Me and my XP

By Darren Hoyle

I started metal detecting when I was 11 years old in 1977 with a BFO machine, some of you will be old enough to remember these and others glad you never will, almost an antique now, a bit like me.In all those years I’ve tried many different machines some were good It was about 7 years ago, I heard good reports of XP metal detectors, so I went out and bought my first XP an ADX200, an entry level machine, I found loads with it but it was when I moved on to the Goldmaxx Power that things really got exciting, my finds rate went literally through the roof! I could see why it earned the nickname, “The Hammered Hoover.” I found a few hammies before the Goldmaxx Power but nothing like this, my best day, I had 3 in an afternoon on a club dig, a groat of Edward and 2 pennies, a John and Henry the 2nd. In the last few years I’ve had well over 200 hammered coins

I have found some amazing artefacts over the years, too many to list, from Bronze Age right up to modern jewellery lost last month (there’s nothing like returning a lost item).

In August 2008 after a particularly fruitful day in Rolleston, Nottinghamshire, I had found a roman bird broach and a silver hammered, then could not believe my luck! A weak signal turned out to be gold! I had found a medieval gold locket, the second one ever to be recorded, dating to about AD 1450-1500. It has an inscription, which reads, “cauns [sauns] repentir” (without regret), which may have been an amatory phrase. It is closely comparable to a similar object found as part of the Fishpool Hoard (also from Nottinghamshire), in 1966, both are now on display in the British Museum.

This treasure item is about to be featured on ITV’s “Britain’s Secret Treasures”, I was so excited when they asked me if I would be interviewed by Dr Susannah Lipscomb, explaining the circumstances of how I found the lock.

Although I found the lock with my Goldmaxx Power, I have since upgraded to an XP Deus. This is an incredible machine, a fine balance of turn on and go and for the more technically minded play with all its settings. I had it with me on the day of filming, the crew were very impressed with its size and no wires! Whilst doing some cut away shots of me detecting for the program, I found a small roman bronze literally lying on the surface, the soundman clearly heard the signal on the mic, the producer was amazed at this find. I explained that this site had been detected on for over 20 years by 4 different metal detecting clubs, yet still coins and artefacts are turning up! I gave her the coin as a souvenir of the day, she was thrilled as the roman era is her favourite part of history, glad to be of service.

Since I upgraded to the Deus my finds rate has increased, fields that seemed worked out are literally coming alive again and now with the added bonus of beach detecting I’ve got something to do in the summer months happy days. Recently I’ve had a lovely lead seal and an Elizabeth 1st half groat from a field I had almost given up on and now that harvest time is upon us again, it’s time to get out there and find some more long lost treasures, I can’t wait!

Darren Hoyle

Links: Gold Lock at the BM metal detecting code of conduct

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