Updated: Jan 21
Dorset’s leading amateur archaeologist and celebrity metal detectorist - Gio Fizz - has today revealed the secret behind his extraordinary success. Serial winner of the Dorset Detectorist Association’s Amanda J Threadbone Prize for Most Exciting Find Discovered with the Aid of an Electronic Device, Mr Fizz told Unique Dorset Finds Magazine that he had been inspired to take up the hobby after suffering a chance childhood injury at the hands of a half buried tin can when he was only 8 years of age. His determination never again to be “f**ked-over by a carelessly discarded object” had led over a period of time to an absolute obsession with rooting out anything metal lurking beneath the surface of any path he treads and to a hyper-sensitive awareness of the dangers of the landscape immediately around him. Waving his detector as a blind man [or woman or gender fluid individual [Ed]] might wave his white stick, Mr Fizz ventures nowhere without his electronic protector, treating even the familiar pathway to his local Off-License as though it were an Afghan mine field. [Amusingly, he records that he often detects on his return to the off-license next day empty cans and bottle tops he had failed to notice on the previous day's homeward run.]
Mr Fizz’s notable success in finding numerous objects of interest - which he insists is merely a bi-product of an over-active precautionary instinct - is the stuff of legend and includes knives, forks, spoons [though "not quite a full 12 piece canteen"], motor car parts, an almost complete Kenwood Chef [a six year ongoing project], several World War II spitfires [during a visit to the Imperial War Museum Duxford - though none of them was “buried as such”] and a large metal sheet discovered in shallow water near Durdle Door which, pending full authentication, Mr Fizz believes to be part of a the Starship Enterprise.
In the lengthy interview, the much lauded 55-year-old, whose outings:finds ratio has improved significantly since he accidentally swallowed a large magnet in 2006, revealed that his celebrated career has been far from plain sailing and that he has endured his fair share of lows as well as highs.
“At first I was just finding Roman and mediaeval coins, Iron Age trinkets, jewellery, arrow-heads, helmets, crowns, royal seals and the like - in fact nothing useful at all - only relatively recently have I found anything interesting and utilitarian. The highlight for me was probably a bottle opener which was fortuitous as I’d lost one very like it only a couple of days before”.
Keen to share his interest with others, Mr Fizz has founded a small club which meets on the first Monday of each month at his local Stringbonefellows. "The basic idea is to bring together and share my three great passions: metal detecting, drink and “the ladies” and I’ve found a surprising number of people who are interested in at least two of these". “It’s amazing how a shared interest can bring people together”, he told Unique Dorset Finds Magazine interviewer and fellow enthusiast Ben Demi-Over.