AN avid fan of metal detecting is asking Brecon and Radnor Express readers for help to identify his latest intriguing find.
Wally Elliot, from Llangattock, has been a metal detectorist for 35 years and in that time has found dozens of interesting artefacts, including an axe head that dates back to primitive times, some old coins - and now a badge of indeterminate origin.
Wally, 83, believes the oval brass badge he found in a Pennorth field recently may be military as it bears the script ’West Brecon LM’ but he says he would love it if a reader who recognises it wrote into the B&R Express to let him know what it is.
Wally says he has taken the badge, which is about 4-5 inches high, to Brecknock Museum and made enquiries to Dyfed-Powys Police in the hope of shedding more light on its history but so far he has drawn a blank.
Wally is a well-known character in the Usk Valley area as he is a former community councillor in Llangattock and served as a JP in Brecon.
Previously he worked as chief chemist at the British Steel Works
in Ebbw Vale, an avenue of work that helps to explain his fascination with all things metal and his enjoyment of walking around empty fields with his metal detector waiting for it to start bleeping when he makes a find.
Wally said the primitive axe head he once found excited the interest of staff at the Brecknock Museum.
He said: "I still have it at home. The museum staff took photos of it, but I guess it can’t have been that unusual a find as they didn’t ask to keep it."
Of his latest discovery, Wally said he was roaming around a field in Pennorth when his metal detector indicated something made of metal could be lying nearby. The badge was buried just under the surface of the ground under a hedge that runs round the fieldÕs edge.
Clearly excited by his latest find, Wally said: "The design on the badge has as its main feature an eight-pointed star mounted by a crown and has the Prince of Wales feathers central to the star.
"Around the feathers is a belt carrying the script ’West Brecon LM’, although the ’LM’ letters are open to interpretation. The badge would originally have been mounted on a cap or helmet with three pins or rivets.
"I made tentative enquiries with the Dyfed-Powys police force but they have not been able to connect the badge to their force."
Anyone who recognises the badge can contact Wally through the Brecon and Radnor Express by emailing email@example.com or calling 01874 610111.