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‘It was a wee bit emotional’: Woman finds wedding ring she lost in potato patch 50 years ago


A woman who thought she had lost her wedding forever 50 years ago has been reunited with it, after a kind soul dedicated himself to unearthing it.

Peggy MacSween, 86, resigned herself to never finding her golden wedding band that she believed had slipped off her finger while she gathered potatoes at her home on Benbecula, in the Outer Hebrides.

But fellow islander Donald MacPhee made it his mission to reunite her with it, searching the area where the potato patch once was for three days with a metal detector.

According to MacPhee, who runs the Nunton House Hostel on the island, he dug 90 holes across about 5,000 square meters, unearthing pieces of old metal, drinks cans, and ring pulls along the way – before finally digging up the treasured piece of jewellery.

MacSween and her husband John were married since 1958, until he died a few years ago.

MacPhee posted his find on Facebook, with the caption: “Well, when Peggy MacSween told me she had lost her wedding ring in their potato patch on Liniclate Machair in the 1960s, I thought, no bother, I will look for that with the metal detector.

“I enlisted the help of Nail Macpherson to show me where the patch was – turned out it is about 5,000 square meters… half a hectare… three days and 90 holes later.”

MacPhee described the discovery as a “wee bit emotional”. She told the BBC she “couldn’t believe it” when MacPhee turned up at her door and said he had something to show her, and presented her with the long lost ring.

“I thought I would never see it again,” she said.

She explained that she had been out gathering potatoes and was shaking sand out of her gloves when the ring “disappeared”.

“I didn’t know until I got home. I went out once or twice to look for it, but there was no way of finding it.”

MacSween said she wore her mother’s wedding ring until her late husband, John, bought a replacement ring while they were on holiday.

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MacPhee told the Guardian that it was a “one in 100,000 chance” of him finding the ring, adding that it was “a fluke”.

“There was technique involved, but I just got lucky,” he said.

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