My local fields are open again and so I have put in a few hours at Polly's Parlour. Three excursions on consecutive days, the first two with the XP ADX 150 and yesterday afternoon with the Laser B1. All were three hours in duration.
Of course, there were plenty of targets and last year's hard work seems to have not depleted the supply in any way. On each of the first two sessions, I dug about 80 targets in total and was pleased with that because it was established last year that the recovery rate would be around the 30 finds per hour mark.
Also, I was best pleased with locating both toys and shirt buttons, which are the most interesting items from this site in terms of their quantity and frequency. I have to say that both are more or less predictable finds on every occasion.
|After the three sessions, the total thus far is 22 examples. Almost 30% of this tray and 55 to go...|
The first session threw up a jaw harp (or jew's harp) which was once a popular boy's toy. This object was gripped in the jaw and a strip of steel (long gone) twanged with the index finger. When the brass frame was clamped or relaxed between the teeth the pitch would change. I also found two branded shirt buttons and an enamel button of the Coventry Cycling Clubs Association. Unfortunately, As with most enamelled objects, it is in dreadful condition because enamel seems to have been usually applied to pure copper, not a more durable alloy of it.
The second session gave up another pair of shirt buttons, a gilt watch winder and two fragmentary hollow-cast toys. The best of these is (was!) a horse and rider and is marked on the belly of the horse with, ' COPYRIGHT -Wm BRITAIN Jr - ?? . 11 . 1902. It's such a shame that it is so damaged because this would have been quite an impressive object at manufacture and it was made by the most famous toymaker of all, William Britain Junior. Perhaps there is the slight chance that one day I may find more pieces of it? You never know!
The watch winder is of local interest because it's inscribed with the following — F. HOUGH -21 - BURGES - COVENTRY and on the reverse with WATCHMAKER AND JEWELLER. Coventry was once renowned for its watchmaking until foreign competition drove the industry under. I think this object will require a trip to the Coventry Watch Museum when it reopens its door to the public...
|All of the very smallest items located by the XP 150 in six hours. Nothing here is especially small in my terms.|
The third session would turn out to be something of an eye-opener. I decided to run the B1 through my own footsteps from the previous sessions and of course, I expected to have a tough time locating enough targets to keep me going. I needn't have worried. From the outset, I was kept very busy indeed! There were targets everywhere, and a few were located actually in a footstep in the soil!
|These are all of the very smallest items located by the Laser B1 in just three hours. Some of the fragments are truly minuscule and yet the machine gave clear signals for almost every single one|
This was remarkable to me. What I was finding were the tiny items that the XP had rejected. I have always known that the B1 is a most capable machine but this was unexpected evidence of its great strength. What I believe had happened was this. The XP seeks deep, and on clean ground runs far deeper than the B1 is capable of. However, when fighting contaminated ground with lots of iron debris within it, it seems to switch into 'big' mode and runs shallow. So I had cleared many of the obvious targets with the XP and was now locating everything else that was not so obvious with the B1 which positively excels under such conditions.
Not a problem! Two machines that work complementary to each other!
If however, I had just the XP as my sole machine, I would have never have found these small items.
When the three hours were up I had located just over a hundred targets and had pocketed three branded shirt buttons (the best ever for the XP is two in the one session while the B1 always locates at least this) and yet another toy. This was a soldier and the first from the site. Unfortunately, he is both headless and legless.
Nevermind. These unexpected and delightful collections of mine ever grow!