Will anyone bring in an electric tablecloth? This unique find was reported to 24 HM staff in 2004! © 24 Hour Museum
Saturday April 30 2005 is Fabulous Finds Day at nine museums around the country. People of all ages can take favourite finds to be examined by experts – and for under-16s, there’s even a national Finder of the Year competition.
Fabulous Finds Day is organised by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) as part of Museums and Galleries Month, which runs from May 1 to 31 2005. It brings together two major national initiatives: the Renaissance programme to revitalise England’s regional museums and the Portable Antiquities Scheme, (PAS) which is the country’s largest community archaeology project.
These splendid medieval love rings, found and reported by Sussex detectorists, bear the inscription mon cuer entier - 'my whole heart'.
“Some people are hooked on antique fairs; others enjoy rummaging around junk shops or metal detecting on farmland. Fabulous Finds Days give people the chance to learn more about their finds and to have them recorded and displayed so others can enjoy them,” said Mark Wood, MLA Chairman.
Museum curators and experts from the PAS will be present at the museums to identify and tell more about the finds – maybe a fossil from the beach, an old coin or clay pipe dug up in the garden; or something bought at an antiques fair.
On the big day 24 Hour Museum writers will sample the excitement at each of the museums and we’ll bring you news of the more outlandish and interesting things brought in. After Fabulous Finds Day more info about finds and finders will feature in online galleries on the 24 Hour Museum and will be on public display at the participating museums.
This find was brought in to the recent PAS roadshows - the experts decided it was a Roman pin. © 24 Hour Museum
For kids under 16, there’s a separate Finder of the Year competition. The coveted title will be awarded to the finder with the best story, rather than the one with the oldest, prettiest or most valuable object. Think about it - your story might be about where and how you found your object and why it’s important to you. What was it like when you found it?
If you can’t get to one of the nine museums, click to download a .pdf version of the entry form for Finder of the Year. For your info - that's a large file, so it might take a few minutes to download on a dial-up modem connection. If your computer won't read the competition form, it might mean you don't have Adobe Acrobat reader on your computer so download Acrobat Reader now. Again, that's a large file, and will take a moment to download.
If you’re not near one of the main venues, there’s also going to be lots of other museums running Fabulous Finds Days throughout May, Museums and Galleries Month. Search for more about the other venues on www.mgm.org.uk..