Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Se-----ford Staffordshire Hoard

The Se-----ford Staffordshire Hoard 


Most everyone in the world must have heard about the Staffordshire hoard, all that buried gold found in a ploughed field a few years ago not that many miles from me.

Well this is my contribution to finding treasure on the farm, and its took me fifty five years to find this.

1772 Silver George 3rd half penny piece


Its not every day that you have a "find" even though it be modest, a friend of mine was walking the footpaths along our fields a few days ago, and came across a rabbit hole with fresh soil dug out of it. On top of this soil was a coin, he picked it up, took it home and cleaned it, and found the date on it to be 1772.
He told me about it and gave it to me to investigate its value and coinage, It turns out that it is a Silver half Penny George 3rd.





You can only imagine back years ago, a farm worker layering the wood side hedge, with his jacket slung over the completed hedge, dropping a coin out of the pocket, a coin that would be the biggest part of his week’s wage.
How the coin lay in that hedge bottom for over two hundred years, leaves rotted covering it, soil brought up by earth worms allowed it to gradually sink beneath the ground, eventually being dug out by a rabbit only an hour or so before being spotted again by human eye after all those years.

It’s often said that stiles, foot paths and gateways are the place to use the metal detectors, also old cottage gardens and cottages pulled down years ago. I think we have almost come to an end of finding old work horse shoes, they often end up round the point of the plough sooner or later.
 
We did find a billhook, that’s a chopper used when chopping sticks or even laying a hedge, the wooden handle had long since rotted away leaving a six inch long spike which ran through the handle, and by some misfortune the tractor front tyre found it.
Without me knowing it was gripped in the tread of the tyre and came up under the plastic/rubber mud guard/fender blade first and sliced two inches off the mudguard all round, it was the bit that folds over the edge that helps to give it strength.

The tractor at the time, that day was a new demonstrator tractor from the local dealer, a Deutz four wheel drive 100 plus horse power. It was trimmed off so neatly that the dealer never noticed it and it eventually sold on to a farmer, who again did not twig what had happened.
The tyre went down rapidly and a repair man came and patched the tyre and blew it up, there again you could not see where it had been spiked, I have no doubt that eventually the cords around that area spiked would give way after a few years of hard work, and a new tyre would have to be fitted.
The billhook was duly dispatched to the scrap ruck and safely stored until it was weighed in to a scrap yard.    


Time is the coin of life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.Carl Sandburg  (1878 - 1967)

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