EXPERTS at London's British Museum have confirmed they want to buy two early Bronze Age flat axes unearthed in a Silsden field by a hobby metal detectorist.

When Edward Hannon isn't serving up burgers and chips in his job as a fast-food worker, he is out and about in all weather with his metal detector.

It was one day in July last year he and friend Sarah Coultous, 43, stopped off by chance at a farm near Silsden to try their luck at treasure hunting.

Mr Hannon is staying tight-lipped about the exact location to prevent illegal digging for other artefacts.

After getting farmer Philip Wallbank's permission to search a 'scrappy, overgrown' bit of field, Mr Hannon's metal detector soon started bleeping.

"It was a chance find. It was a strong signal going straight up. I knew it was something big and I was right," he said.

He dug down and uncovered two corroded copper alloy axes side by side.

The axes, Mr Hannon's first major find after taking up metal detecting as a hobby five years ago, were identified by Bronze Age experts at the British Museum.

Bradford coroner Martin Fleming declared the finds as treasure at an inquest last Wednesday, meaning Mr Hannon, 42, and Mr Wallbank will get to share a reward.

The inquest heard Mr Hannon, who is not a member of any detectorist club or group, had started searching for buried antiquities in an area near a spot of land that the farmer had pointed out might be of interest.

A British Museum spokesman said: "The British Museum wishes to acquire the axes.

"With regards to a reward, yes, the finder and landowner are eligible to receive a reward equal to the market value of the find. The value will be determined in due course by the Treasure Valuation Committee."

Mr Hannon will give part of the reward to Bradford's Marie Curie hospice where his sister, Joanne Atkins, died from cancer shortly before he discovered the axes.

"I haven't a clue how much the reward will be. We'll have to wait and see what the cheque says.

"I'm not in this for the money and I won't be giving up the day job. It's about uncovering our past and it's the thrill of the search and the find," he said.

Once the axes are added to the British Museum's collection Mr Hannon says he will arranging a visit to see them in situ - although he is a little sad they will not be kept closer to home.

Cliffe Castle in Keighley was approached to see if it was interested, but declined them.

A spokesman said: "While they were of archaeological interest, they were declined because of their poor state of preservation and they already have similar examples of these items in their collections."