Saturday, 3rd May 2003. Decided to go to one of my favorite places Holy Island for a bit of a wander. I took a route around the island, away from the tourists and had the fantastic beaches almost to myself. I was walking towards this Big White Triangle Thing (some kind of landmark for shipping) as usual looking at my feet at the wonderful pebbles thereabouts. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it, literally. A big chunk of sandstone rock art. I mean, it couldn't be, not here, right? I decided to move it up the beach, away from the tide, onto the dunes and hid it where I could find it again. I didn't feel right taking it, but I couldn't leave it where it was. I made a note of the largest stone nearby as a landmark.
That night, I emailed RockArtUK for an opinion. Jan & Gus got all excited and the next day I decided to go back for it - only one problem: by the time I'd made the decision, the tides were against me! That night I kept waking up worrying about it!! And Monday, although it was a bank holiday, I was working. There was no option - I phoned for the afternoon off and went back on Monday 5-5-2003 to retrieve it. I planned where to park the car, but this was still a mile from the spot. I did it anyway, lugged this massive stone back. The stone I had memorised was nowhere to be seen - the sand had shifted and must have buried it. I'm glad I moved the stone when I did!
I decided to keep it quiet for a while, because I wasn't convinced it was really carved; there are lots of holed stones naturally occuring on the island but this was different.
I emailed Stan Beckinsall for advise. As luck had it, he was in the area and could he come to see it in person? Er - yeah!
The verdict - not sandstone, possibly metamorphic due to the high density. Probably not local, possibly washed from Scotland, Micro-cups.
I am keeping the stone for now, but intend to report it.