At the age of 13, while playing hide and seek on a building site, I dug my toe into the dirt and saw a coin appear. I pulled the coin from the mud, wiped it clean and looked that coin with absolute glee, wondering what it was, why it had been dropped, and who had dropped it. I rushed excitedly to the local library to try and find a coin book to identify it, and found it was a George 3rd spade guinea. I kept that coin for many years, and my interest in history, buildings and anything else historical became an avid interest from then on.
Fast forward to 8 years ago, I saw a metal detector for sale in Maplins, £50 it looked like it would be good, I bought it. Excitedly, I headed off for Blackpool beach, dreams of gold rings and old Victorian coins in my head. I switched on my new metal detector excited to do the same, but it just beeped constantly, I was conscious of the noise I was making, I was unable to find anything no matter how hard I tried. I felt foolish, and after a short while, I gave up and rushed back to the car, highly disappointed, feeling that the hobby must need a lot of technical understanding. I put the detector away in the shed, and there it remained for the next 5 years.
One day early in 2015, I watched a TV program ‘American Diggers’ on National Geographic channel. The guys in it, were highly excited by the history they found, and after watching I felt motivated to give metal detecting another go.
I filmed my first outing, mainly for memories, and that’s how my Youtube channel Digger Dawn started. I never expected anyone to watch my video, but they did and I currently have over 7000 subscribers. I quickly realised my Maplin detector wasn’t up to much. So I bought a Garrett Euroace, and have since used a Garrett 400i and am currently using the AT Max.
My memories of those early days when I knew nothing, have always remained strong in my mind. I have tried to talk simply in videos, to help new people to the hobby understand the basics, the ethics and the rules of metal detecting. I remember the excitement of my first coin and how I felt, and I know that people are feeling that same sense of excitement at their first coin finds, and I feel happy for them, and very sad when the odd seasoned detectorist belittles them.
The hobby has changed my life in so many ways, I have connected with so many like minded people, and am on a constant journey of learning and research. I look forward to each weekend, knowing I will be out in the fresh air with stunning scenery, finding lost items from the past. With every find the thoughts that run through my mind excitedly formulate into a story of how and why it was lost. I have kept every item I have ever found and now have buckets of old Copper coins and artefacts.
Sometimes life gets hectic, with working a full time job as a teacher in a special education needs dept, running a FB group with 7,000 members and editing videos constantly, but I love it all. I love helping others, looking at peoples finds and sharing their joy. When life gets tough, I simply get out my best finds box and while I sit looking at all the history I have found, I then find myself just looking forward to the next time I am able to get out metal detecting.
Just a note, All of my finds that fall within the UK treasure act are reported to my local finds liaison officer for inclusion in the Portable Antiquities Scheme Database. I would advise all readers to do so, and if unsure of the UK Treasure act, refer to the Portable Antiquities Scheme database website –