Random Jottings

Tosheroons........they are not just under-water you know!

I have picked up the term 'tosheroon' to describe a particular feature where tide, wave and current conspire to drop things of a certain size and density. I think I learned the term from a book about 'sewer pickers' who would know exactly where coins and other valuables would end up in the London sewer system, and no I haven't been diving in sewers!

Rather I have been bimbling along a beach up here in Northumberland, an activity which I find highly theraputic at any time of year, you simply have to dress accordingly. In the last week there have been a series of spring tides and some easterly swell which has conspired to sweep a section of beach totally clear of sand exposing the hard bedrock and also washing out part of the shore, not much just a yard or so but enough.

Walking along the high-tide line, as is my wont, I spotted some 'green', that very special green that to divers signifies brass so I stopped and started digging and turned up all sorts of stuff, hand made nails, machine made nails, a bit of keel pin, screws, cabinet catches, an old belt buckle, all sorts of stuff with all sorts of vintages but the best bit?


Well on first examination a small chip carved anglo-saxon birds head its only about an inch long but a gorgeous little find!

A bit further long in another gully in the bedrock there was the the dull grey of lead and again I found all sorts of 'bits' and pieces, off cuts of what appears to be roofing lead, a few long thin sections which could well have been some sort of rubbing strip some solid circular sections, which I have no idea about, maybe simply bits of lead that were used by the fishermen as part of their salmon netting activities? Oh and the best find in this particular tosheroon?

Well a quite nice little lead toy horse. It was quite a coincidence as it had only been the day before when I was explaining that in 'olden times' childrens toys were made from lead and then it was realised that it was poisoning them! It looked like this particular charger had either a rider or maybe it was a pin and the horse was part of a childs fairground carousel.

Well if that wasn't enough the next little gully threw up some coins which again confirm my theory about tosheroons, there was an old 'two bob bit' a new one pence piece, what looks like a farthing plus two small copper/bronze coins that I cant make out and another milled edge coin that again I can't make out. These coins are of varying vintages and whilst it is possible that the penny and 'two bob bit' were in the same pocket there is no way that the person also lost the farthing again confirming that coins will congregate in an area where they naturally drop as the action of wind and tide is insufficient to keep them on the move.

So what a great walk on the beach, I now have another bit of anglo-saxon chip carved art to go into my 'curio box', the lead horse will be added to the 'silver dancer' which is at my place in Northumberland and the amount of scrap lead was better than the Nunkies effort at Oban and all without dive gear!

Dive safe


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