Calvin Farrin is a new Fiskerton resident who has an interesting hobby allowing him to both travel in time as well as uncover long lost treasure.
Calvin is a metal detectorist, a hobby that was inspired by the hit BBC comedy The Detectorists. “I’ve always had a keen interest in history since I was at primary school, and I’ve always been the geek of my friends. When I saw The Detectorists, I got the buzz off that, so I got a detector and got permission to search the camp I was on at the time, and I started finding all sorts!”
A career in the army meant Calvin had to move around a lot, so after leaving and starting a family, it was time for Calvin to settle down and Fiskerton was the perfect place to do just that.
Because of the move, it means Calvin doesn’t have permission locally and is hoping to reach out to the local community to find some land. “Most of my land at the moment is towards Nottingham and is a 45-minute drive away which with a new child isn’t ideal!”
With no success currently on locally ploughed farmland, he has managed to find some land to keep him occupied in the meantime. “A kind chap called Les who owns the Diamond House Caravan Park in Fiskerton has a few acres which he is letting me search which is great.” Ploughed farmland is preferable because of the ground being constantly churned; you can still find old things on land that hasn’t been ploughed, however it’s less likely.
There can be common misconceptions or judgements when it comes to metal detecting, sadly perpetuated by those who are doing it for the wrong reasons. “There are those who will go on land they don’t have permission to go to or won’t declare their treasure meaning no one else benefits from it other than them. Farmers are very well connected so you only have to hear one bad story about a detectorist which will sadly mean they think ‘nope not on my land!’ so we are kind of fighting that.” Calvin explains.
Those, like Calvin, who are doing it for the right reasons, do it for the love of history and the thrill of finding something of significance that can help our understanding of how the world we live in once was. “For me I love the time travel aspect. I might find something in the middle of a field, and I do a 360 and think ‘flipping heck how did that get here?!’ I can find a medieval belt buckle that transports me back to the moment it was dropped or when I found a Victorian gold wedding ring I thought ‘poor sod must have got a right earful off his wife!’” Calvin chuckles, “that’s what it is for me, and the excitement of when you hear a good signal and wonder what it is going to be – that justifies the cold wet days.”
One of Calvin’s favourite finds was a St John’s Ambulance Medal that had a name on the back. “I did a bit of research and the chap who lost this died at The Battle of the Somme. My aim was then to get it back to a surviving relative, but I found out that when he died his wife sadly committed suicide and they never had any children. It was horrendous, but my favourite finds are ones you can go home and research the story of.”
A goal for detectorists is to find treasure, which is defined as an item made of at least 10% precious metal which is over 300 years old. Although Calvin believes all his finds are treasure to him, in official terms he has found one piece which he waived his claim to a reward to Newark Museum. “I was sad to give it up, but this is why we do it! It was a silver medieval seal matrix from the 1500s and was used to seal letters with wax; it had a crucifix on and was found in a place called Egmanton in Nottinghamshire… I did a little dance when I found it, I won’t lie!”
If you are wanting to become a detectorist yourself, Calvin stresses the importance of remembering that all land is owned by someone and detecting without permission is trespassing. You must reach out to landowners in any way possible, and when agreed a contract should be drafted up agreeing to declare any finds with the potential to be declared treasure with the Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) who will decide if the item needs further investigation and a 50/50 split of the value of find worth over a certain amount. You must always respect the land boundaries, pick up any litter and most importantly fill in any holes you make.
If you or anyone you know has land Calvin can search, or if you would like some advice on metal detecting or have any questions, you can message him via Facebook or email him at email@example.com