Earlier Issue

2007 Issue

2008 Issue

2007 Issue

Internet Search


Volunteer Staff

fid online news top.jpg

detecting news & views

Online News For You!

Welcome to all our readers world wide.

From all at The Federation of Independent Detectorists and


The other evening I was sitting on the couch looking over my sons shoulder to see what he was doing on his computer. I was surprised to see a broadcast quality film of two blokes metal detecting, then one of the two jumped up and showed a lovely hammered silver coin to the camera (lucky blighter was my first thought). It was quite an eyeopener just how much was available to watch and read in what turned out to be a forum with a link from the FID site The trouble is you put these links up, then forget all about them. So I'm more than grateful to Mark for the reminder. This forum really is worth a look when you cant get out detecting. It's the quality of the videos and photos of finds that makes it so interesting. Well I hope like me you will find it useful and enjoyable. Dont forget if you come accross any interesting websites relating to the hobby let FID know. In the meantime, good hunting to all.


On the 28th February this year, I decided to go to Bridlington to do a bit of detecting on the beaches there. The beaches are split up into two areas, a north and south seperated by the harbour and town in the centre. As is usual practice, I was sweeping along the beach when a chap asked me if I had found anything yet, and the general conversation talked about detecting machines and places and finds I had found. The gentleman said he had done some detecting many years ago, and still had a detector in the loft which he had not used very much in th e past. I asked him where he came from, and to my surprise, he said Chesterfield, the same town I was from. I asked him his name and gavehim my address, and to both our surprises, he lived about 500 yards away from me. Following on from this meeting, Bill Tughill has now joined FID and is now out detecting with myself most weekends and Wednesdays with our other companion Cliff Berrisford. We have established a great freindship between us three and enjoy detecting togehter.. Long may it continue,.some farmers wife even called us the summer wine three. A true worthwhile meeting on the beach at Bridlington even if I did spend two days there and only finding a 20 pence piece and one 10 pence new coin. But still happy days. Chris Downes, Chesterfield.


By Cyril Clarke.

A long time ago I found a ring on the beach in Hastings, and last week when I was visiting friends in Chicago USA, I was able to meet the loser and restore it to her, making her a very happy USA lady.
I detail the saga of events:- On Sunday 5th July 1987 at 6.15 pm I found the ring on the Hastings beach, using my Fisher detector. I telephoned the Police giving a description, but nobody reported the loss, Now the ring appeared to me to be an American high school ring the name Oakridge High School was clear but the symbols I could not interpret. I would like to trace the loser who might have been a visitor to the town, so I wrote to the USA Embassy in London hoping they could give me a l;ist of Oakridge schools - they responded with just one address and said that there might be more but they had no knowledge. I wrote to the address they gave me; alas no response, The I cheekily wrote to the President of USA - George Bush - again no response. So, for 22 years that ring, in excellent condition, gold and only ever washed by me has lived with me, been on display sometimes at fetes, rallies etc,. Now I have friends in Chicago and after I had packed ready for departure I happened to see the ring in drawer, and put it in my pocket and intended to ask my firend with her knowledge of USA Education to help track the school down. By clever use of the computer we had a short list, and then just one possibility left. The re-union class of 1978 was found and the secretary was able from the description to confirm that we had the right school. A scratched initials inside the ring encbled the secretary to identify the loser. We were pleased, and then later in the day a phone call from the loser said that she would just happen to be in Chicago in two days time - could we meet etc. We agreed. Next my friend sent an email to the Chicago Tribune (letters to Editor sort of thing) as we thought the story was of interest. I was. Later that day I was interviewed with my friend by a staff reporter with camera, and lo and behold the next morning the Chicago Tribune carried a full story with photographs. Next in this story is that the Illinois ITV (similar to Britain) phoned, and said they wanted to be present when the American lady and we met, and handed over the ring, and so it came to pass that I was interviewed fairly and fully on the pavement by a bus stop opurside a restaurant (it was too noisy in the restaurant), so was my friend - she ws asked how we became friends but that David, although we told him is really part of a wider and marvellous story. The American lady was then interviewed, the ring was filmed before I handed it over and put it on the lady's finger - it still fitted nicely. Later that evening the whole story of me finding it and happening to be in Chicago was told, the interview was faily presented and barely edited. So, David I hope you like my true story - I feel like a celebrity now - and I could not have guesed how my visit would turn out - after all I only wanted to be with my friends and also to reach the top of the tallest sckyscraper (I have pictures to prove it) All good wishes to you and your family and FID.
happy memories Sincerely CYRIL

BUTTONS (Who doesn/t find them?)

Hi there, I run a pro bono website ( about buttons that Your membership may well find useful. In addition to a button bibliography and articles on manufacturers there is a list of button manufacturers from the Sheffield Directories at the site. I am willing to assist any metal detectorist to identify and date uniform buttons of all kinds - it must be said tho' that my success rate for identifying livery buttons is only about 40%. Thank you for your attention, please let me know if I may be of assistance. John Dunnigan.

