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).

XP European Summer Gold Metal Detecting Rally 2016

17 – 18 September 2016 near Burford, Oxfordshire – XP European Summer Gold Metal Detecting Rally 2016. Have you purchased your tickets yet? For more details go to http://www.xp-adventures.co.uk/


Over 150 XP prizes including 10 XP Deus metal detectors and 20 NEW XP pin pointers.

  • 2 metal detecting days
  • XP tutorials of new products
  • Trade stands
  • Charity raffle
  • Evening entertainment
  • Day entertinment for the whole family
  • FLOs to attend
  • Catering on site
  • sponsored by XP Metal Detectors.


silver hammered medieval coin rally1

KMMDC Rally near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire

KMMDC had a successful rally on the 18th of October near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. It was a very good and enjoyable day, in fact so good we’ve decided to search the remaining fields (about 20 acres) on this Farm on Sunday the 9th of November 2014.

The following items were found by our members:

1. Louis XIII Quarter Ecu silver coin dated 1642 *

2. Shoe buckle (possibly 17 – 18 century), Denstone College Cap badge and decorated lead object (possibly Roman)

3. Child’s lead alphabet tablet possible date range 1500 – 1700 *, possible very worn Roman coin, various George I – III and Victorian coins (very worn, so dates can’t be read)

4. 1792 token, with a horse one side and a shield on the other and possible spindle whorl, Victorian Penny and halfpenny

5. Elizabeth 1 hammered groat, date is either 1560 or 1569 *, military button (maybe George V) and decorated button (with possible dragon figure)

6. Possible very worn Roman coin (photo not included)

* – to be reported to the Finds Liaison Officer, Birmingham Museum

As well as these specific finds we found about a dozen musket/pistol balls (possibly civil war era), and about a dozen very worn Georgian and Victorian Pennies and halfpennies

silver hammered medieval coin rally silver hammered medieval coin rally1

button metal detected rally silver hammered medieval coin rally3 silver hammered medieval coin rally4metal detecting finds rallyrally finds metal detecting rally metal detecting finds

Elizabeth 1st silver shilling

KMMDC Rally North East Staffordshire

The next KMMDC rally is on Saturday, the 18th of October, in North East Staffordshire

There are 20 places in total for members of the KMMDC and their guests only. Please contact Chris Cooper the KMMDC Secretary for details.

Please visit our free forum at: http://kingdomofmerciamdc.freeforums.net/ (there’s lots of interesting research and links to see).

We also have a Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/KingdomofMerciaMDC

and a Google Plus page at:  KMMDC Page Google Plus.

The KMMDC had  two good rallies in September, with 2 hammered silver coins from the reign of Elizabeth the 1st being found on the second one.  Plus other good finds – see attached photos and list below.

Finds from the KMMDC 2nd Rally:

  1. Elizabeth 1st silver shilling 1580 hammered coin, Snake buckle 40mm x 20 copper alloy date unknown, 8 copper coins George III , Charles II , some with no detail.
  2. Lead Token with a simple design of a cross and four pellets, because of the simple design we would put it in the 1200’s, These tokens was give by the land owner to the workers as a payment and they would spend it on the land owner’s land for food so keeping his wealth.  Lead Bale Seal  – this was to seal flax or wool ,or cloth in bales, so when the pack horses got to the end of their journey the bales where checked to see if they have been tampered with.
  3. Tudor hook /clothes fastener 16th/17th century, Elizabeth I Sixpence 1578, finder has no idea what the tiny copper /bronze coin is ,maybe Roman ? , and what looks like a cut half of a Scottish King Alexander III  1250 -1280.
  4. Bronze Animal possibly Roman, we do not know what animal it was, and Cauldron foot (date unknown).


Lead Token bale seal bale seal side 16th century Tudor hook 1.	Elizabeth 1st silver shilling 1580 hammered coin rally finds belt fastener rally find Elizabeth 1st silver shilling metal detecting finds caldron foot Roman Bronze Animal

Weekend Wanderers Rally 2013

Well we’re now all back safe & sound from the Weekend Wanderers Rally held over the weekend. Regton had six members in attendance with a further one from Teknetics and seven from XP all on hand to help, advise & demonstrate. We were largely blessed with decent weather despite a few small showers but only had us dashing for cover a few times over the weekend. The rally itself was based on fields that had been previously rallied in 2006 & 2008 but still yielded many interesting finds and anyone who collects .303 bullets were extremely happy, oh well that’s rallies for you.

Mike Scott from Teknetics was on hand to demonstrate units & did a great job promoting the new Eurotek metal detectors to all & sundry, the XP guys had a rather risky & novel approach to the rally with a large banner inviting anyone with anything to Challenge the Deus Metal Detector (brave or risky, you decide), four tests were offered & many tried but all failed, very interesting to watch.

see the photo album



DUTP metal detecting weekend event 26 and 27 October

26 and 27 October
DUTP have organised a metal detecting weekend event.
We have 700 acres of land in various stages available to detect on 26 and 27 October 2013 in Bedfordshire.
Camping will be available.
For ticket purchases please use link:  http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=10761
or you can contact the club directly by emailing diggingupthepast@talktalk.net
metal detecting event
PDF file:

DUTP CHARITY RALLY 28 and 29 September

28 and 29 September
DUTP have organised a fundraising event in the aid of raising worthwhile money for a church roof.    We have over 400 acres of land in various stages available to detect on 28 and 29 September 2013 in Bedfordshire.
Camping will be available.
For ticket purchases please use link:
or you can contact the club directly by emailing  diggingupthepast@talktalk.net
DUTP charity rally
PDF file:

Weekend Wanderers Rally 2013 in Oxfordshire

Weekend Wanderers Rally 2013 in Oxfordshire

September 6th/7th/8th  2013


The Regton road show will be on site for all three days, this year we will have in attendance staff from both XP in France and also Teknetics from USA, all on hand to help you with anything you may want to discuss or have demonstrated.

We carry most detectors & accessories at the rally however if there is something specific that you need please e-mail us sales@regton.com with your requirements and we will endeavour to have that item waiting for you

For anyone who has not attended a Weekend Wanderers rally, the statistics say it all, three years ago approx. 1500 attended, last year approx. 1800 detectorists attended, even if you don’t detect this represents a fantastic opportunity to meet other like-minded people and maybe get an insight into your next detector or answer some questions that websites simply can’t help with.

Regton look forward to seeing you in the field.

weekend wanderers rally
weekend wanderers rally 2013 regton at rally

Weekend Wanderers Rally