Adam Terry and his mum Caroline show off his Fabulous Find, part of a flagon from the 16th/17th century.
Nine year-old Adam Terry from Antony Torpoint in Cornwall has been named the Fabulous Finder of the Year.
Adam was one of hundreds of people who attended events at museums up and down the country as part of a national Fabulous Finds Day on April 30 2005. The day was organised as part of Museums and Galleries Month, an annual celebration that takes place throughout May.
At Liskeard and District museum curators identified Adam’s fab find as being part of a flagon from the 16th or 17th Century. But it was the story behind his finding of it that caught the imagination of the judges: chief scout and ex-Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan and CBBC presenters Angelica Bell and Matt Edmondson.
As part of his competition entry, Adam wrote about how he discovered the small piece of glass while paddling in the Lostwithiel River with his grandparents.
Young Charlie Whitehair with a Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee Medal from 1887. Photo: Rob Frost.
"It was really sunny so me and my brother and Grandad paddled in the river," wrote Adam. "I found a really interesting stone which my Grandad thought was a bit of old pot and he thought it might be glass. When we took it to Liskeard Museum the experts said it was part of a flagon."
As top prize winner Adam not only gets the acclaim of his peers and title of Finder of the Year, but also an Olympus digital camera.
"We’ve all dreamed about discovering hidden treasure or unearthing secrets of the past," said Mark Wood, Mark Wood, chair of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, which organised the event.
"Adam’s story demonstrated wonderfully how a seemingly unimportant piece of material could actually form an integral part of our local history."
Liskeard Town Clerk, Brenda Furse, and Jeremy Pearson of the National Trust were on hand at the museum to help sift through the treasures. Photo: Rob Frost.
While Adam came out on top, there were also prizes for two runners-up: 10 year-old James Whittaker from Stoke on Trent and William Watson, 14, from Preston.
Something of a potential Time Teamer for the future, James has a ‘dig area’ in his back garden and took unidentified bones, pottery and glass bottles along to the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent: "I like digging because you never know what you might find," he explained.
William’s fab find was a rusty eight cm (three inches) peg, which he showed curators at the Museum of Lancashire in Preston. He imagined that it was once used on a Viking ship to secure the main sail, but a brave Anglo-Saxon boy had scuppered their journey home by removing it.
Both will receive a goody bag containing books and stationery from WH Smiths, an Encarta Premium Suite 2005 and a copy of Angie Sage’s mystical tale Magyk.
Eddie Reay, the first through the door at the Fabulous Finds Day at the Hancock Museum, Newcastle, donated a 300 million year old fish tooth to the museum.
Fabulous Finds was organised by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and brought together two major national initiatives, the Renaissance programme to revitalise England’s regional museums and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
On the day, 24 Hour Museum reporters were on the spot at museums in Coalville, Dereham, Liskeard, London, Newcastle, Oxford, Preston, Stoke and York. Among the fab finds they spotted was a prehistoric shark tooth, a hangman’s noose and a commemorative coin from Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
For the full lowdown on the Fabulous Finds Day and to read our reports from each venue, click here.