Hi there, my name is James and starting my blog has been a wonderful experience and one which has given me great satisfaction, it will be a record of my metal detecting trips on the historically rich Fylde coast and the banks of the lower river Ribble. I wish to share my love of history and pre-history, birds, conservation, wildlife of all kinds and photography, especially concerning the Fylde Coast and the river Ribble and its estuary. The unparalleled impact human beings have upon the environment and each other.
I want to encourage interest in the whole area, the blog not only being a diary of events, but a reference for this important part of England. I wish to pass on my passion for the rich history and heritage I find here.
I’m a very passionate person about the things I do and say, I work hard to find the truth in my research. Through my blog I’ve connected with many nice people and found the discipline of writing its content to be very compelling and rewarding, especially when I’m writing about a metal detecting find or recent trip. The metal detecting code of practise I use and its reference in my blog is an important message which can be implemented worldwide, to promote the responsible use of metal detectors and to preserve our history and heritage. I always lead by example and work with extreme caution in my enthusiasm to uncover our past.
I’ve always been a person of the outdoors and as early in my life as I can remember, my father would take me out in the countryside for long walks, teaching me about wildlife as we went along. I remember being fascinated by all the different colours, sizes and shapes of birds eggs and how different their nests were. Farm ponds teeming with life, being home to many species of insect, fish, amphibians, plants and birds.
Many hours spent on the beach at Blackpool and Rossall, always finding interesting things like star fish, crabs and jelly fish which had been washed up by the tide. Occasionally stumbling across a dog-fish, its skin feeling rough like sand paper and a strange shaped tail which seemed to have a top half but no bottom. Driftwood, which we dutifully collected for my granddad’s artistic endeavours and the many pools of water which held tiny fish, shrimps and crabs, provided a wide and varied catalogue of things to do, there was always plenty to see and find!
I enjoyed school and by the time I was in the last year at secondary high, I didn’t want to leave. The atmosphere was very homely and I felt I could approach most of the teachers with any problem I had, but leave I did and went to sixth form college to study for my A-Levels, I was 16 years old.
Discipline at school was different then, corporal punishment being the norm and things were more strict at every level of misbehaviour. Anyhow, I managed to land myself in trouble on the third day I was in attendance, not only did I misbehave but my offence was deemed severe enough to bypass ‘six of the best’ and receive a warning of expulsion if I did it again.
My offence? A total lack of respect – I chewed gum whilst walking down the corridor to assembly! Believe me, after they were finished I was shaking as I went to my first class and couldn’t concentrate all week! I never did it again!
How I got into the Hobby of Metal Detecting.
Throughout school I had a love of ancient and pre-history, a fascination with things owned by people from the past and the story they may tell. When I find a coin or artefact I feel a remarkable connection, a wonderful feeling as I take hold and look at something which has been lost for so long, not seen or touched from that time.
I pondered buying a metal detector for years and when circumstances presented me with more time, I bought one. I couldn’t imagine a better way of touching history or realising the passion I have for connecting to the past. Metal detecting, research, the history and recording of my finds has become my life’s work. Metal detecting is challenging, satisfying and leaves one with a wonderful sense of discovery, for me a window to the past.
Detecting is great fun but I also take it very seriously, knowing about the history of the area I’m detecting is very important and a large part of the experience. One gets a special feeling when one finds a coin or artefact from a long past era and one can put it into context.
I love the freedom and peace the outdoors gives me, especially the beach. The crashing waves, the smell of salt water, the wide open space and the sea breeze which never fail to blow away the cobwebs. These things help me to relax and attain the frame of mind I need to listen to and identify signals from the detector, over a long period of time. Having a passion which has the capability to take one into another world away from worry and stress is a wonderful thing.
A couple of interesting places along the Ribble valley: Pendle Hill.
For those of you who don’t know, the photograph of Pendle Hill is infamous because of the Pendle witches, they were all too real in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The most infamous Pendle witches, whom you will hear more of later, were executed for witchcraft by Lancaster Assizes in 1612. I took this photograph from a small village in the Ribble Valley named Ribchester, who has its roots at least back to Roman times! (I was actually in the grounds of St. Wilfrid’s Church where the Roman Fort stood, the river bank being just over the wall).
St. Mary’s church, Penwortham.
When Norman conquerors arrived here in the 11th Century they built a Norman Motte Castle on fortifications which were probably already here (north side of the churchyard) to guard the ford across the river. There is only the castle mound left now (top photo) but as one walks around and upon it one cannot help but imagine the presence of medieval soldiers living here and going about the important business of guarding the ford. Although there may have been some sort of religious structure here in the church yard before, the oldest part of St. Mary’s is the chancel which was built in the 14th Century the tower being built later in the 15th.
Anyhow, this site will slowly include a few more topics as well as metal detecting on the tidal River Ribble and the Fylde Coast. No content will be removed at all, there will just be a continued variation on the blogs I post and a new page on the history, the wonderful wildlife and conservation of the river. I intend to photograph as much as I can as ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ or so tis said!
I cannot express enough, the thanks I owe to those people who read my blog and to my friends in the blogosphere whose kind words and support have helped me so much in these last few month’s.
There is much to do, so let’s do it!
Best wishes, Supernova.