I am in the process of publishing some of my research notes into a series of booklets some of which may also be of interest.

1. A Button Collectors Notes on: button bibliography & research resources. Created from articles, online bibliographies, lists & letters from collectors, books and rumours of books; with a price guide taking recent prices from a number of sources including: amazon; ebay; livre rare books etc. A substantial part of this booklet is available free of charge via bibliography

3. A Button Collectors Notes on: Sheffield button manufacturers. page booklet giving City Directory entries under Button Manufacturers, notes from the alphabetical series of the earlier directories & some archive references. Partly available on this site Sheffield

4. A Button Collectors Notes on: London button manufacturers&c.1763-1907,. These notes were created from nearly 5000 entries, (herein abridged), using photocopies of the: Button manufacturers; Button Trimming Sellers; Button Importers & Agents sections of the Trades Classifications of the London Directories 1 (with many gaps). My records go on from there to the 1970's, but due to the fact that I am unsure of the legality of publishing anything less than a hundred years old, I have only published to 1907 ( Kelly's are still with us and haven't answered my request for permission to print the more up to date entries). For the benefit of those purchasing the booklet I will be happy to answer queries about companies after 1907 but I will no longer be providing information from the directories before that date, ( except for those companies advertising in other sections3. I have been using these entries for many many years and found them useful for dating literally hundreds of buttons.

5. A Button Collectors Notes on: Birmingham button manufacturers. 1767-1907. Contents as for London above except: a) Button manufacturers entries only. b) Pearl button manufacturers, (hundreds of entries under a different heading), were only of passing interest to me when copying in Birmingham Library, the copier a long way away and money not endless. (See ***below). c) there are hundreds more entries in the Birmingham Directori than those of London.


The release of the 'Nighthawking' report has created a great debate in detecting and archaeological circles. To read the thoughts of the archaeological fraternity it is best to go to the following link CBA INFORMATION As those of you who read the FID Bulletin will have seen, Justin Deeks attended the reports launch on behalf of FID and put his thoughts in FID Bulletin.
Since the Bulletin came out the phones have been hot as members shared, thoughts, experiences and anger at the continued attacks on our legitimate hobby by archaeologists who try to glue the minority of irresponsible detectorists to the responsible majority.
Others have gone further and put their thoughts to paper for us to publish here. We have put up a couple of these and are sorry that space and time have restricted the numbers and will try put some of the other either here or in the next FID Bulletin.

Hi David
I telephoned yesterday to tell you why the report had been removed.
As I said, Robert was talked about in Government, below is what was said, It maybe of interest to you. Robert had soil samples taken that matched the soil on the 25 coins that the police took off him. The sample also matched the field he had permission on to detect. He was arrested over 6 miles from the SM in Wiltshire. To follow , copy of the BA magazine which he took libel action over, I will send soon. If you want the links to below, let me know.

Parliamentary questions in house of commons Richard Allan MP and the Solicitor General May / June 2004

26 May 2004 : Column 461WH
The National Council for Metal Detecting has a strong view on enforcement measures. It knows that there are criminal elements—the kind of criminals who will engage in any activity that is perceived to be easy. The criminal approach is, "If I can make a fast buck, I'll do it, providing the risks of being caught and prosecuted are very low." The NCMD is clear that there should be prosecutions from time to time, to send a message out to the metal-detecting community that nighthawking is an activity that should not be engaged in.
In that context, the Crown Prosecution Service recently decided to drop the prosecution of a Mr. Robert Duquemin who was alleged to have removed a hoard of coins from a scheduled ancient monument in Wiltshire. That has caused an enormous amount of dismay because it sends out the signal that such activities are low risk. It should be made clear that, from a legal point of view, such activities are high risk and that prosecutions will take place. I hope that the Minister will examine that case, and will use her offices to press the prosecuting and law enforcement agencies to enforce heritage legislation. It would be helpful if the Department for Culture, Media and Sport sent out the message that such prosecutions are important.
There is particular concern that the heritage value of the items stolen is not properly considered when decisions about prosecutions are taken. The cash value of a hoard of Roman coins could be modest—Ł20 to Ł50—and would fall outwith the normal Crown Prosecution Service guidelines for prosecution. However, the heritage value could be far more significant, particularly if one considers the damage that might have been done to the archaeological site to recover those items, even if their intrinsic cash value is low.


