There are some pleasures to an MP’s life, to offset the personal attacks that come with the job. One of them for me is the opportunity to meet Wokingham and West Berkshire people who do interesting things that they wish to share with the local community. There are wells of talent, streams of hard work and rivers of good will out there to be tapped.
When I was visiting the Post Office before Christmas to say “thank you ” to the postal staff on their big efforts to get us the Crhistmas mail, I met Jeff Nelson. In his spare time he takes a metal detector to local fields and finds our past beneath his feet. At his suggestion I popped in to the Post office this morning to see some of his finds.
He has discovered a stunning array of metal coins, tokens, buckles, parts of harnesses, thimbles and other items from clothing and work that tell us more about the era they came from. The pre decimal coinage looks so big and from another world. He has found coins many hundreds of years old, a great deal of Victorian bric a brac, bullets, shot, and some of the copper tokens that were produced to make up for a shortage of small change in the late eighteenth century. He has cleaned and researched his finds, and set them out with their story.
Clearly our ancestors did not have the same will to recycle or the same efficient dustbin service as we enjoy today. Their losses are our gains, as we peer into the past through this window opened by Jeff.
Expect him to find more, and expect him to show these finds to the local community. Wokingham histiorians and archaeologists should be ready to weave Jeff’s discoveries into their story.