Unearthing the past scores TV slot

A TREASURE hunter from Kesgrave who has unearthed a wealth of rare Anglo-Saxon coins is to come under the spotlight in a new BBC programme and book.Dave Cummings, 55, of Main Road, works as a tropical fish salesman but is never happier than when out roaming the fields with his metal detector searching for treasure.

A TREASURE hunter from Kesgrave who has unearthed a wealth of rare Anglo-Saxon coins is to come under the spotlight in a new BBC programme and book.

Dave Cummings, 55, of Main Road, works as a tropical fish salesman but is never happier than when out roaming the fields with his metal detector searching for treasure.

In 16 years he has uncovered more than 100 ancient coins and thousands of other artefacts like brooches, buckles and pins, all in the same valley near Ipswich – the exact location of which can not be revealed for fear of people plundering the site.

Through extensive excavation he and his treasure-hunting team – his wife, Mary, his son, Francis, and friend, Peter Murrel - have been able to piece together the exact details of the Anglo-Saxon settlement that used to occupy the site.


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His ancient finds have now made him the subject of an episode of BBC 2's Hidden Treasures series and earned him a whole chapter in the accompanying book.

Mr Cummings said: "There's probably no one else in the country that has discovered that amount of treasure all in the same area."

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Back in March Mr Cummings was visited by the TV crew and presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff who spent more than a week filming with him at his site and at various other location like the British Museum.

He said: "It was a bit daunting at first but you gradually relax into it. It can be a bit scary having to just talk about things off the top of your head on demand but by the end of the filming I got a bit more used to it.

"You don't realise quite what goes into something like this when you watch it on the TV, we spent 11 days filming for what will end up as a half hour programme."

Mr Cummings, who is chairman of the Ipswich and District Metal Detecting Club, began metal detecting around 30 years ago. He said: "I got into it because I've been a coin collector since I was a boy. I used to collect Victorian bun pennies and try and get one of each year.

"I was so intrigued by this that I started buying nice coins and then my wife bought me a metal detector and it started from there – it seemed like a logical progression really."

The programme will be screened on BBC2 on September 30.

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