Searching for gold at local estate

METAL detectorists from all over the world will be heading for Angus next month to take part in the first organised rally to be held in several years.

It will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 26, 27 and 27, at Kinblethmont Estate, just outside Arbroath, where participants will be permitted to search in three of the best areas on the estate.

The rally is being organised by Jim Crombie (69) from Lochgelly, Fife, who says that there has been a marvellous response so far from notices in detectorist magazines.

He believes that at least 50 enthusiasts will take part, although that number will probably increase as some people will just turn up on the day.

A number of participants are staying in accommodation at Kinblethmont, but others have found bed and breakfast locally and others plan to stay in caravans.

Mr Crombie said that there has only been one other similar rally in recent times, at Linlithgow, although during the 1970s they were a regular occurrence in Dundee and Kirkcaldy and at Glamis.

However, the hobby is gaining in popularity, particularly since the find of five gold torques near Stirling by Davy Booth some years ago. And metal detecting forums on the Internet keep enthusiasts abreast of what is happening all over the world.

Mr Crombie has already received confirmation that one metal detectorist will be flying in from Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, and six or seven other Americans will be arriving from Germany. There will also be a contingent from Spain as well as domestic hobbyists.

Mr Crombie commented: “The rally itself and the location - Kinblethmont - present a story waiting to be told.

“Historically the estate has played an important part in Scotland’s past and an important part in creating what Scotland is today.”

He revealed that Stuart Campbell, of the Scottish Treasure Trove system, will be on hand over the three days to gauge the importance of any finds.

The organiser will make the journey north to Angus within the next couple of weeks to speak to Robert Ramsay of Kinblethmont in order to finalise specifically where he and his colleagues will be permitted to operate.

Mr Crombie must also carry out a GPS survey of the fields to be searched and forward the co-ordinates to Angus Council archaeological unit which will set the boundaries for the meeting.

He went on: “Obviously we must be very mindful of those fields which are in crop but by the time we arrive the potato harvest should be completed so that will give us extra scope.”

During the course of the rally a raffle will be held to benefit the Scottish Association for Mental Health and there will be prizes for the best finds.