Hi, my name is Emily and I’m one of the three founding members of Colchester Detecting Club. I’m going to be sharing my experience of running a metal detecting club and the benefits clubs can bring to metal detectorists.
What is required to be part of a detecting club?
Not very much! Your own metal detector and metal detecting accessories such as a spade, finds pouch and pin pointer (or a ‘wand’ as some people call it) is a good start. Suitable clothing for all weather conditions is also a great help - us detectorists will go out in all weathers, including wind, rain and snow. Something I have learnt from running a club is that metal detectorists are hardened hobbyists and will brave the most severe weather conditions as long as they are detecting. On one of our digs recently, it rained all day and the mud was very sticky, yet many of our members stayed out from start to finish and came off the fields looking like they had been in a mud bath!
Insurance, although not compulsory with some clubs, is something most metal detector clubs would prefer you to have. There are plenty of insurances out there including NCMD, FID & AMDS. Insurance covers you in the unlikely but still very possible event of accidental damage whilst digging such as damage to a power cable or gas line or accidentally letting livestock escape from a field.
And of course, following the metal detecting code of conduct, both on your own permissions as well as on club digs, is very important. This includes ground care, reporting your finds and complying with The Treasure Act.
What’s the best part of joining and metal detecting with a club?
As someone who was detecting using private permissions, and the beach, prior to starting a club and joining other clubs, I can honestly say that there are so many benefits to club detecting. For example, getting permission from land owners to detect on their land is rather tricky and of course if you haven’t got permission, then you can’t detect there. One benefit of joining a club is that the club owners and admin have secured that club permission already so as a single detectorist, you don’t have to.
Personally, the best part of metal detecting with a club is the social element. It’s the lunchtime sandwiches whilst sat in the open boot of your car, or stood in the middle of the field, sharing your finds and stories with other passionate people. It’s giving each other help and advice about different metal detectors. It’s about sharing your knowledge and talking about history. I can go to club digs and not find much or I can run a club day and not even turn my detector on, but I still go home feeling the buzz of being out with a great bunch of people, seeing other peoples finds and witnessing the same passion that others have - I just love it!
How was Colchester detecting club formed?
Colchester Detecting Club was formed by three friends with a passion for metal detecting and history and also a desire to create a community in which everyone comes together to enjoy the hobby they already love, with the added benefits of a club detecting environment, and to give people who might not have tried it before, the opportunity to try it out and experience the hobby (or way of life as detectorists would say)
The idea of starting a club came about whilst all three of us were out detecting with an already formed club, Clacton Metal Detecting Club, and we realised that with the ever growing demand and interest in metal detecting, that there was an opportunity to create a club of our own in our hometown of Colchester. From detecting with other clubs and attending large rallies such as Detectival and Rodney Cook Memorial rally, combined with 10+ years detecting experience between the three of us, we put our heads together to start planning how we could make this dream a reality. Running a club requires a lot of organisation and hardwork so we all have our individual roles that allows each of us to bring our strengths together and make the club the best it can be for our members.
After months of planning and obtaining land, we had our first club dig in October 2022. Fast forward to February 2023 and we are 11 digs in with a lot more planned for the year; that’s a lot of 6am starts in minus temperatures, setting up tents, teas and coffees but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Also our club wouldn’t be what it is without our members who are the friendliest, most supportive group of people - so a big thank you to them!
Do you have any events coming up we should know about?
Currently we are in talks with our farmers trying to plan a detecting weekender which should be exciting. Most of our digs at the moment are members only, so we are planning on holding larger digs which would mean followers of our ‘friends of’ detecting page on Facebook would be able to attend!