Today we are going to pay our last respects to Derek John Ingram
who sadly passed away on the 20th November 2014 age 83.
Derek served an engineering apprenticeship at IMI Lightning Zip Fasteners. Joined the RAF at the age of 21 for his compulsory national service, where he flew many different types of planes.
After leaving the RAF he joined the family business manufacturing tin cans.
1965 brought about an interest in new gadgets for finding buried metal. These were largely homemade in the early days, but soon alternative commercially available units came onto the market.
Derek’s sons Nigel & Marcus were now chief testers under his watchful eye. It was whilst detecting for lengthy periods Derek started thinking of ways to improve the handle assembly to make it more comfortable.
In 1973 he started Treasure Hunting Specialists Ltd in Birmingham. In 1980 he patented a new handle design that we know today as the ‘lazy S’ shaped stem used by detector manufacturers worldwide. His passion for metal detecting took him to USA were he entered many international detecting competitions. He became a lifelong member of the International Treasure Hunting Society. He visited the Garrett factory staying with Charles Garrett & his wife. Closed his shop in 1980.
He was often to be heard on the local BBC radio shows together with leading numismatists chatting about metal detecting hobby and discovering our heritage.
In 1981 Derek’s son Nigel Ingram formed Regton Ltd. Lesley his daughter joined the Company in 1989 followed by the youngest son Marcus in 1991. Derek was still running the Tin Box Company but would often migrate up two floors to Regton as detecting was still his main hobby.
Derek manufactured many different digging tools, later imitated and improved by Black Ada. As an IMI Tool Maker he made from scratch all of the tools required to produce them.
He would experiment with new detectors, help people in the field and spend hours searching for lost jewellery he was asked to look for.
He continued until he started experiencing health problems 18 months ago. That didn’t stop him on a recent holiday abroad from sifting the sand beside his sun lounger. Once a treasure hunter always a treasure hunter.
Derek John Ingram, an Officer and a Gentleman