Silver coins and signs of the times…

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December 13, 2016 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in teh Littlehampton Gazette November 24th 2016

Silver coins and signs of the times…

If like me you are a keen walker whether as a birder, for exercise or just for the sheer joy of being in the open air whatever the reason, it is very important that you have somewhere to walk, a place to explore. If you are adventurous that place may well be far from the well-trod path where a fingerpost is essential. It was startling to learn that over 20,000 of such signs across the country are in fact missing. Even more concerning is the fact that many of those public footways are inaccessible or dangerously blocked by barbed wire fences, undergrowth and damaged stiles. Over the next few months I intend to travel some of these local footways and see how many are clearly signposted. If you have any information regarding this subject let me know as well as reporting the matter to either Arun or West Sussex County Councils. 

IMAGINE yourself to be a tribal elder way back a couple of thousand years or so ago, wandering across a Sussex field in a landscape far removed from the one you know today. No finger posts then. You may have had a jar or two and are looking forward to a supper of toasted stoat or some other culinary delight and you have a couple of Silver Units in your leather pouch. Then, jumping a frosty ditch you take a tumble and a Unit falls out of your purse, six month’s wages down the drain. Cut to 2016 and you are Tyndall Jones walking that long ago field now cultivated and hedged, your metal detector in your hand and there at the end of a ping, is that very Silver Unit. Cleaned of mud it is as pristine as the day it was minted. Bearing in mind that coin is smaller than a five pence piece that is some find. That man is a natural born coin magnet with either bucket or detector… 

Photo: Tyndall’s tiny find set against a five pence piece

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