It was a pleasant Sunday morn- ing in September, the day of the Rotary Charity Rally and detecting enthusiasts from all over the UK started to arrive at the field just before 7am. This annual event had been organised by the Midlands Federation of Metal Detect- ing Clubs and their partners in fund raising, the Lutterworth Rotary Club.
John Wells, the Federation’s chairman and organiser wel- comed everyone and got the event off to a good efficient start at 9:30am sharp, with some140 detectorists gathered on the large freshly raked War- wickshire stubble field. John had thanked everyone for turn- ing out to support the Midlands Federation and this year’s cho- sen charity which was The Life after Stroke Association.
A special word of thanks must go to John’s wife Lynda who stepped in at the last moment to run the registration. Meanwhile I was in charge of selling the raffle tickets which raised £707, the prize being an XP Deus Lite kindly donated by the NCMD. The Midlands Feder- ation raises money every year for different chosen causes and has done so for the past 35 years with all monies raised going to charity. Another raffle held by the Rotary Club had prizes that included a lovely ham- per donated by their members which raised an additional £260.
There were numerous finds including musket shot, lead artefacts, Roman fibulas and several buckles from various periods. One detectorist found a superb papal bulla in the name of Pope Alexander dating from 1431-1503. These official seals were made from lead and attached to documents to sig- nify that they were issued with the Pope’s authority.
In addition over 25 ham- mered coins were found and reported during the day and news reached us that a gold hammered coin had been found, but at that stage we hadn’t actually seen it. That was soon to be remedied when the lucky finder Michelle Vall came back to her car at lunch time. A rather excited Michelle, who is from Blackpool, finally turned up at the registration tent to show us her amazing find of a Richard III gold half-angel, struck between the years 1482- 1485. This is a very rare coin issued during a reign that lasted for just over two years. Richard III who was the last Plantagenet king of England, was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 in nearby Leicestershire.
The angel coin was so called because the obverse had an image of St Michael slaying the dragon. The full angel had a value of six shillings and eight pence which was the standard fee for professional services.
When the charity rally drew to a close at 4pm it was clear that a good day had been enjoyed by all and a total sum of £3,277 was raised for a very worthy cause.
Since the rally Michelle has had the coin professionally straightened and returned to its former glory.
Laura-Rose Wells, Coventry
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