Nighthawking: A Blight On The Hobby

We at Scottish Detecting are keen to promote good metal detecting practices so that we all can play a part in preserving the past so that it is there for future generations to see and that the finds made add to the tapestry of rich history that Scotland has to offer. We want people to enjoy this hobby, but at the same time be responsible with it, so that peoples detecting habits promote its validity in playing a part in enriching our historical and archaeological knowledge of the areas we detect.

Getting landowners permission to detect on their lands, not detecting on sites of scientific and historical interest, obtaining Crown Foreshore permits for beach detecting and the reporting of finds that are covered by the Treasure Trove acts. Also following the country code and even helping clear areas of litter whilst detecting. This we feel is the right way to go about metal detecting and we encourage people who are taking part in this hobby to do the same.

There is a blight on the hobby something that is known as ‘Nighthawking’ where, mainly at night, people go out and detect where they like and taking their finds with them to sell on, or keep in their own collections. This is often done under the cover of darkness, especially on sites that metal detecting is not allowed and the history is, well stolen away. This gives the whole hobby a bad name and at times a lot of bad press, which casts a stain over metal detecting as a whole.

Landowners whose lands have been pillaged by these ‘Nighthawks’ are far from inclined to give permission to people wishing to detect on their lands, owing to people abusing their land. It is a side of the hobby that we all would be better off rid of. It is not something that we can stamp out over night, but by promoting and practicing good metal detecting etiquette we can alleviate the damage caused by these ‘Nigththawks’ to the image of the hobby. If we all band together and follow these simple steps and promote good metal detecting practices it will show that not all of us act out of personal gain.

‘Nighthawking’ is against the law, and lead to prosecution over the following

Trespass: Nighthawking is often performed on private land where permission to survey and dig has been refused.

Digging on Scheduled Sites: Digging on any sites which are Scheduled Ancient Monuments without Scheduled Monument Consent from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is illegal.

Declaration of Treasure: The Treasure Act 1996 requires all finds that are legally defined as treasure to be declared to a local coroner or the police within 14 days. Breach of this law can result in a £5,000 fine, a term of imprisonment up to three months or both.

Theft: In theUK, ownership of finds on private lands, unless declared treasure, rests with the land owners. As many ‘Nighthawkers’ take finds to sell on to private dealers, this counts as theft under UK Law.

A study into ‘Nighthawking’ has been undertaken and you can read more about it and the findings of this study here: http://www.helm.org.uk/server/show/nav.20434

So please, if you are new to the hobby get in touch with local Metal detecting clubs and other enthusiasts, and join them on their detecting days. Not only will you get some great hints and tips on how to get the best out of this hobby, it will also help promote good detecting practice and etiquette.

Article by Alastair Millen

Minelab Goody Bag

Today at approximately 3pm I receive a knock at the door and here I see the postman with a box sealed shut with Minelab tape keeping it secure. I rush inside to open the box to find the following items inside -

Minelab Backpack (A must for any true detectorist)

Minelab Bottle Opener Keyring

Minelab Hat (Hurry up winter lol)

Minelab Lip Balm x 2 (Trying to say I’m a girl are we Minelab?) lol just kidding :P

Minelab LED Torch (Excellant little gadget)

Minelab Hand Sanitiser

Minelab Water Bottle in anodised red (Very useful!!)

and a Minelab 1GB USB stick which contains their latest catalogue too :)

It also had a little note saying “Hi Rob, Enjoy!, Rachel”

I would just like to say a huge thank you to Sonya and Rachel from Minelab and to Minelab themselves for sending this out and putting a big smile on my face :) , should you guys ever want any product test/reviews done on our site please let us know.

Take care

Rob

Communion Tokens Their Introduction And Use In Scotland

The origins of communion tokens have their roots in the various sections of the Christian Church breaking away from the Catholic Church started by the rise of Church of England, Lutheranism and Calvinism. This in turn lead to others following suit, to get away from the perceived corruption, differences in opinions over the dogma and statutes of the Catholic Church at that time. These created the diverse forms of Christianity that we have today. Without this diversification of the Christian faith, communion tokens may well not have been developed and adopted by different sections of Christianity, like the Scottish Presbyterian Church, who used these in abundance.

