Trowbridge and District Metal Detecting Club to the Rescue
This is just my second week as Chairman of the club and on Thursday 12th April 2012 I received an email from a lady named Toni, who lives in the Pewsey area of Wiltshire. The contents in her short explanation really touched my feelings as she explained she needed help to find her lost wedding ring.
I telephoned her and to make matters worse it became clear during that conversation that the wedding ring had been wearing for over 45 years had been lost somewhere in her garden within the past two weeks. The ring was of great sentimental value to her; I agreed to carry out a search for her on the weekend if the weather wasn’t too inclement.[split]
I arranged to visit on Saturday 14th April at about 9:15 a.m. and then telephoned a few club members who lived nearby to help with the search. These were Nigel Wright with his Deus, Ian Carter with his Minelab, and Nick Barrett with his Garrett. My machine of choice is a Minelab E-TRAC.
Nigel arrived just before I did and was being greeted by Toni and her husband Alan; it was also starting to rain quite heavy. The garden was quite a large area, with raised beds: lawns: and a number of small sheds, but Toni was quite convinced that she first noticed her ring missing whilst she was moving a roll of wire from behind one of the garden sheds.
Nigel and I started our search in that area, but we quickly found it to be extremely difficult going. This was due to the large amount of signals caused by fragments of broken wire and metal scrap in the ground. Therefore in these areas we were restricted to using just our probes.
Nick arrived and then set off into another area of the garden with Toni had mentioned to me she had also gone to on the day she lost the ring. It was raining heavier as Ian arrived; thank goodness for mobile telephones because Alan was able to give him directions to the house.
An hour passed quickly and Toni mentioned to me that she was resigned to the possibility of her ring never to be found. Nigel came by at that time and told her that we hadn’t given up yet. She was so surprised at how hard everyone there was working in the rain to try to help her.
I left the others in the garden and decided to search the shingle driveway from the front door of the house to their garages; lots of signals but no ring. As I worked my way back to the garden Toni approached me and told me that is was probably best to call it a day.
I went back over with her the events of the day she lost her wedding ring and during the conversation I was became aware that they owned another smaller patch of land to the rear of their house. I suggested that the two of us have a look in that area.
Toni led me through a wooden gate and into what appeared to be a triangle piece of land that had a burnt out bonfire in the middle of it. As she walked over towards the fire she explained that she didn’t remember coming into this area on the day she lost her ring.
Using my own wedding ring I set the E-TRAC to discriminate almost everything except that ring based on the Minelab heavily contaminated mode. Then I started to search the area near to the fire.
The second signal hit the number range I was looking for and the sound was so good I instinctively knew I had hit gold; it almost shouted out to me. I eased the grass apart and there was the glint of ‘gold’ unmistakeably, and I called to Toni and she came over to me as I recovered a wide gold wedding ring from the ground.
She screamed out loudly in joy, and gave me a huge hug. Ian, Nigel, Nick and Alan (her husband) came over to us all grinning happily as they realised the ring had been found. Toni placed it back onto her finger and was just staring happily at it. The picture shows Alan pointing to the find spot with Toni and Ian watching.
It was Nigel that proposed me to be the new chairman of our club at the AGM and I remember him saying to me as he walked up, “You have passed the first test today as the new chairman, well done!” Toni was obviously very emotional, because she told us all she believed after the search we had made that her ring was lost forever.
We were offered a lovely welcoming hot cup of coffee and biscuits, and sat round the table inside the house whilst we dried out and warmed up talking about metal detecting and just what it means to each of us.
A group shot is showing from left to right Ian Carter, Alan and Toni, Nick Bartlett and Nigel Wright; the by now very wet team. I managed to escape the shot by taking the pictures which in view of my wet state was just as well.
To find something so important to a person gives you a tremendous feeling of wellbeing, and I am really glad that the hobby I so enjoy can also prove a useful aid to my fellow human beings.