Metal Detecting in Sidmouth & Lyme Regis
My name is Paul Williams and I live with my family in
Sidmouth, Devon. By day I am a researcher and writer of subliminal mind priming and create audio programmes to help with weight loss,
confidence and insomnia.
At the weekend I like to leave the desk and turn into a local historian with an avid interest in my
favourite hobby. . . metal detecting. Devon has an interesting history
and I have recovered many finds including coins, buckles, World War II buttons, Roman brooches and other
My passion for metal detecting began when I was 13 with a friend who had an
early C-Scope detector that seemed like a door to another world. I loved the excitement and escapism and
couldn't wait until the weekends when I would get to play a history detective.
For me I love the rich history we have under our feet and it's so exciting and
fascinating to discover a small roman coin that last saw the daylight nearly two thousand years ago.
I have been very lucky to find many Roman coins including Roman
I am a member of both the National Council for Metal Detecting and
the Federation of Independent Detectorists. By following their code of conduct I am covered for an
Indemnity of up to £10,000,000 Civil Liability Insurance.
It's always difficult on a page like this writing about yourself because you never
quite know what to say. But there is something important I want to tell you.
Although I am a member of the NCMD and FID and a local detecting club, I would
like you to know that I normally detect alone and never share details of my sites with anyone
without the permission of the landowner.
I met a farmer many years ago who was very interested in the history of his land
but was worried of what might happen if some treasure was found. This farmer was worried that
archologists would jump all over his land digging up his fields and making areas a site of scientific Interest
preventing his fields from being worked on and thus effecting his income. The farmer was then
concerned about future restrictions that may be placed on the area due to any significant finds being
I was able
to detect on his land and still have a great relationship with this farmer today because of one vital point. . .
the most important part of this hobby to me. I want you to know that NOTHING will
happen without speaking with you first. As a small business owner I’ve had my fair share of frustrations with red
tape and interfering government busy bodies! Please understand that
by allowing me permission to search your land, you are helping me fulfil my life’s passion and hobby and I
consider you a friend. I do not work for the government, I have no
associations with any archaeologists, nor am I hoping for fame and fortune.
relationship with you is so important to me that I respect you and your wishes. And this is why I never share
details of my landowners, their sites or where I've found certain artefacts. Everything is kept confidential
and I exercise the highest discretion.
If you are
interested in discovering what history might be under your land, please do contact me in complete
confidence. You will always know what's going on and what items have been found. So let's
meet up and have a chat. . .
name is Bob Seymour and I live in Uplyme, Lyme Regis. I retired this past August from my
Plumbing business which I ran whilst living in the USA.
I have been
metal detecting on and off since 1976 and my enthusiasm for the hobby is just as strong today as it was
then! Even living in America couldn't stop me from detecting and for many years used a Tesoro Lobo metal
detector which is great for hunting gold.
It was on a
camping trip that I got my first taste of gold prospecting. Having bought a gold panning bowl to search
the local river beds in the middle of nowhere, I was approached by a group of scruffy men known in America as
"Mountain Men". After asking me what I thought I was doing, one of the men took the bowl out of my hand
and I must admit I feared the worst. But I was to be surprised when he said "you'll never find gold doing
it like that!" and proceeded to show me the correct way to pann!
short while I really got the hang of it and eventually found my first few flakes of American
gold! The mountain men were camping a few hundred yards away in rough canvas makeshift tents, beat up old
trucks and plenty of guns and riffles - it was like something out of an old Western movie. The next day
they invited me to watch and learn how they pann for gold and I could not believe the amount of expensive
professional equipment they had. Spending a week with them was an eye-opening experience and they let me
use their special sluice, diving equipment and special underwater vacuum machine that sucked up all the small
particals and flakes of gold which were then transferred to a special vibrating conveyor belt that seperated the
gold from the dirt.
left, they showed me they gold they found in this particular river bed which looked amazing and amounted to
around $5,000 worth. One of the men was an ancestor of the Apache Tribe and as a parting gift handed me a
stone arrow head which symbolised for them "good luck and friendship". I started my camping trip with my
detector, a pan bowl and a dream of a little gold and left with an educational experience and
friendship that I'll never forget, and that was the best treasure ever!
back to England, there was only one place I wanted to call home. After a school trip from London to
Dorset when I was eleven in 1958, I feel in love with the countryside while staying in Chideock and vowed that
one day I would live somewhere in Dorset. As fate would have it, I moved to Uplyme in Lyme Regis and love
I met Paul
from down the road in Sidmouth and we became good detecting buddies working together on our local history
project. We've both met and continue to enjoy relationships with many local farmers and I can't think of a
better way to enjoy my retirement!
My current metal detector is a state of the art Minelab
Safari which uses multiple frequency technology. Rather than rely on
one frequency, the Safari transmits up to 28 frequencies from 1.5 kHz to 100
kHz which gives me great depth and high sensitivity.
This machine also uses advanced digital filtering to eliminate ground signals which
makes it nice and quiet unlike other machines I have used in the past which were
noisy and constantly chatted bleeps. The great thing about the Safari is how easy
it is to use. All the technology works behind the scenes, and I have to do is turn
it on and go!
To me, this is one of the best metal detectors available in the
world. I sum up the performance to other detector users by saying it has the fast
recovery speed of a Fisher F75, the sensitivity of an XP Goldmaxx and the depth of
a Minelab Explorer. It takes the best from all these machines but has none of their
bad points. The Fisher is too unstable and chats too much, the Explorer is deep but
misses targets next to iron due to a slow recovery speed, the XP is very sensitive
to tiny objects but lacks the depth.
The Minelab Safari has it all - the depth, the recovery speed and the sensitivity.
. . although it is a little on the heavy side!
The display is a nice aid to have out in the field. The
detector gives a massive range of audio sounds in my headphones which gives me
a good idea of how conductive the metal might be under the ground, and the
display gives addtional information. For instance, the large "22" on the
left gives me an idea of the ferrous content and ranges from -10 to 50.
The detector is set to ignore any signals below -6 as these are usually
iron. The higher the number the greater the chance of the item below
being gold. On the right hand of the screen different symbols display
from coins and rings to ringpulls or mulitple coins. The bar in the
middle indicates the depth of the item.
There is also a handy pinpoint button which allows the detector to home in on
the item below making digging a hole more precise and saves making a mess. A
brilliant machine for professionals and beginners.
Bob uses a Minelab Sovereign GT.
With similar technology to the Safari, the Sovereign uses Broad Band Spectrum
technology that sends multiple frequencies into the gorund. This also gives
great depth and sensitivity while allowing accurate discrimination.
The Sovereign also features ACCU-Track digital ground traching which
balances the signals across a wide range of terrains making it perfect for wet sand
beaches, woods or high minerals in ploughed fields.