It is believed to have been John Calvin and Pierre Viret who first recommended their introduction and usage, as a way of making sure that no unworthy person would be able to receive communion. They made this recommendation in 1560 in Geneva, only to have it rejected by the city council as they could not see the validity of these communion tokens. This idea spread out into Europe and in 1561 was adopted by Churches in Nîmes and La Mans, however there is some evidence suggesting that the Huguenots started using these as early as 1531. Yet there is other conflicting evidence that states that it wasn’t until 1560, so a precise date of this introduction cannot be defined. The Dutch adopted their use in 1586, firstly at the Walloon Church in Amsterdam and soon spread to more Churches throughout the country. They also spread out to England, Scotland and even further afield to countries like the Americas and New Zealand.

In Scotland their use at times is quite idiosyncratic and the measures taken to prove someone’s worthiness to have these tokens highly varied by the various Kirks and Churches that used them. They were highly favoured by the Presbyterian Church which was the most predominant with their usage. The Episcopalian Church also used these, as well three Methodist Churches and one Baptist Church, there may have been others, but historical proof is not there to support this. This in part is a reflection on how turbulent the ecclesiastical history of Scotland is, with just as many factions causing divisions and splits, as were in the political side of Scottish history. The 1700’s to the 1900’s was a very turbulent time for the Church of Scotland with many splits, realignments, especially with the United Presbyterian Church & Free Presbyterian Church, as well as the United Reform Church, which split into four major factions. These splits were mainly caused by disagreements over theological doctrine, as well as personal feuds between groups of the clergy.

Their introduction into Scotland started with the Scottish Reformation in 1560 and grew from there, with them being used to prove that the people attending communion were dedicated to that branch of the Christian Church. With various measures used to decide who were deserving of communion as part of this process. Also this was a time of religious persecution with great intolerance shown towards Covenanters with stiff punishments being handed out to those who did not follow the Church of the State, so many retained the tokens so that they could prove their loyalty to the Church that they followed to eliminate the risks of exposure by governmental spies. Much like use of the fish symbol was used in ancient Rome when Christianity first made its appearance and worship was held in secret in the catacombs beneath Rome. This period of great religious intolerance was to last for over 50 years ending in the late 1600’s and was a dangerous time for those not following the prescribed religion of State.

To gain these tokens the Church elders would travel around the parish visiting members of their congregation, traditionally on the Thursday before communion, to test people’s knowledge of faith and their purity. The knowledge of the Ten Commandments or the Lord’s Prayer, are just a couple of examples of the tests that would be given, although other elements of the bible would be used, like Psalms for example. If you came up to the standard demanded by the elders then you would eligible to receive your tokens and be able to present them at communion to gain your seat at the Lord’s table, providing you attended the service on the Friday for the next stage of proving your worth. Anyone who didn’t pass these tests of faith was deemed unworthy would not receive their communion token on the Friday and would not be able to receive communion on the Sunday.

These tests of faith were as varied as the tokens themselves some demanded that on the Friday service before communion you would have to attend Church and publicly announce your sins so that you could be absolved of them. Men were also given Bible texts to read to the congregations and to speak about their own experiences in regard to these texts. These Friday services were of great importance to the communion process within the Scottish Churches, or Kirks. If you did not attend you would not be eligible to receive your communion token.

On the Saturday before communion those that had not attended on the Friday would be named and shamed publicly, with their names, their impurities and any scandals that came to the ministers ears read out for all to hear. To make it known to all the dim view that was placed upon those who did not come to have their sins absolved. Also those who had received the tokens were often informed that even though they had proved themselves worth of receiving them and communion that they in fact were probably not truly worthy of this honour in the eyes of God. It is also worth noting that Scottish Churches held communion less frequently than Churches south of the border, only two, or three times a year, to give a greater spiritual meaning to communion making it a more sacred occasion.

The early tokens were just simple squares of white metal, like pewter, lead & silver, silver being reserved for the more wealthy Churches. With a basic stamp upon them, with the name of the congregation, the ministers initials on one side and on the other, the words of Jesus ‘This Do In Remembrance Of Me.’ Over time these would evolve to be more intricate with different makings upon them, like other sections taken from Biblical texts upon them, for example verses from Corinthians were favoured. Some would have the manufacturers name included and different shapes were used, from ovals to shields and stars. As the art of stamping these tokens improved, much finer decorations started adorning them, like scroll work and cities coats of arms, like Glasgow and Edinburgh. As well as other pictorial imagery like a table with a communion cup upon it, or even a depiction of the Church. The larger Churches would have serial numbers upon them as well as numbers indicating which communion table you were allowed to join, if they used more than one. These normally used Roman numerals for this purpose. The use of imagery and decoration is highly varied from Church to Church some retained the old style of rather plain tokens, while others moved over to more decorative pieces, so the decorative nature of these tokens cannot be used to give an indication of their age.

