Christmas day bottle dig

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Kenleyboy
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We have a small stream which runs adjacent to our house and in the summer months it is a mere thread of water that trickles its way in to a ground level pipe which in turn deposits the water into the road side ditch .If we have rain for a few days it fills to a reasonable level but remains within the banks and because the surrounding land is of chalk and clay the excess rain that the land cannot hold deposits itself within the many ditches and run off channels and streams . By and large the ditches are rarely dry and in our temperamental stream we have on a few occasions had small shoals of fish , when disturbed they dart away like little arrowheads and disappear from view so it is always difficult to work out what type of fish they are . I have a feeling that they may be Stone Loach but whatever they are they made a tasty meal one year to a visiting Kingfisher which was a real treat and a surprise but nature will find its food source no matter how far away it may be from its usual surroundings .
In the winter months the stream becomes a different beast , gone is the slow movement of crystal clear water meandering its way along its course over clear gravel and flint , once the heavy rains come it races through at an alarming rate bringing with it a torrent of muddy brown water and with it huge clumps of branches and debris and many a time I have had to grab the chest waders and jump in almost waist deep in freezing water to unblock the mouth of the pipe , a cold and unpleasant task made worse by the constant fall of rain leaving you feeling rather wet and miserable once the deed has been done . It is however a very good indication and will determine whether it is worth a few snatched hours fishing the river , in this state then I know its much larger cousin will be no different and thus renders a trip out pointless . It is also the same with a bottle digging trip and one such tip which we like above all else is unfortunately liable to flooding due to an adjoining tidal river and vast reed beds and with the excessive downpour this past few days it was highly likely that we may have trouble getting onto the land .
How on earth did I manage to swing a days bottle digging on Christmas Day ,however there is good reason and one being my good lady is a care worker and her shift would see an early morning start and a late evening finish , my other reason although pales by comparison is the nations lockdown so would be the last chance for a dig for ever how long it takes .
My digging buddy is single so can please himself so we agreed as this may be our last dig together for a while we would take our chances despite the heavy rainfall , at least its a trip out on an otherwise quiet day for both of us , so off we went .
We arrived at the tip on first light , bitterly cold and a damp grey sky and as we predicted the river at some point had breached the banks and flooded the adjoining reed beds . In the summer we struggle with the head high stinging nettles and the winter rains we slosh through murky river water and at times it is hard to define where the well trodden path is so it becomes a slow careful trudge although instinct guides us with no real trouble . Once off the path , we weave our way through the bare branches of willows and then onto dry land where the tip lays beyond , here at last and it is always met with much praise and hope , it is a pleasant place to be out of the way in the middle of nowhere , utter peace and quiet !
It was to be no deep digging today and to be honest I was happy enough to just dig down in our respective pits and as predicted we knew the water table would be high and at about four feet deep it soon gurgled its way from beneath but I was happy enough as it still allowed me to forage in amongst the clay and chalk capping and this depth had gifted me well with some decent finds and we soon got to work . My plan was to dig a trench about 8 feet long and 6 feet wide and being only 4 feet deep I could then rake back my spoil and then work the edges and repeat this process until I had found something . It was an easy dig , nice and gentle and really enjoying the moment .
We lit a small fire to keep us warm and on our breaks we would feed the crackling flames and watch the grey smoke from the damp branches climb skywards and when lunchtime came we had our own traditional Christmas dinner , shop bought turkey sandwiches and a few mince pies washed down with a steaming hot mug of tea . It was bliss and a bit of a struggle to resume our digging with the warmth of the flames keeping us dry but the lure of a decent find was enough to force us both back with the job in hand .
I dug my Christmas present today , it had been slow due to the lack of depth rendering our chances and limiting our finds rates but I got lucky and in all the years I have dug this tip I had never dug what is percieved as being a very hard bottle to find but today of all days it graced my palms once extracted from the crust of dry spoil that was a mix of brick rubble , compact coal dust and black ash . I didnt know what it was at first as only the bottom end was sticking out and in a lot of cases you end up pulling half a bottle out with the top missing , if it had been the case with this particular bottle it would have been a cruel twist of fate . Once pulled from the grip of soil the realisation of exactly what I had in the palm of my gloved hands made me sit back in surprise . The small size 6oz green glass Dawsons Codd bottle was indeed a rare find and the very first I had ever seen let alone dig but there it was in all its tiny glory . A quick feverish check to make sure there was no damage and all was well and that made my Christmas Day and a nice way to finish off possibly our last dig for the foreseeable.
The booty after a few hours dig , not bad considering the limitations .
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The little amber poison was also a bonus find , very clean glass and i love the pattern detail on these popular bottles which come in a variety of colours .
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Finally the beauty of back lit glass bringing out the detail and design of the very famous Codd bottle pattern , the green Dawsons . Such an innovative design to be expected of our Victorian forefathers .
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Blackadder43
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Love the amber poison bottle fella, very very nice :thumbsup:

