I’ve been so busy with filming series 2 of WW2 Treasure Hunters, (starts 12th November 2018 on History channel and Freeview Blaze), that I’ve not done a great deal of digging for myself over the past few months. So, now for something completely different! (ish).
The vast majority of my collection of WW2 relics is ground dug, and I love ground dug relics for a couple of reasons. Firstly the history is intact. When they come out of the ground I know precisely where they have been since the war, and can usually identify who used them, down to a unit or even a single man. Secondly, they cost nothing! Ok, they do have some cost as I use petrol to get to the site and have bought a detector to find them, but you know what I mean.
Many people turn their noses up at ground dug relics as they prefer shiny bits of metal, but I often think that shiny means no history. For me, it is all about the history not just the relic itself, and in 20+ years of digging WW2 relics, I have not sold a single item I have recovered. I can’t part with the history!
All of that being said, as a WW2 geek I can’t resist a bargain, and will always look round junk shops, carboot sales and the like in the hope of picking up a piece of WW2 for a ridiculously small amount of money. I’m an old skinflint I know, but I’d be daft not to take advantage of a low price. Over the past few years I’ve picked up some fabulous items, and have never spent more than a £20 on any of them. In fact, many cost me just a few quid or even pence!
The trick with most of this bargain hunting is to find the seller who doesn’t know what they’ve got, (or simply doesn’t care). It’s no good making a bee-line for the stall/shop packed with militaria, as you will rarely pick up a bargain. They know what they’ve got and know the value. What you’re looking for is the guy that has a shop/stall full of stuff, in amongst which are a couple of bits of militaria. It is these where you can find a bargain. On a couple of occasions I’ve picked items up, only for the seller to tell me ‘I’ve no idea what that is mate…..make me an offer’. These are the ones to go for!
The easiest thing to pick up are books and pamphlets. But you can also find shell cases, ammo boxes, dust masks……all kinds of things….at carboot sales and in junk shops.
This was the best donation ever though, and not just because I got them for nothing from a veteran. They have their history intact!! (or at least the book does……The cuff title maybe repro but it’s the thought that counts….)