Posts Tagged ‘metal detecting’

Lead shot

August 6, 2016

 

One metal detectorist! One field! One day! What a lot of shot!

Lead shot found on one field on The Sands, Market Lavington

Lead shot found on one field on The Sands, Market Lavington

This lot was all found on one large field in the Sands area. There seems to have been a lot of shooting going on in the past.

We expect somebody out there will be able to tell us what the likely intended targets were and maybe suggest a rough date for these lumps of lead.

A Political Badge from the Old Rec

November 2, 2015

We have seen a Primrose League badge on this blog and that, like the badge below, was a symbol for a political group. This one is for the Junior Imperial & Constitutional League. It was found by metal detectorist Norman.

Almost inevitably, wearers of this badge were known as Junior Imps!

Almost inevitably, wearers of this badge were known as Junior Imps!

Most of the enamel infill has been lost in its passage of time in the ground of the old recreation ground which is behind Shires Close. But we can recognise a cross of St George and a union flag as well as the lion and the words.

The organisation was founded in 1906. In 1945 it became the Young Conservatives. This badge is clearly from the first half of the 20th century.

We do know that political rallies were held on the old rec. Maybe this was lost at one of them.

The key to the casket

September 3, 2015

Good old Norman! With over 1000 metal detector finds from the old recreation ground he could keep me in blog ideas for three years. Don’t worry. That isn’t going to happen.

If you want to see more of the finds, heaps of them, then come along to the Museum Miscellany on 3rd October at 7.30 in Market Lavington Community Hall. One section will be about the finds Norman has made on the field.

But here is one of them and as the title of this post tells you it is the key to a casket.

The key to the casket

The key to the casket

This is an object which Norman wasn’t sure about so he took it to the finds officer at the museum in Devizes who gave him the following information.

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So we have the idea of a casket key from this and also know this is medieval. This is actually a very broad time period from about 500AD to about 1500AD. That’s 1000 years so not hugely meaningful. It covers a period from not long after the Romans left our shores, through those dark ages of Vikings Saxons and the country divided into different kingdoms, through the Norman Conquest and right up to the Tudor period.

But even with a broad date it is still a nice little item and we can picture the irritation of a person who lost it and was left with no option but to break into the casket to gain access to the contents.

And now it has a home at Market Lavington Museum as an interesting and older curio found on our former recreation ground.

A Whistle

August 28, 2015

Once again we return to one of metal detectorist Norman’s finds on the old recreation ground. This time it is a whistle.

Whistle found on the old recreation field in Market Lavington

Whistle found on the old recreation field in Market Lavington

Sadly, this is not in working order any more. Although it looks reasonably fresh.

Could this have been a football referee’s whistle. An old and very battered postcard shows football (perhaps training) in progress.

Football on the old rec - an Edwardian postcard

Football on the old rec – an Edwardian postcard

Any other ideas about that whistle would be greatly appreciated.

Stop press – thanks to Len McDowell at http://thewhistlegallery.com/

This whistle was made by Smith and wright from the UK. They made several models all similar with decorative tops around the turn of the 20th century ( 1900 ) They were an inexpensive lower quality whistle.

Three Farthings

August 22, 2015

Amongst the items which metal detectorist Norman found on the old Recreation Field there are hundreds of coins. Most are 19th or 20th century and would like familiar to those who remember our pre decimal coinage. You have to be a bit older to remember farthings for they ceased to be legal tender back in 1960. For those not familiar with the old money if you had 960 farthings, which in size and colour looked much like a present day 1p coin then you’d have had one pound. So roughly speaking an old farthing was worth a tenth of a present day penny. Norman found quite a few farthings but three of them do date from a much older era and it is these we look at today.

Rose farthings found on 'the rec' in Market Lavington

Rose farthings found on ‘the rec’ in Market Lavington

These little coins are smaller than present day pennies. They date, we think, from the reign of Charles II which was between 1660 and 1685. These farthings are actually diminutive pieces of metal and are often called rose farthings because of the rose pattern in the centre.

They are not in particularly good condition but they do indicate human activity on that field 300 years, or more, ago.

 

An ATC button

August 14, 2015

Here we have another find from the old recreation ground. This is a uniform button which is clearly marked A T C which stands for Air Training Corps.

An Air Training Corps button found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

An Air Training Corps button found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

This organisation adopted that name in 1941 so the button dates from some time after that. Its purpose was to be a kind of youth wing of the Royal Air Force. It gave youngsters some basic training which might have helped if they went on to join the RAF.

This badge has an added poignancy for the old recreation ground was a possible site for a First World War air strip – a thing we know about from Jack Welch’s letters home. Jack was a serving soldier in World War One. In his letter home on May 20th 1918 he wrote:

‘An aerodrome out in the Recreation Ground is getting a bit too close isn’t it? Lavington must be very much altered especially with the felling of so much timber.’

