Pep Talk From the Pub…

Well, well, well, look who’s back? It’s archaeology’s most beloved detectorist John Howland, heretofore missing in action.  I figured he was either on holiday or holed up in a pub somewhere but then again they’re really one in the same to him. Thanks Bubba….

Old & Bold

John Howland

The so-called Poole ‘Jackdaws’ are an unofficial, non-aligned treasure hunting group with an average membership age of around 56-yrs, populated by retired folks all of whom distinguished themselves in their chosen professions. Rule #1 of the group’s Rule Book is …” There are no rules.”

That’s it. All done. Finito.

As they’ve all lived by strict rules throughout their working lives they ain’t going to self-impose any now in the running of their group, though adherence to the prevailing laws governing the finding of ‘treasure’ are strictly respected, as is the reporting of any artefact to the PAS that might have a historical significance. The ‘Jackdaws’ don’t have a set meeting place – they meet wherever and whenever they feel thirsty.

Some of them at one time or another, or guise, served democracy against Soviet communism. “Freedom of choice is vital. I’m against faceless bureaucracy,” says one, adding, “Ask any East Berliner, Czech, or Pole.”  

A ‘Jackdaw’ working the cuts….

The two latest recruits to this jovial ensemble are a former forensic investigator who helped bring to justice nine murderers, and a former professional diver and adventurer one of whose diving pals helped recover the £45million in gold bars from HMS Edinburgh sunk in 800-ft of water in the Bering Sea.

Remarkably, neither of them has ever watched a ‘YooToob’ detecting video apart from Garrett’s, nor witnessed any ‘Face-ache’ treasure hunting cr*p. So what’s motivated them to take up the metal detector? “I’ve always wanted to have a go ever since seeing a couple of them on the beach,” says Tony, while the other reckons it rekindles his old adventure days. Both however agree that treasure hunting with a metal detector presents a real opportunity for getting out-and-about on the coast, good companionship, fresh air, coupled with gentle exercise and the added prospect of ‘treasure’ at the day’s end.

“The kind of artefacts to expect in the right parts of the coastline.”

So what machines do the new recruits own? Both have opted for Garrett’s 400i. The 400i is proving to be a more than useful beach hunting tool on several fronts; not least its light weight (2.9lbs), ideal for extended hunt sessions and/or toting to the wilder parts of the local coastline, the final resting place for numerous ships both ancient and modern. Secondly, the 400i’s Iron Audio, and Digital Target ID Readout systems have proved their efficacy repeatedly on the ATPro International where signals from bottle tops are (for me at least) things of the past. 

My thanks to Garrett for supplying tech-spec background information, and to REGTON’s Nigel Ingram, Garrett’s UK agent for his help with performance related advice especially concerning the ‘DD’ coil pattern.


Finding Treasure is GOOD for YOU

Who says so? Ed Huffman does. Who he? Ed has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Archaeology at the University of Leicester, England. He has researched and recovered artefacts/relics throughout the United States and hopes to go on to recover artefacts throughout the world. The majority of his recovered artefacts/relics he has in his personal collection, or has donated to Museums, Private Collectors and Businesses. Ed reckons that your recreational activity can easily turn into an activity to boost your physical health.

This from Ed’s blog and excellent website: –

Increases Bone Strength and Keeps off Depression.

You cannot hope to find buried riches in your backyard, he says, you have to get out of your house and do the hunting. Beaches, farmlands, parks, underwater, are some of the places where you will get immense scope of finding precious items. So you will get fresh oxygen, which is extremely helpful for your health. Along with that you will be exposed to the sun, thereby getting more Vitamin D. This will keep your bones from degenerating. You will also be able to keep depression at bay as your feel-good hormones will be released with sun exposure.  

Muscle Toning

While searching for metal detecting tips, you can also increase your knowledge regarding the various health benefits of metal detecting. If you desire toned muscles, this hobby can be beneficial for you. When hunting down treasure, you have to walk for a long distance and time and you also need to carry your top metal detector with you. With long distance walking, your leg muscles will be toned and when you use the machine, your arm muscles will get toned, as the equipment will act as weight.  This will lead to a fitter body.  Also the constant bending and squatting from digging and retrieving your finds will strengthen your legs, back and heart.

Strengthens your Heart 

Your heart as well as your respiratory system will be strengthened immensely when you go metal detecting. As mentioned earlier, you need to walk long distances. Not only this, your hobby will require you to hike and climb mountains as well. All this activity provides a great form of aerobic and cardio exercise. These types of exercise will lead to a strong heart and respiratory system.

Decreases Stress

When you are pursuing a hobby with your heart, you tend to forget about any anxiety. It will also help you to concentrate and the headphones will keep out noises from your surroundings. You can carry out your hunting without any disturbance thereby giving you mental peace. This in turn will decrease your stress significantly.

Still not convinced? Then give this one a go:-

Good, eh?


What’s the difference between a good treasure hunter and a great treasure hunter? A good treasure hunter knows the law. A great treasure hunter knows the Coroner…..


The driving force on some fact-free blogs: “Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” …  E.B. White

That’s all folks!

I’ll see y’all in the bar.




Filed under Metal Detecting

12 responses to “Pep Talk From the Pub…

  1. I agree, John. Metal detecting has a lot of health benefits.The salt air is one of my favorites when hunting the beach! And thanks for the review of the Garrett 400i….looks like a nice little machine. Now If only came in black!

  2. Hi Jim:
    It wasn’t so much a review more about horses for courses and to what use it’s intended for. For the beach-combing purposes described, the 440i is perfect, though it might not exceed expectations in other arenas.

    I always liked the ‘Garrett Green’ of Groundhog fame!

  3. Alan Titchmarsh

    I guess Ed Huffman would say that, wouldn’t he, given that he’s in the business of selling metal detectors…

  4. Mike Smith

    I just had a mild heart attack this past Monday. They had to place a stint in my right artery in my heart. When I get through with cardiac rehabilitation I hope to start getting out more with the detector to help get my strength back. Good form of exercise, recommended by many doctors after a heart attack.

  5. Mike Smith

    Thanks for the support! Learning to eat healthy is something we should all be doing. And of course, listening to our mom’s advise. Lots of fruits and vegetables, with chicken and fish for meat instead of the nice thick, juicy steak and potatoes covered in butter. I am getting there, getting stronger everyday.
    Now back to metal detecting!!

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