Elliptical findsI started detecting around the edge of the main area using my 2 tone HF program, 30khz and reactivity 2.5. I really like the new 2.5 setting of V4, it is fast enough to get amongst the iron but still gives good depth on targets. Detecting in a straight line, my first pass of the site produced a few small pieces of lead before I hit the first Roman coin, a small bronze of the Emperor Gratian (AD 367 – 383). The HF coils really boost the signal from small items and this sounded much larger than it actually was.  A few more bronze coins followed as I continued my line and then a much larger signal produced the first artefact of the day, a lovely 1st century Roman brooch from around 6” deep.

Adam Coil and Cnut pennyWhen searching a productive site I always detect up and down in parallel lines to ensure thorough coverage. Eventually my search pattern took me to the edge of the most iron-infested and mineralised area of the site and it was here that I switched programs. I chose a customised version of the HOT program, running at 75khz, that I have been using recently with great success. The HF coils do not have the ID NORM feature of the standard coils, which means that at higher frequencies the numerical ID of a target is greatly increased. For instance: a medieval cut quarter coin typically registers around 45 at 18khz, but at 75khz it is around 85. When using a full tones program such as HOT, this means that the tone from a low-conductive item is much higher and stands out much more clearly. Combining this with the new negative discrimination of -6.4 meant that I was able to hear the full range of large and small iron in the ground whilst easily recognising the small non-ferrous targets lying within. The GB was set to 75 in manual, quite a difficult setting for general detecting but the HF coils are more stable than the standard coils at low GB and using full tones helped here. In full tones the good targets are clearly distinguishable from any ground noise and the new X/Y screen profile is another useful aid to target identification.

Adam Cnut pennyI set to work on the busy area and many more Roman coins followed. The elliptical coil is so precise amongst the iron and, searching slowly, it was possible to pick out the high tones right on the edge of iron signals. One of these signals produced my best find of the day, an Anglo-Saxon penny of King Cnut (1016 – 1035), a real surprise as this was my first hammered silver from this site. A second hammered, a small silver Venetian Soldino turned up shortly afterwards.

Adam Medieval ringThe elliptical coil is really well suited to sites such as this and the higher frequencies enable the Deus to see through difficult ground, to find the tiny items and also larger targets that are being partially masked by iron or heavy mineralisation. The slim design makes it ideal for use when conditions are difficult either above or below the ground. Not only does this coil excel on contaminated soil, it’s also a very useful tool for searching amongst vegetation, stubble or on rough ploughed fields. This coil is only tiny but has had a big impact on my detecting, I finished the day with over 200 non-ferrous targets including 45 Roman bronze coins, two Roman brooches, a Medieval ring and two hammered silvers… my best day ever on this site.






Detectival UK Rally 2017

Detectival UK Rally 2017

On 1000 acres of NEW land at a brand new undetected site.

The site of the Detectival 2017 is located close to the Medieval Market towns of Burford & Charlbury on the Edge of the beautiful and historic Cotswolds.
The Metal Detecting days will be Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September 2017

We will be present at the Detectival with our Regton Stall.

Come and meet some well known personalities of the metal detecting world:

Beau Ouimette – Aquachigger – https://www.youtube.com/user/aquachigger/about

Alain Loubet from XP,

Henry Tellez from Garrett,

and many more.


For more information about the Detectival go to http://www.detectival.com/


We are looking forward to seeing you.






Metal detectorists unearthed Roman coin hoard in Cornwall

The pair had been detecting a ploughed field with metal detectors when they discovered the hoard of nearly 2000 roman coins mixed up with the remains of a pure tin container, with a handle and lead stopper, which it is believed had once contained the coins.

1,965 coins were found inside a stone-lined pit. They date from 253AD to 274AD.

The hoard was discovered by Kyle Neil, 18, from Scorrier, and Darren Troon, 45, from Redruth. They are members of the Kernow Search and Recovery metal detecting club.

The coins were taken away for inspection by Royal Cornwall Museum and the British Museum after their discovery. Details of the find were revealed at a Cornwall Coroner’s Court where coroner Emma Carlyon officially recorded that the hoard was classed as treasure.

The recovered coins are known as radiates. They are all made of bronze with one per cent silver. They were a common currency in the late Roman period. In about 260AD, Briton was part of a breakaway Gallic empire. The court heard from a report by an expert at the British Museum who was able to identify the following Roman emperors on the coins.

  • Valerian, AD 253-60, 3 coins
  • Salonina, 14 coins
  • Saloninus, 1 coin
  • Gallienus, AD 260-8, 130 coins
  • Claudius II, AD 268-70, 164 coins
  • Divus Claudius II, AD 270, 32 coins
  • Quintillus, AD 270, 8 coins
  • Aurelian, AD 270-5, 1 coin
  • Postumus, AD 260-8, 1 coin
  • Postumus (debased), AD 268-9, 6 coins
  • Marius, AD 269, 1 coin
  • Victorinus, AD 269-71, 188 coins
  • Divus Victorinus, 1 coin
  • Tetricus I, AD 271-4, 438 coins
  • Tetricus II, 200 coins.

Of the rest, 78 coins were of uncertain Gallic origin, there were 54 where the emperor could be seen but not identified and 645 coins which were too badly corroded to be made out.

Perhaps of most interest is the remains of the tin vessel, although little of it has survived. Anna Tyacke, the liaison officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Cornwall, said that it is a rare type of container for coin hoards, which are more often found in pottery.