Metal detecting club donates hundreds to Rowans Hospice after memorial dig for member who died

A MEMORIAL dig for an honorary member of a metal detecting club raised hundreds to support the work of Rowans Hospice.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 12:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:50 pm
Solent Metal Detecting Club raised money for the Rowans Hospice during a memorial dig for a member who sadly died. Pictured is: Steve Nash, club chairman, Shirley Wing, treasurer, Tony Alexander, farm liasion officer, Alexis Trowbridge, Rowans Hospice fundraising officer, and Andrew Coombs, membership secretary

Solent Metal Detecting Club handed over a donation of £800 to the hospice which was raised during a charity detecting rally in memory of honorary member Denise Alexander, who died after a short illness in February 2019.

Denise’s husband Tony, who is also the club farms liaison officer, said: ‘I was very touched by the kindness of everyone in the club who either attended or donated to our annual Christmas dig which this year was renamed Den’s Memorial Dig.

‘The total money raised far exceeded our expectations and I am very proud to be handing this donation over to the Rowans Hospice today.

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‘I know what a tremendous amount of energy and commitment the staff here give to those in their care and all of this is achieved with limited funding.’

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The dig was hosted by Stoke Fruit Farm on Hayling Island, which works with the club.

Steve Nash, club chairman, said: ‘The work at The Rowans Hospice is something that is close to club members’ hearts this year and so converting our Christmas dig to a charity event was the obvious thing to do.

‘The club, along with archaeologists from Winchester, have been conducting a unique project, assisting Stoke Fruit Farm in taking measures to eliminate nighthawking from the area.’

Nighthawking is the theft of archaeological artefacts under the cover of darkness, which has been an issue the club has been working with the farm to deal with and reduce.

Sam Wilson from Stoke Fruit Farm said: ‘I remember my first meeting back in 2018 with Denise, Tony and Steve as if it was yesterday, to discuss measures to deal with nighthawking at the farm. The sudden passing of Denise just six months later was a great shock to us all.

‘We were delighted to therefore host a charity rally in memory of Denise and help raise money for a very worthy organisation.’

The Solent Metal Detecting Club offers a free recovery service for lost items and can be contacted at [email protected]