Archaeological Objects

Mr. Allan: To ask the Solicitor-General what action she intends to take following the decision not to proceed with the case against Mr. Robert Duqueria for the alleged removal of objects from the scheduled site of Cunetio in Wiltshire; and if she will issue new guidance on prosecutions for such removals to the Crown Prosecution Service. [172211]
14 Jun 2004 : Column 624W The Solicitor-General: I have already received and considered a detailed report from CPS Wiltshire concerning the case against Mr. Robert Duqueria who was charged with removing 25 Roman coins and three artefacts from a protected site following a police investigation including obtaining expert evidence. The CPS subsequently received a defence expert report which cast reasonable doubt on the evidence that the coins came from a protected site as opposed to a nearby site where permission may have been granted in any event.
Prosecutions of this nature are relatively rare and may well demand appropriate expert evidence depending on the facts of the individual case. In this case all possible avenues were pursued and the case was correctly reviewed in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. I am, therefore, satisfied that there is no need to take any further action in this case.
In addition, there is no basis for concluding that the outcome of this particular case would have been affected by the availability of further guidance for prosecutions for such removals. The issues were clear and the case was dealt with correctly. Nevertheless, in view of its importance, I have asked the CPS to consider developing guidance on the subject as part of its electronic Legal Guidance.

"Magazine apology"

Dear David
Once again your Bulletin has raised interesting questions. I attach a short piece about the Nighthawking report for your website. If you don’t want to use it, I will offer it to one of the other websites. Please let me know.
Best wishes,
Richard Thomas

The Nighthawk Report – another view.
When it comes to Public Relations, it seems that the metal detecting community really is its own worst enemy. Nighthawking destroys really important archaeological deposits. The illegal activity of Nighthawks continues to give responsible detectorists a bad name. And responsible detectorists are committed to fighting the Nighthawks just as hard as English Heritage. Yet when a report comes out that could help everyone, the only voices heard publicly are from ‘responsible detectorists’ who are opposed to it.
The full report is currently being revised. English Heritage couldn’t say why. Perhaps it really is responding to justifiable criticism. But at least the summary report is available. And at first glance it’s not difficult to see why it’s caused so much controversy. The picture used immediately above the report’s third recommendation to ‘Establish and promote a central database of Nighthawking’ shows a camera pointed at what looks like a well organized legal metal detecting rally. And where praise is given to the National Council for Metal Detecting in producing a code for responsible detecting, it is given almost with a sneer.
But, as my old granny used to say, it’s easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar. Instead of focusing on bad presentation, why not read what the report actually recommends? There are seven recommendations, and they all seem to be beneficial to any responsible detectorist.
1. Providing guidance for the Police and the CPS on how to combat and prosecute Nighthawking is good news. So why not include a request to provide guidance on how to recognize a responsible detectorist? Perhaps ask them to produce their Federation photo-identity card and current insurance? Responsible detectorists will all have one.
2. Provide information for landowners about Nighthawking and what to do about it. Excellent. So why not ask for information about the positive effects of responsible detecting to be included in that information. See recommendation 4.
3. A central database for Nighthawking. It can’t do much harm as long as it is open to correction through the normal data protection process. And it might even do some good.
4. Publicise the positive effects of responsible metal detecting and the negative effects of Nighthawking. Well, once again, I don’t see what’s wrong with that.
5. Ensure the PAS is fully funded so links between metal detectorists and archaeologists are further strengthened. Nothing wrong with that, either.
6. Integrate metal detecting into the archaeological process, including development control briefs. I’m surprised that detectorists across the nation aren’t all jumping with joy over that recommendation. First dibs at new sites? On the state?
7. A requirement to prove legal title to your sales, and a curb on irresponsible selling on Ebay (Editor’s summary). Again, nothing to fear and everything to gain.
It’s true that responsible detecting is under attack from some rather spurious and marginal groups. But you don’t win the public argument by fighting openly with the lunatic fringes. That only gives them power and draws attention to their cause. What you do is publicly celebrate the positive, counter the negative either by irrefutable facts or by putting your own house in order if it needs it, and fight the opposition quietly behind closed doors. Very few people actually read reports: what they do read is newspaper headlines, and if those headlines are all about detectorists up in arms against English Heritage over a report about Nighthawking, it’s little wonder that Nighthawks and responsible detectorists are all lumped in together in the public mind.
The English Heritage summary report on Nighthawking is mostly positive, and it remains to be seen whether the revised main report will deal with any flaws. A spokesperson for English Heritage made the point that they deliberately chose the word ‘Nighthawking’ rather than ‘Illegal Metal Detecting’ to make it clear that there was a very clear distinction between illegal and legal activity. So where’s the problem? Frankly, there doesn’t seem to be one. If detectorists are serious about being taken seriously, then they should be celebrating this report, lobbying for some of the points highlighted above, and working even more closely with their local archaeologists to implement its recommendations.
Richard Thomas is a freelance journalist and public relations consultant, editor of ‘’, has an abiding interest in archaeology, and has occasionally lifted a metal detector in the search for something interesting that someone might have dropped a few hundred years ago.


Letters, news items, criticism, articles, all are welcome and subject to available space will be included in 'Online News' as soon as possible. Just send them to 'Fid Online News' . And like everything in FID your contribution will receive immediate attention! Is very proud to feature such outstanding contributions.

Any concerns or interest in membership of FID may be directed to Hon Secretary FID

The Federation of Independent Detectorists

Detectorists Net