What a great way to spend xmas day though :clapping: ....beats answering the phone all day and then clearing up every plate and utensil we own in our house :lol:

Fair play to you both though, sounds wet and cold, but the digging and crackling fire warmed it up...
Was that just your finds or is that both finds combined?
Productive day though for sure

Thanks again for sharing your hobby with us :thumbsup:
I need to see if anyone local to me does this as i want to have a go now....might work off me belly i seem to have accumulated recently :lol:

Wait you have stone loaches in your stream?
OMG, we have kept loaches for many years in our fish tank, great fish to watch
Our last one passed away a few months back, we named him 'locky' as in the lock ness monster, cause he was huge, probably 6 inches in length when he died....he was over 10 years old, and we found him dumped at the bottom of the lane outside our house, we had only just moved in
Found a tank with dirty green water in it, then i saw something move, there were 6 of these loaches in it, Locky being the one that lasted the longest
So i rescued them and kept them all :thumbsup:
Cant find anywhere that stocks them around here
Looks like a trip to norfolk when we are allowed :thumbsup:
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Easylife
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A nice pay off. :thumbsup:
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Oxgirl
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Sounds like a brilliant day spent with a good friend! And the finds are an added bonus. Merry Christmas Kenleyboy and enjoy a lovely dinner with your good wife tomorrow :Luv Ya:
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figgis
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Sounds like a cracking way to have spent the day, but tea at lunchtime? Tea? Considering the cold weather and the fact it was xmas day I should have thought a livener of some sort would be more in keeping? ;)

Well done on the Codd's bottle and thanks for sharing your experiences with us throughout the year. Look forward to their resumption when we can all get out again :thumbsup:
Dave The Slave
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Well done, Paul.
When i read the title was wondering how ?
Circumstances lined up perfectly for you.
Only read this today, as yesterday had a computer free day and don`t have a smart phone to be glued to like everyone else in the house.
Some great bottles there.
Good luck for the New Year and thanks for all those Bottle and Detecting posts. :clapping:
Cheers, :thumbsup:
Dave.
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Steve_JT
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Should have set a camera up and live streamed it, would have been preferable to the tripe on mainstream media on the day

My missus is a nurse too so that can get me out on the special holidays when most are “home-locked” or any mention of detecting is met with raised eyebrows and reminder of where a suitcase can be found or option of doing it over a dead body (and don’t ask and say “I have an option”?) I’m sure it will not end well!

Great result and some nice bottles, like the green one. There’s something about the colour when the light shines through them, seems to transport you back in time I little if you know what I mean, such vibrant positive feel good colours

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
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Emily
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Some beautiful bottles!! Well worth the mud and rain. The campfire and sandwiches sounds 👌🏻 perfect. 🥰
Live long and prospect
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Kenleyboy
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Blackadder43 wrote: Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:52 pm Love the amber poison bottle fella, very very nice :thumbsup:

What a great way to spend xmas day though :clapping: ....beats answering the phone all day and then clearing up every plate and utensil we own in our house :lol:

Fair play to you both though, sounds wet and cold, but the digging and crackling fire warmed it up...
Was that just your finds or is that both finds combined?
Productive day though for sure

Thanks again for sharing your hobby with us :thumbsup:
I need to see if anyone local to me does this as i want to have a go now....might work off me belly i seem to have accumulated recently :lol:

Wait you have stone loaches in your stream?
OMG, we have kept loaches for many years in our fish tank, great fish to watch
Our last one passed away a few months back, we named him 'locky' as in the lock ness monster, cause he was huge, probably 6 inches in length when he died....he was over 10 years old, and we found him dumped at the bottom of the lane outside our house, we had only just moved in
Found a tank with dirty green water in it, then i saw something move, there were 6 of these loaches in it, Locky being the one that lasted the longest
So i rescued them and kept them all :thumbsup:
Cant find anywhere that stocks them around here
Looks like a trip to norfolk when we are allowed :thumbsup:
We found a dead stone loach in the stream on the farm so I am assuming these little fish we see are one of the same . They are supposed to be quite rare .
It was my good lady that came in and said she thought she had just seen a kingfisher by our stream of which I didnt believe thinking it nigh on impossible . A few days later one flew over the garden in the direction of the stream and kept re appearing over a few weeks . Never seen one here since and that was a few years ago .
Great you saved that fish , ten years :o . I dont think these fish survive long to be honest especially when you think of what runs off the farms and gets into the water system . We even had frogs one year but once again , havent seen them for a long while .
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Mucky
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Thanks again for a great read. Congratulations on your bottles, you definitely have earned those.
Well done! :thumbsup:
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Littleboot
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Great write-up....as per usual Paul! Some lovely bottles...the textured poisons are very pretty. I am guessing the pattern was so that the warning could be 'felt' as well as seen? You certainly have stamina and put me to shame. I have gone soft this winter. :lol: Becoming what my dad used to scathingly refer to as a 'Greenhouse Plant'.
i did dig some bottles on Christmas Day. Well, the contents anyway. :lol:
"The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them."
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