Saturday, 5 July 2014

Tiler? Wat Tyler?

browndown army training area  lee on solent gosportWoken up far too early by the tilers Stephen and Wat, who came to sing Aerosmith hits and usurp the throne respectively. OK, they came to tile the new bathroom. It will be nice when we have a new bathroom, they've been working on it for 3 weeks now and the house is still full of giant boxes of sanitaryware.
But we left them to it because we had other ideas. Saturdays are good for us when Jof is at work as we can go forth into the universe and do blokey things. I chose metal detecting. Because it was grey and overcast there wouldn't be anything of interest at the nudist beach so instead we drove to Lee-on-the-Solent, as you do.
browndown mod training ground first world war trenchesJust up the coast from there is a nature reserve/abandoned area called Browndown. It has been a Ministry of Defence training ground for a century or so and on Google Earth you can actually see the trenches that the 1st World War troops were trained on before being sent to their pointless deaths in the fields of Flanders.
But now it's dog-walking heaven. We have no dog so ignored the warning sign about unexploded munitions and set up the detector on a path through the ferns. We got lucky in the heather approximately 2 seconds after switching it on. In fact you couldn't move for signals, the detector was a mad beeping thing as we made our slow progress across the battlefield.
browndown MOD training ground gosport ferns gorse and heatherThe ground was hard and full of roots but we have a decent metal spade and found 28 things. We could have found an awful lot more, but we'd been there long enough and the abundant gorse was prickling my little legs in their short trousers.
I had to have a piggy-back out of there, he told me I have to be grateful forever. We did indeed find many of the real actual great war trenches, you can see their jagged outlines in the bracken and if you're not careful, go down one and break your leg, particularly if you're carrying an 8 year-old child.
Venturing into Lee-on-the-Solent itself, we found it to be a 1-road township with 5 charity shops and a café where I had burger and chips.
From there we went to Tesco X-treem in Paulsgrove where we bought 'Watermelon Plums' amongst other things. Jof got home, changed, and left us again to go to Nanna's house and make her food and clean the place in preparation for getting her home tomorrow. That's when she discovered her set of keys no longer worked, mildly worrying there.
Our not-bad haul for the day:
base screw from no36m mk1 mills bomb grenade rg l10a2 l18a1 nato 5.56mm 7.62mm blanks ammunition
13 random bits of unidentified metal off bombs and stuff, mostly heavily corroded
1 base screw from a 1940 Mills bomb grenade
14 cartridges (5.56 mm NATO blanks, 7.62 mm NATO blanks, .303 assorted, dated between 1930 and 2007)
Boys'-night-in film: Schwarzenegger in 'Commando' because we haven't got 'Predator' yet.

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