It is worth noting that some minsters were highly possessive of their communion tokens, so that if they moved to different parishes they would take their tokens with them to be used within their new parish. So you can find tokens carrying the identification of one parish in another, as well as this some would allow people to attend communion as long as they carried with them a communion token, even if they were not from that parish, others would not allow this and would only give communion to those with the correct tokens. With the restrictions put upon the tokens and the demands placed upon people to prove their worth to receive them, they became quasi-sacred and highly revered objects. So much so that many believed that they were not just needed to receive communion, but to gain entry into Heaven and would be needed to show St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, so people were buried with their communion tokens for this purpose. Also the only way to dispose of the tokens, without offending God, was for them to be buried beneath the pulpit of the Church and losing your token was akin to blasphemy.

It was from around the1870’s that metal tokens started to fall out of favour and cards were used in their place, as the process of producing them was far cheaper and easier. Few Churches continued with their use until the First World War, and after this period they disappear entirely from historical record. Communion tokens are highly diverse and interesting objects and are of great historical importance for the local history of an area, as they help indicate the changes to the Church, or Kirk and the congregations that attended them. They are a great find if you are lucky enough to unearth one of these and an intriguing window into 400 years of Scottish ecclesiastical history.

Article by Alastair Millen

What are Jettons, and what were they used for

Jettons were reckoning counters used to tally up accounts in the large counting houses, and were used on reckoning tables or cloths that were marked with lines and called abacuses. These are not to be confused with the more traditional abacuses even though they were both used in a similar way to perform calculations. The lines were to denote multiples of 10, using Roman numerals and the spaces between them to be half values ie: 5, 50 and 500. The size of the tables/cloths was not only dependant on how large a ‘calculator’ was needed to do the reckoning, but also on how many people needed to view it. The reckoning table of the English Exchequer was 10 foot by 5 foot and after the use of reckoning counters had fallen from common usage it was still brought out and used in ceremonial occasions.

The original jettons were either small pebbles or pieces of pottery, but eventually they were replaced with small metal tokens made of copper, brass, or lead. The lead jettons would wear out quickly and their use over time has become more obscure. Eventually silver was used, more commonly during the 17th centaury some gold jettons were also produced and used. Not much is known about the use of jettons in Scotland, probably due to turbulent nature of Scottish history and records of their use being lost during the various conflicts. This makes jettons quite a rare find in Scotland and an important piece of the archaeological puzzle that makes up Scotland’s past, more is known about the use of trade tokens and provincial coinage.

Jettons were used throughout Europe and known by different names in different countries, in France they were called ‘Jetons’ where the English name is derived from, and in Germany they were called ‘Rechenphennings.’ The first known specially struck Jettons in England were struck in the 13th centaury under Edward I. Many were struck using the same punches used for the sterling pennies, which leads us to conclude they were struck by mint officials. There were several different varieties used, mainly the same size as the sterling pennies and they did not all carry the monarchs portrait. Some jettons were considerably larger up to 32mm in size, and carried a bust which resembled the radial portrait of the Roman Emperor Postumus. The French and English jettons were very similar in appearance to each other and the main way to tell them apart is that the English jettons tended to be pierced in the centre, either partially or completely.

From the evidence found through old records and archaeological evidence found, the last run main of jettons produced in England was in the 14th centaury. After this it appears that they were imported from the continent firstly from France, then Tournai which was then part of the Holy Roman Empire, and finally Nuremberg in Germany. There were small runs of jettons produced in England during this time, but they were made for some of the noble households, not for the royal treasury. There is also evidence that during the 15th centaury that jettons started making their way into a new use as gaming counters, over being used to recon accounts on reckoning tables. Perhaps this is part of the origin of the game shove ha’penny created by bored accountants in counting houses, using the reckoning tables as the board for the game instead of calculating.

There use carried on into the 17th centaury until the adoption of the Arabic number system and the use of Roman numerals fell out of favour, as the Arabic system made calculations far easier. It could be said that the adoption of this numeric system was the first steps towards decimalisation in the UK. Other countries like Germany continued using jettons, but their common usage dropped off slowly in Europe. In Germany they were produced until the outbreak if the first world war, when the production of jettons stopped and ration tokens, or emergency tokens were produced instead, the production of jettons was never reinstated after the war.

