Dowsing At Orkney
We had been invited to one of Orkney's biggest World War 2 airfields by William Shearer, a member of A.R.G.O.S (THE Aircraft Recovery Group Orkney and Shetland) to have a scout around to see if we could come up with War Memorabilia and other such stuff that might have been dropped or buried in the past.
So, armed with our various toolsfor dowsing, we set off to the isle of Orkney.
We arrived there on the 28th March and set up our trailer and tent with a display of information explaining our aims and purpose for being at the airfield. This was kindly arranged by Andy Soutar, one of the gang.
There was an amazing respose from the Orcadians who visited us on Sunday 30th - overall a great time!
The Team is heading back on th 8th Agust and will be staying until 20th for the salvage part of the project. This will be an exciting time, so please visit us at Twat Aerodrome if you're in Orkney at the time.
B.A. Dowsing Team Update
The B.A. Dowsing Team was established in 2011 and has had a number of digs and sorties. The first being the dig for the Stuartfield gun, digging for a tractor in an old quarry and a sortie to Tain Aerodrome to name but a few.
This is probably the best expedition so far in the Team’s History and it’s about a trip to two of Orkney’s wartime Aerodromes, Twatt (HMS Tern) and Skeabrae.
In 2013 Allan Brownie (Team Leader) went to Orkney for a holiday and Allan never goes anywhere without his dowsing rods. He was staying near Saint Margaret’s Hope but Allan was drawn to the Orkney mainland and set off towards the standing stones at the Ring of Brodgar. Turned out that it was not the standing stones he was being drawn too but an old airfield which turned out to be Twatt Aerodrome. Allan was directed by a local farmer to William Shearer who is a member Of A.R.G.O.S. and as explained in last year’s (2014) B.A. Vintage Country Fair programme it was arranged that the team would go to Orkney in March for a sortie.
Team members were – Allan Brownie, Mike McKesser, Andy Souter, Jackie Gough, Charlie Anderson, Jim Porter and family and Gillian Merchant, who joined us later. The plan was to set up the Display van at the Orkney Vintage Rally which was to be held on the Sunday in Kirkwall. This was so the local people could see and hear what we were planning to do on this trip. The team set to work on the Friday evening setting up the Display van with a separate tent to display artefacts found on other digs. The interest shown in dowsing by the local people who attended the Rally was amazing. We had a sand pit laid out with a model tractor hidden in the sand and quite a number of children and adults had a go at dowsing for the tractor. In all we had three winners who were each presented with a limited edition model tractor.
As we were not getting a digger until the Wednesday, it was decided we would tidy up the flag pole area by cutting the grass and build a memorial which we had planned building at the end of the trip on Twatt Aerodrome.
The finished memorial looking good.
Wednesday the 13th the digger finally arrives and we go to Skeabrae airfield where the team marked some spots of interest when they were dowsing in March. Allan carried out an initial dowsing of the area to find out where to start digging. No point in just diving in and possibly damaging what you are looking for. Some of the first finds included, a stove base and some crockery.
As the day went on there was a lot of crockery found, then Allan spotted a frame of some sort.
Picture on the left shows the frame after it was lifted out. We believe it would have been a battery box trailer.
Suddenly the material which looked like broken up plaster board on the bank behind Allan and Mike just slid away to revel what looked like a piece of aluminium sheeting! Is this what we were looking for?
Who is a happy chappie then? Allan filled with relief no need to go home with his tail between his legs. Although we realised it was part of a wing we did not know how much of it was there.
As we cleared away the material that was covering it some numbers were found and William Shearer confirmed it was a Spitfire wing.
The wing was slung up ready for lifting out of its resting place of probably nearly seventy years.
This was the team’s last look at the wing before it’s taken away for cleaning and storage by A.R.G.O.S.
The information we have now is it’s a wing off of a clipped wing Spitfire which was used for high altitude reconnaissance.
On the last Sunday of our trip back at Twatt airfield we held a service in memory of those who lost their lives to keep us all safe.
After the service William Shearer was presented with a trowel as a thank you for inviting the B.A. Dowsing team be part of the search for artefacts on the two Aerodromes.