Founded 1946, by Geoffrey Beard

Stourbridge Historical Society

16 February 2016

On Thursday 16th February President Chris Glaze-Millis welcomed 98 members and visitors to the society’s second largest meeting ever.  She explained that the speaker Jim Wall was to have given his talk ‘The Past Beneath Your Feet’ in January but had been ill.  She went on to say that Jim is secretary of  Bloxwich Research and Metal Detector Club and has been detecting for 40 years.

Jim explained that he and his colleagues are not looking for scrap metal but are seeking such items as Iron Age broaches, Roman coins, Saxon gold, lead tokens etc. He assured the meeting that his club always does things legally.  For example all land in this country has an owner.  The owner’s permission is required before detecting on it.  Also the owner will be entitled to a share of the value of any items found on that land.  Club meetings are carefully organised so that all members have an equal chance of a find.  Jim’s club carries out searches mainly in the Lichfield, Penkridge, Rugeley area of Staffordshire.

Jim talked about, and handed round, some examples of items that he and his colleagues had discovered.  The earliest was an Iron Age broach from 3rd century BC.  A wonderful discovery was a silver denarius coin of Scipio the Pompeian commander.  It had originated in North Africa in first century BC.  It had probably been carried to Staffordshire by mercenary soldiers one of whom had dropped it on his way through the area.  Land adjacent to the A5 trunk road, which was originally the Roman’s Watling Street, has been a good place to find items.  In 2009 the Staffordshire Hoard was found in this area by a fellow club member and friend of Jim’s, Terry Herbert.  In total more than 3500 items of 7th century Saxon gold and silver were discovered.

Many coins have been found.  Jim handed round examples including coins that had been chopped in half or into quarters. A 14th century bronze key, lead tokens from the 16th to 19th centuries and cannonballs from a local siege at Lapley were other finds. There was also a gold posy ring with the inscription ‘when this you see Remember mee’.  The twentieth century was represented by items of jewellery and a World War II wedding ring.  The most recent item was a Ted Baker watch.

After questions from the audience the President thanked Jim for a wide ranging talk.

Chris brought the evening to a close by announcing that the next meeting would be on 16th March when Andrew Lound will talk on ‘The Great War: the Odyssey of Tommy Atkins’.Type your paragraph here.