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In the 1970's I became interested in treasure hunting.Going out with a spade and my sandwiches and a flask in the hunt for buried things our relatives threw away seemed a good way to spend a day. Out in the fresh air with the smell of freshly dug nettles and six to eight feet of soil above me, while having the chance to dig up a piece of history was just too good to miss. I was already a bit of a collector but digging things of value using nothing more than your own sweat and graft was great for keeping you fit while also having the chance to find who knows what on the end of your shovel or poking out of the side of the hole you have just hewn out of the ground. With my uncle I would go out all day and return home with buckets full of dirty bottles and jars that had to be cleaned to reveal their beauty or sometimes the hidden damage from chemicals in the ground. You never knew what was in the next spade of soil and it was exciting what might turn up, I was hooked right from the word go. I never did it for the money, but it was always nice to find something that was worth a few pounds despite that.

It was a great time to be a collector, there was a lot of development,and redevelopment, and lots of land was being levelled and churned about and there was a lot of small and large rubbish dumps being discovered along the way. Add to that the new enthusiasm for collecting that was taking over and the need to find new areas of undug ground it was a ripe time for the researcher to visit old maps and just go out looking for undisturbed patches of nettles and elderberry trees in the corners of fields and around railway embankments and railway crossing places. I remember being in a queue in a fish and chip shop and while waiting for a new batch of chips to cook I engaged the fryer in conversation about a stone bottle he had on a shelf behind the frying machine. He had been given the bottle by a friend who found it while walking his dog! He told me where the land was located and the next day I went in search of the place. I found it and enquired locallyand found the owner. He gave me and my uncle permission to dig as he was in dispute with the electricity board over some cables that crossed the land. His intention was to dig the land up and build on it so a few small holes would not get in the way of what he planned. We found lots of bottles and pottery items and quite a few pale blue glass 'tipper' inkwells made of crude glass each with burst lips where a cork would have sealed them when bought filled with ink for a penny or two 80-100 years before. We really enjoyed digging there, and I enjoyed the pie and chips that led me to that place.

Being a collector I was always interested in other collectables and in the 1980's we saw the start of a series of collectors magazines hitting the newsagents shelves. I was up for anything going at the time and started to buy the ones I found for sale.It was a great time for collecting and of course the magazine producers wanted to cash in on the new found collecting craze/madness.

I still have some of those magazines nearly 40 years later and every one was read from cover to cover and eagerly awaited when they were due out again. As I'm typing I can still feel the excitement of it all and recall the cuts and scratches from bits of broken glass and pot, and the constant smell of fresh nettles, and the taste of soil!