Appeal for information on unusual treasure found on Fife beach

Liam Mason. Pics by FPA
Liam Mason. Pics by FPA

A metal detectorist is trying to put together the pieces of an old puzzle after discovering an old silver ferrule on a Kirkcaldy beach.

Liam Mason (34), discovered the artefact, the metal cap which strengthens the end of a handle or stick to prevent the wood from splitting, while sweeping Seafield beach with his metal detector back in April this year.

Liam on Seafield beach where he found the ferrule

Liam on Seafield beach where he found the ferrule

Liam had only become involved in detecting last year through his wife Jess, who had been doing it for several years, and had volunteered to help out at a beach clean.

“I thought I could go along and maybe help by picking up some old cans with the detector – I wasn’t expecting to find anything,” he said.

“I had picked up a few things, mainly on beaches because you don’t need permission to detect on them as they are usually public. I found a brooch dating back to around WW1 last year near to Ravenscraig beach, so I knew there were things to be found.

“I had only been there around half an hour but because there was a lot of electrical interference in the area I was about to give up and was on my way back to the car just sweeping as I went along when I got a high pitched signal.

The buried treasure

The buried treasure

“A high pitched noise usually means that it is something silver, while iron gives off a lower tone, so I stopped to look and the silver ferrule was lying covered over by just a thin layer of sand.

“It was quite burnished and was a brownish colour, tubular shaped and I could see that it had engraving on it.”

Liam took the object home with him and cleaned it up a bit before attempting to do a bit of research on it.

“I realised it was meant for the top of a walking stick or golf club and there were years on it dating from 1913/14 with a gap until 1921. I realised it must have stopped during the First World War then started up again.

“It had groups of four names underneath it which, on further investigation, I realised were well-known members of the Kirkcaldy gentry of the time.

“I wondered what type of event they may have been involved in and came up with golf, so I emailed Kirkcaldy Golf Club, but didn’t hear anything back from them.”

Liam also contacted the Fife Council Archaeologist, who thought it was an interesting find and agreed it could be a sporting trophy.

“I would really like to reunite it with its owner, be that a golf club or a descendant of one of those on the ferrule,” he said.

“The National Museum, which you have to report finds to, said it wasn’t old enough to interest to them.”

The engraved names include: Beveridge, Honeyman, Aitken, Heggie and Hutchison, and anyone with information can contact Liam on 07413 518728.