Double dig red letter day .

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Kenleyboy
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For the first time ever I had two bottle digs in one day and I am sure going to pay for it tomorrow morning . The first dig was at our usual place and this is always a hard dig but one that rewards when the time is right . We work hard for our finds here but what makes this place special is that its tucked well out of the way and it is a pleasant spot where we can dig in peace and enjoy the surroundings .
As Autumn begins to breathe down our necks and the leaf begins to wilt , the summer will soon be over as we yet again merge into another season . The Swifts , Swallows and House Martins have all but gone except for the odd stray one here and there , the butterflies are also low in numbers and the ones we see are now bedraggled and looking tired and the vibrancy of their colours have paled and soon they will be disappear unless we get a few freak hot days , an Indian summer will bring on the last of the few .
The weather was fine , warm with a pleasant breeze which made the task of clearing out the hole a lot easier when the weather is cool . It was to be a short dig , finish by late morning as we had one other tip to look at and meet with the owner . This so called tip was actually an old pond which just so happened to be right next to the owners cottage , a fine 17 century building and who knows what the murky depths will hold . This however was what we call a back burner type of tip , it may or may not produce anything but its always worth a look . For the time being though we had the matter in hand and were keen to make some sort of progress despite the short dig for this morning .
I decided to concentrate on one wall which produced a few nice items last time , a seam of rubble and ash and not wishing to provoke any mishap , I decided to approach with caution , not so deep , 4 feet approximately , chip away at the wall and clear out the rubble while pushing forward .
The rubble itself was a mix of crushed brick , pebbles , coal , ash and sea shells compressed and packed and gave the impression of a haphazard mosaic but once disturbed fell away quite easily and the fork worked wonders with the prongs shifting through the encrusted lumps to reveal bottles , most of them broken but a few neat surprises . The best find for me I can only describe as heart lifting when the euphoric moment when we get lucky and chance upon a long for and hard won hammered coin or similar , its the bottle diggers version of excitable triumph .
lid in the ash.jpg
As per usual , its lid down first so it is a tentative moment of truth once the lid is turned over to be either blank and disheartening or that magic moment of glorious decorative black print so typical of our Victorian forefathers gladdens the heart . This time it played ball and that was me sorted for the rest of the day .
lid knee.jpg
Time to move on to the next tip but to be honest I didn't hold much out for it but you don't know until you tried . Pond tips are good if you hit one that has been used for rubbish tipping and as the property was a few hundred years old , there was a very good chance . Back then people just threw away household items and what is the best place but the local pond , we all love the sound of a splash of water and no doubt they also did when lobbing items out of sight out of mind . Along we come a century or more later and dig it all back up again , strange folk that we are but its great fun and little did I know what surprises lay in store from this pit of sludge .
I was also on the verge of just saying we should leave it for another day but I knew my buddy was extra keen to explore the possibilities and it had already been arranged so it was not so easy to make excuses just in case the owner got cold feet , strike why the irons hot !
This was what met us when we arrived , a shallow mud churned pond which had been dredged for some water pipe work and in doing so the digger driver revealed an array of bottle which lay half submerged in the glutinous mud . They looked late , a lot of meat paste jars and plain med bottles , with some being dredged out and left on the wet slippery banks . It was looking late , 1930s era but still worth a punt and proved to be the best move we made and probably one of the very best bottle digs for some extremely rare finds .
The side door of the cottage faced directly opposite the pond , a small track separated the two and we assumed that the bottles were no doubt dispatched from this door straight in to the water , almost in a relative straight line . It proved to be correct and we had a feast of a dig in the slop which produced varying Codd bottles with the marbles from local areas , ginger beers , with two being rare and hard to find .
This is what met our eyes when we arrived on the banks of the semi dried out pond .
pond tip.jpg
Despite being rather tired from our mornings jaunt , the next two hours proved to be one of our better digs or more like slops . No point in using the spades and in the end it was the fabulous common garden fork that proved to be the right tool for the job . It was a case of delving the fork head into the mush , drawing it along until that fabulous "chink" of glass meeting prong and slowly lifting out our prizes aloft caked in back sludge . It was hard work though but what helped was while walking in the water you could feel the bottle under your feet . This one track of water held the most concentrated amount of bottle , so whoever slung them out aimed well and probably got some good practice in the art of launching bottle skywards with a second thought , we thank them for that !
Soon the fatigue was beginning to show and after struggling at times to even lift the fork out from the thick mud it was time to call it a day , but what a day .
We gifted the owner any choice but he was happy with just a few , a little bit of the history from the cottage so we left him to pick and choose .
This was my treasures while my buddy had equal amounts and if we got doubles we just swapped like wise . We are due back soon t finish off and tidy up the place and rid the as many broken bottles that we can , the rains will come and that will be the end of this tip unit, the dry weather returns .
pond booty.jpg
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Ladybird66
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Ah the madness of youth ! Two digs in one day. Makes me ache just thinking about it. The rewards look worth it though. Cod bottles galore by the look of it and no deep holes to dig and re-dig. You must post some pics of them cleaned. Especially the more rare ones :thumbsup:
Your post reminded me that the bottom part of my field used to be a small lake that was blocked and drained when National Grid we’re running the mains electric from the power station further west.
The old fella next door told me his Dad worked on the bases of the Pylons that carried the power lines. Obviously when I first started detecting I read about wonderful things being found at the bottom of ponds and waterways so detector charged up off I went to find my fortune.
What did I find ? Engine parts, tractor & car bits and pieces and boy was the going hard. Hard as in heavy, sticky, boggy and very dirty. Not a single ‘nice’ find. Needless to say I’ve never bothered since. I quickly formed the impression that it was no more than a dump for old machinery.
I s’pose there might be something much older under all that rubbish but I have no intention of finding out. So hats off to you for your endurance and perseverance. You deserve every one of those Cods :thumbsup:
Thanks, again, for your very evocative retelling of the days events. I also felt the sigh of Autumn in the wind today and noticed the Robin in our garden sounding his Autumn call. Always makes me feel sad. :cry:
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figgis
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Your second setup sounds exactly like where I'm working now, but the pond is dry now. I had a little wander around the outside edge and noticed the base of a wine bottle sticking up. It was a very old one and a bit of scraping revealed a few more bits of it and I spent a really pleasant ten minutes unearthing more glass and broken stoneware. Trouble was, if you scraped back beyond an inch or two the dried mud became wetter and stank something dreadful.

