I hadn't been seriously digging since about 1977, except for a handful of digs in late 2004. Through one of the new forums which appeared on the web that year I made contact with Stephen, who lived a few minutes down the road from me, and who had also been a keen digger in the 70's. After a few emails back and forth we decided to try our hand at this digging lark once more, and set a date for today.
We settled on checking out an old quarry hidden away in the private grounds of a large local estate, which Stephen had noticed while taking the dog for a walk. He said there was obvious signs that it had been tipped on, but nothing on the surface to indicate the age of the rubbish. After parking the car we had a good walk to get to the quarry, and to be honest the heavy digging tools I'd appropriated from the back garden were beginning to weigh heavily on me. After what seemed an age we finally reached the site.
It was obvious pretty quickly that the tip was not old enough to hold any goodies, being 1950's/60's at the earliest. After taking our time to thoroughly check out the area in case of an earlier tip elsewhere, we decided to call it a day. The long walk back to the car was spent discussing what to do with the rest of the afternoon, and eventually it was decided to give the Gasworks site at Caernarfon a go. As sparse as Hell, it does occasionally reward some very hard work with a nice item or two, although it has to be admitted that these are few and far between. The last time I'd been digging on here, in 2004, I had amazingly pulled out a Bangor City Mineral Water Co. octagonal codd from a mid to late 30's section, so proof positive that it does contain some goodies.
Once we got on site, we decided to dig not far from where the octagonal codd came out. The only drawback here is that there is a heavy clay capping to get through, which does tend to slow things down. To compound this problem further we hit a seam of rock hard, grey gravel-like material which took hours to get through. By the time it was getting dark I had just about broken through this stuff and reached the ash below. Stephen was digging a spot slightly higher up the slope than me, where the capping was thicker, so he hadn't yet reached this gravelly stuff.
So, the end of our first day's digging, and although we both had enjoyed it immensely, we had nothing to show for our exertions. I didn't take my camera with me today, so there are no photos to show. However, I will definitely be taking the camera with me from now on so that we can record our sessions.