It could be argued that jettons are still in use today not just as counters for board games, but also as poker chips where the chips are markers to represent a value. So these chips used in great abundance in casinos all over the world are quite possibly the final stage of the evolution of the jetton, and their heritage stems from the counter markers to tally, recon accounts.

Thanks to our member Alastair Millen for this article.

An Insight into Trade Tokens & Provincial Coinage

Trade tokens owe their origins to external fanatical forces exerting themselves on businesses. These pressures forced the need for them to use something as a replacement to official currency, which was in short supply in small denominations, for example. During the times where the official mints were not producing small denominations like the penny and half penny, there became a need to resort to other measures to give change, over the traditional way of cutting the larger denominations in half. As this would itself produce a knock on effect and cause a shortage of higher denomination coins that could be cut down into change.

That caused businesses with the fanatical security to do so, to produce tokens that could be used instead of official coinage. These fell into two main types, ones that would be honoured by other local businesses as they knew that the minter would honour the tokens presented with official currency. The other form, were only redeemable in associated businesses, owned by the same people that were minting the tokens. Some like big mining companies started to pay their workers in these tokens, forcing them to buy what the needed from shops that the mine owners owned, or had an interest in. These forced a monopoly to come into place as these tokens could only be spent in related businesses to force people to only come to them, and not other outlets.

The use of trade tokens was not just confined to just Scotland, and came in and out of use all over the globe, from England to The Americas and South Africa. There is a lot of information that can be gained from trade tokens, and their use not only in local history, but when looking for a good indicator that there was a crisis with the official currency necessitating their need. Each trade token found, gives an insight into the local history that could be missed by the loss of documents from the time they were minted. As they show which industries and businesses in the area had the fanatical power to produce and honour tokens, many of these were publicans oddly enough. So if there is a pub called the ‘Checkers’ or ‘Chequers’ in the area, they more than likely issued tokens, and were given that name as they were a place that issued and honoured tokens.

There were also local provincial coinage, that was also issued during these times, these were private mints that were licensed to produce coinage that would be honoured as if official coinage. With all of these token and provincial coinage these was a huge opening for corruption and counterfeiting. Many of the early trade tokens were rather crudely struck and easier to counterfeit, than the official coinage which was closer regulated in the quality of the striking of official coinage. Business that paid their workers in tokens forcing them to buy what they needed from associated stores made even more from them. As there was an inflated price on all items brought using tokens, making a penny token the workers received in wages, not worth a penny when they went to use them.

When the corruption spread to the licensed mints there were crack downs, not only on the provincial coinage, but on the trade tokens and their use as well. The crackdowns in the trade tokens was due to the exploitation of the poor who were being forced to use them and becoming poorer because of it, while the business owners were making larger profits from this exploitation. The provincial mints were punished for their corruption as they were exploiting the failings in the countries finances, and polluting the currency system, flooding it with more coins than the treasury could honour. This could have potentially destabilised the economy and lead to a huge drop in the value of official coinage.

The provincial coinage of the United Kingdom was produced in three main periods from 1648-1672, then 1787-1797 and finally in 1800-1815. The early provincial coins had the names of the tradesmen, and sometimes women it is worth noting. They also had either a symbol representing the trade that minted it, like the names of Inns, or insignia like coats of arms, or other representations of trade, like a candle stick. Others had the name of the business stamped clearly upon them however the one thing that was missing was the dates of when they were stamped. Such was the quick slide into the illicit use and forging of these coins and was so wide spread that the issues they created that they were short lived. In 1672 the use of these coins and tokens was prohibited and their production abolished by Charles II, who started to reissue the smaller denomination to remove the need of token/provincial coinage.

The second phase of provincial coinage was made to a much higher standard, and bore the date of manufacturer as well as being covered with fine decoration. As the companies minting them wanted to show their greatness via the quality of the coins they minted. The main company behind this was the Parys Mines Company in Anglesey, who mined copper, so it was a natural choice for minting provincial coinage, as they had the raw material on hand. They set up their own mint in Birmingham specifically for this, and they produced coins in abundance, some 250 tons of pennies in the life of the mint. Many other private mints grew up all producing provincial coinage in vast numbers. These tokens became the source of their own destruction, as they were so popular and common in their use, there was a perceived threat that they would take over from the official currency and were again banned.

