Metal detectorists unearth gold watch

The watch found near Aghagallon.
The watch found near Aghagallon.

Two ‘metal detectorists’ who unearthed a gold pocket watch near Agahgallon at the weekend are keen to reunite the historical timepiece with the family of its original owner.

The watch, which is made of brass and ‘10 carat rolled gold’, was found in a farmer’s field at Colane Road on Saturday, January 21.

While the glass face is smashed and parts of the watch are badly corroded, a quick clean-up revealed a vital clue to the identity of its original owner.

“It was presented to a guy called James Campbell by the directors of Lipton Limited on his retirement after 50 years service in March 1943,” explained one of the metal detectorists, who didn’t want to be named.

“I was doing a wee bit of research through the Business Directory of Lurgan and Lipton operated what must have been a tea company.

“Because he had 50 years service, the guy must have started his employment with the company in about 1893. If he started work even at 14 then he must have been born about 1879.”

The watch was made by a company called ADL, while the case is inscribed with the maker’s name Dennison.

The local metal detecting enthusiast admits that he’s found “mostly a load of rubbish” over the years, but in this case he’s keen to reunite his latest find with the family of its original owner.

“He (James Campbell) got presented with this gold watch in 1943 and I’m sure it was a pride and joy for him, so it must have caused him great distress when he lost it,” the man continued.

“If it belonged to me or one of my relatives I would want it back. I’m sure after a bit of work by a good jeweller it could be fitted with a new mechanism and it would be something to cherish.”

• Did you know James Campbell? Do you know his relatives? Are you a family member who would like more information about the watch? If so, please email the Lurgan Mail at news@lurganmail.co.uk