April 19, 2022 8.30 pm

Lincolnshire businessman’s metal detecting treasure trove up for auction

It will go under the hammer this week

A Grimsby businessman’s treasure trove collection of thousands Lincolnshire metal detecting finds will go under the hammer in an online auction scheduled to end on Wednesday afternoon.

The extraordinary collection amassed by Ron Fletcher has countless historic coins, including the entry that is expected to be the star of the auction – a quarter ‘stater’, a 2,000-year-old gold coin that he unearthed at Swinhope near Binbrook.

The stater was one of the first coins to be seen in Britain, originally brought across the Channel from the Continent, and it is expected to fetch around £300-£500 at action.

The coin was minted by the Ambiani Tribe, one of the Celtic tribes that lived in the Amiens area of Northern France in the first century BC.

The collection also includes many English coins, dating from the medieval period onwards and a Victorian referee’s whistle.

The Fletcher Family Metal Detecting Finds and Collectables Auction catalogue is available online here. The online auction is scheduled to end at 1pm on Wednesday, April 20.


Fascinating Finds. Left to right – a Tudor period silver coin found in Market Rasen, a gold quarter stater discovered at Swinhope, and a Vespasian silver denarius found in East Yorkshire.

Ron developed an interest in the hobby after his 13-year-old son Mark asked for a metal detector for Christmas. Mark’s interest only lasted three years, but Ron carried on using his metal detector for the next 40 years, winning numerous awards in the process.

Ron has also taken part in organised enthusiast events at sites around Lincolnshire, as well as personal expeditions all over the region.

Paul Cooper, of auctioneers Eddisons CJM, said: “The coins are though just a part of this enormous collection. The thousands of objects that were unearthed cover an amazing assortment of the things that people have dropped or lost or discarded or perhaps even hidden in the last two thousand years.

“They include jewellery, Saxon and Roman brooches, buckles, lead letter seals, weights, pins, rings and more.

“There are of course lots of easily lost things like metal buttons, including incidentally one button from the uniform of the Grimsby Corporation Tramways, the organisation that ran the town’s streetcars in the period 1925-37.

“Then there are objects that are completely unexpected, like the half dozen whistles dating back to the Victorian period, including four Acme Thunderers, famed as the world’s first sports whistle, designed back in 1884.”