The rapid growth of industry and mass production caused by the Industrial Revolution was the driving force behind the third wave of provincial coinage and trade tokens. There was again the need for more money to be available to pay the work force, now living around the large industrial sites, which wasn’t available through official currency. So the rebirth of provincial coinage was inevitable, along with trade tokens was inevitable. Now with the work force being housed by large industry in new towns built around the factories and all the retail outlets being governed by the companies, the trade tokens were open to vast abuse. They had a captive market for them, the workers needed to live close to the new jobs, as big industrialisation was killing off the more cottage industry. To find work you had to live near the new factories, so you needed housing there and shops to buy the necessities of life from. As you can see the potential to abuse trade tokens was huge for the industrial giants. Once again these forced the bank of England to act, minting far more coinage than it ever had done before, in a new industrialised fashion. The provincial coins and trade tokens were once again banned in 1816 with the great re-coinage of the nation.

Trade tokens and provincial coinage are an important find as they open great window into the social and economic factors of the time. The impact that they had on the lives of everyday people as well as the countries financial footing was huge. The way they stepped into use, when the amount of official currency in circulation was not there to reach the demand for money, they were nothing more than a temporary fix to a larger problem. They also created even more problems than they fixed, with the lives of the people forced to be paid in trade tokens and wide open for the abuses that came with them, and the businesses that could not compete with the monopolies created by larger industries taking over the small. The provincial coinage from licensed mints was also abused with companies taking the licence to mint legal tender too far, and made them selves rich by flooding the market with their coins. All of which were emblazoned with imagery of their companies, minting far more coins than they had been licensed to. They are the shadow cast over everyday peoples lives, by the financial state of the nation which could be said to be these forms of token coinage and the areas with the highest amount of these in circulation, being the areas hardest hit.

Their legacy does live on now, if you liken these trade tokens to the modern gift vouchers like book tokens, they state that the companies listed with honour them. Money off coupons have their origins in trade tokens, as some businesses stating in an area would give new customers small tokens for money off their next purchase. These were used to lure new customers in and get ahead of the competitions. If they used their own trade tokens in change as well, then they would gain an advantage over businesses that didn’t produce these. With all of the factors that went into the creation of token coinage as well as official provincial coinage, they are a very diverse form of currency and we can gain a lot of local knowledge from them. As well as getting a good insight into times of financial crisis within the nation. Keep an eye out for them when detecting, they will give you a new angle to look at local history whilst researching your find.

Thanks to our member Alastair Millen for this article.

The Development of the Metal Detector in World War II

After the fall of Poland, the Polish government was in exile along with a great number of its forces and came to an agreement with Churchill that these troops would help defend areas of our coastline, which we did not have the man power for. The Fife Coast was defended entirely by foreign troops who made a longer lasting impression than the anti-tank blockades that we can still see dotted along this stunning coastline today. This was due to one member of the first Polish Army Corps who were stationed in St. Andrews until the end of the war and his name was Lt Józeph Stanislaw Kosachi (1909-1990).

Prior to World War 2 he was a technician for the Artillery Department of the Polish Ministry of Defence and shortly before the outbreak of war he was transferred to the Special Signals Unit, which was a secret institute that developed electrical equipment for the army. Before the outbreak of war the Artillery Department had instructed the development and manufacture of a device that would be capable in detecting dud shells on the training ranges, so that the ranges could be cleared of these duds safely; the AVA radio company was given this task. They were chosen as they designed and built all the radio equipment for the Polish General Staff’s Cipher Bureau. AVA was responsible for cracking the Germans Enigma rotary cipher machine and then the manufacture of doubles of this with Enigma deciphering devices as well.

The outbreak of the Polish Defence war in 1939, was to cause the development of the dud detector to be put on hold, as the Polish HQ was evacuated too France, to protect the secrets they had been working on. In France the development shifted away from dud detection, to mine detection which would give an advantage in clearing mine fields and mapping them properly. Mine clearance is a very high risk duty and a safer method of finding mines over probing for them was needed, not only to help save lives, but to speed up the process. In 1940 the invasion of France started which caused the Polish HQ to evacuate again, and this time they fled to England taking all their research work with them.