But it's given me a flavour for this lark :thumbsup:
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Kenleyboy
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figgis wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:03 am Your second setup sounds exactly like where I'm working now, but the pond is dry now. I had a little wander around the outside edge and noticed the base of a wine bottle sticking up. It was a very old one and a bit of scraping revealed a few more bits of it and I spent a really pleasant ten minutes unearthing more glass and broken stoneware. Trouble was, if you scraped back beyond an inch or two the dried mud became wetter and stank something dreadful.

But it's given me a flavour for this lark :thumbsup:
Well worth a mooch about , if there are bottles sticking out the bank then the chance are there are more and was used as a tip .
The downside is the stinky water but this one yesterday wasn't bad at all , wear gloves and a good strong fork and away you go .
:thumbsup:
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Oxgirl
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I love the pond idea. Easier than digging a hole? Somehow I’m not so sure as that lifting of bottles with a fork sounds really hard work. Mud can be difficult, walking through it alone would be exhausting (although very good exercise).

Like LB we need to see those cleaned up bottles :D
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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Easylife
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Well done, that's certainly added yet another angle to the hobby, it's all interesting stuff! :thumbsup:
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Dave The Slave
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Brilliant right up, Paul.
Bet you can`t wait to get back to the pond, while still retaining old faithful.
Wonder how deep and how old the pond has items.
As everyone else has said looking forward to the cleaned up bottles and the rare ones.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
Dave.
Blackadder43
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2 digs in one day made me feel exhausted already, fair play to you chap
Never really thought of the satisfaction of hearing the splash as the bottles were discarded back in the day, but makes perfect sense
Out of sight out of mind...

Your car must be just for bottle digging as i imagine you were both up to your shoulders in mud and slop :lol:

Loving your write ups though as i get to experience the dig without all the effort and messiness :thumbsup:
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Mucky
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A cracking read again! Thank you. :thumbsup:
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