So it certainly sounds as though a story about this reached Jack. And as home was either Meadow Cottage or adjacent Spring Villa then yes, it would have been very close to home.

So, although more recent, this button points out what might have been nearly 100 years ago.

 

A half sovereign

August 7, 2015

Sovereigns and half sovereigns sound like treasure from a past age, probably made of gold and probably worth a small fortune these days. That certainly isn’t the case with a half sovereign at Market Lavington Museum. This is another item found by metal detectorist, Norman, on the old recreation ground. It certainly isn’t gold and it isn’t particularly old. But it is surprising.

Let’s not leap ahead, though. First of all, what is a sovereign in money terms? It is, simply, another word for a pound and such coins were in normal circulation (for the rich) until 1932 and they were made of gold.

But what we have is a very cheap metal half sovereign – a Co-op token one.

Warminster Coop half sovereign token - probably a dividend check token

Warminster Coop half sovereign token – probably a dividend check token

As we see, it is battered and damaged but was issued by the Warminster Co-op

We think this was a dividend check. Such tokens were given to Co-op members to match the cost of their purchases. When it was time to collect the cash dividend, the member could take all their checks to a Co-op and the dividend due to them could be calculated based on the value of purchases. This means such a token wasn’t worth half a sovereign. If a dividend of 5% was declared it was used to exchange for 5% of half a sovereign which we’d call 2½p in present money.

You can read more about Co-op tokens at http://www.tokensociety.org.uk/topics/co-op.shtml .

Most Cooperative Societies abandoned metal dividend checks by the 1920s but in some areas they stayed in use until the 1960s. We don’t know when the Warminster society went over to paper records but it seems a fair bet that this item is close to 100 years old.

Opening a clothes store

August 2, 2015

This metal detector find seems an unlikely one for the good old recreation ground in Market Lavington. It’s a medallion commemorating the opening of a clothing emporium in the City of London.

It is remarkably well preserved.

Medallion struck by E Moses and Son, clothiers of London in 1846

Medallion struck by E Moses and Son, clothiers of London in 1846

“In commemoration of opening the cheapest and most spacious fashionable tailoring, ready-made clothing, hosiery, hatter & outfitters establishment in the world.

E Moses and Son 154-155 Minories and 33, 34, 35, 36 Aldgate, London”

Sadly, there is no date but maybe the other side can help.

A calendar of 1846 Sundays is on the reverse of the medallion

A calendar of 1846 Sundays is on the reverse of the medallion

Well, it is a calendar showing the dates of all the Sundays in the year 1846. So we’ll assume the medallion dates from that year – 1846 and E Moses and Son were, perhaps, reminding people that they kept the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) and may, thus, have been open on Sunday.

What a fascinating item. And we do suggest you look at http://tonyseymour.com/people/elias-moses to discover more about E Moses and the shop.

Another Diamond Jubilee Medallion

July 28, 2015

It must have seemed amazing that Queen Victoria celebrated 60 years as the monarch of the United Kingdom and the Empire. Well, it is amazing that anyone should be head of state for 60 or more years. Our present Queen, Elizabeth II is only the second English/British monarch to serve for more than 60 years.

So no wonder, when Victoria reached her Diamond Jubilee, it was celebrated and memorabilia manufacturers had a field day. We have already seen two Diamond Jubilee medallions or brooches on this blog and here is a third, found by metal detectorist Norman on the old recreation ground.

Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medallion found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Medallion found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

The front tells us, or would without the damage, that Victoria the Good had reigned from 1837 to 97.

The reverse has a little more information.

The reverse side of the medallion

The reverse side of the brooch

To commemorate the 60th year of the reign of H. M. Queen Victoria.

It is not clear how this medallion was fixed to a garment. Not all that well, presumably, as it got lost.

But it has been found and is now safely at Market Lavington Museum.

The Teddy Tail League

July 23, 2015

Teddy Tail was a cartoon mouse featured in the Daily Mail newspaper from 1915. It was discontinued in 1926 but then revived in 1933 when the club for youngsters, the Teddy Tail League was founded. To join the league and get an enamel badge, and learn Teddy Tail’s secret sign six ‘seals’ from the Daily Mail had to be collected. The league soon had about 750000 members.

And we’ll assume one of them, at least, came from Market Lavington for our metal detectorist friend, Norman,  found a Teddy Tail League badge on the former recreation ground.

Teddy Tail League badge found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

Teddy Tail League badge found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

Much of the enamelling is missing but the legend ‘Teddy Tail League’ and ‘Daily Mail’ can be seen clearly as can the outline of the mouse himself.

Teddy Tail lingered on into the 1960s but we suspect the badge dates from the 1930s

Lost and found is very much a theme for 2015 but the display at the museum does not yet have any of the most recent acquisitions in it. So that’s something for the future.