This is when the Polish HQ was approached by Churchill with his deal for them to help shore up our sea defences and man the areas of coast, which we did not have the man power to do so. The War Office issued the orders and the specifications for the mine detector to be used in this process, and placed its development in the hands of the Polish who had been working on a detector since 1937. All the work on development of the mine detector was highly classified and top secret, Kosachi’s name was never mentioned in any documentation, but a series of aliases were used to protect his family who were still in Poland. If the names of anyone working on this project had become known to Germany then the lives of their families would have been at great risk.

Again the Polish Special Signals Unit stationed at St Andrews on the Fife coast set to work on this, and it was here where Józeph Kosachi made the final break though on the mine detector, to begin with it was planned to help with the defences of the coastline. It was needed so the mines already laid along the coast could be found and re-laid along with adding new forms of defence. The laying of the original mine fields had been very poorly done, with little accurate record of where they had been placed to begin with. Also the shifting sands of our beaches had caused the pre-laid mines to move with the sands as the tides rolled in and out, this left the positions of the mines unknown. Without being able to find these mines easily this would become a very slow and dangerous process.

It was late in 1941 that the final break though was made and a working portable mine detector was finally produced, and was to become known as the Polish Mine Detector. The detector had gone through 13 different stages of development before the final version was finished an approved for the task in hand, the first version was invented in Poland back in 1937. Kosachi’s detector was constructed with two coils, with the first connected to an oscillator which created an acoustic frequency the second coil was connected to an amplifier and a telephone. When the coils came in proximity of a metallic object the balance of the coils was disrupted and a signal was sent to the telephone, which reported the signal as a tone. The entire detector weighed 30lbs (14kgs) which made it easily portable for one person to use, with a long handle and a counter weight at the opposite end to the hover plate to make it easier to balance during use.

He never patented his invention, but instead gave it to the British army so that they could use it immediately, and the mine detector was immediately put into production, under the name of “Mine Detector Polish Mk1.” For this King George VI for his selfless deed, risking the safety of his family if it was to be discovered that he had developed this device and not profiteering from the war. The first mine detectors were put to use on the UK’s coastlines detecting the lost mines so that they could be safely cleared and new more organised beach defences could be put into place safely, with accurate mapping of the mines that were laid. This was to give the armed forces good experience in using the mine detectors, and safely removing land mines which would serve them well when they were taken to the front to clear mines laid by the Germans so that Allied troops could advance through mined territory.

A further 500 mine detectors were also sent to El Alamien where they were immediately put to use by the 8th Army, who set to work clearing safe passage through the mine fields to make the advance of troops safer. It is worth noting that this area still remains the largest expanse of land mines in the world, and still is littered by abandoned mines a lethal legacy of World War 2. As the advance of the 8th Army doubled, thanks to the success of the mine detector, more were distributed to other areas where land mines were a major problem, then to all fronts. Through out the course of the war well over 100,000 mine detectors were to be produced and sent to the front lines, which shows how wide spread the use of land mines was, all along the various fronts.

To try and combat the proficiency of mine clearance, and the reliability of the mine detector the Germans experimented with the production of wooden and glass land mines, to avoid detection. These attempts were of limited success and did not make it into mass production or anything more than limited use as they were not reliable. As a result of the proficiency of the mine detector and the sappers that used them, they became a prime target for the Germans to attack, as the mine detector was helping turn the tide of the war.

To try and protect the sappers on the ground attempts were made to produce a version of the mine detector that could be mounted to a vehicle, such as a tank. This lead to the creation of the “Lulu” Sherman Tank and the “Bantu” Staghound Armoured Car, both of which had the detector mechanism mounted in a set of non-metallic rollers that was fixed to them by long arms; so that the metal of the vehicles would not interfere with the detector. When one of the rollers went over a mine or similar metallic object it would signal the operator inside the vehicle so they would know where the mine was, before risking the lives of the sappers. Only prototypes of these were ever produced and tested, they never made it into combat situations.

The Polish Mine Detector was one of the greatest advancements in World War 2 and has left behind a greater legacy than the abandoned anti-tank defences along our coast line. As after the war there was a surplus of various versions of the Polish Metal Detector which were sold off to private individuals. Thus the beginnings of the hobby of metal detecting, as without a portable and affordable metal detector taking part in this hobby would not be possible. The Polish Metal Detector was used right through to the 1990’s by the British army, with the Mark 4c finally being retired in 1995. This shows the quality of these machines and even early models can still be used today for a successful days detecting even though they could be 50 years old, or older, they were definitely built to last.

Thanks to our member Alastair Millen for this article.