Sunday, 11 November 2012

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Roger Bland Wanted Ringpullstiltskin's Coins

My main interest in  "Ringpullstiltskin"s blog however is an untitled post made back in July about which there has been a veil of silence from the other side. It was Nigel Swift who spotted it, thanks. Oddly enough there is nothing on the PAS website which corresponds to this. It involves a controversial Treasure case in early July 2012 about two of Ringpullstiltskin's 'Celtic' staters:
The museum had taken two of our Celtic Staters after threatening us with arrest if we didn't hand them in! After months of heated exchanges with the british museum we went to coroners inquest where who should turn up for the bm..... Roger Bland - Head of Antiquities and treasure and creator of the PAS! He was so arrogant, saying at one point that he had written a particular part of the act...... "the Act does not have retrospective effect: for example, if a finder discovers first one coin on a particular site, which will not be treasure, and then subsequently discovers more coins on the same site, which will then qualify as treasure, the original discovery will not be considered as treasure." Bland was claiming that when they wrote 'subsequent discoveries' they meant items found years not days apart... was hilarious when the coroner told him that if he meant that, then he should have written it but he hadn't so my interpretation was valid. The coroner went on to decide that neither should be treasure anyway because as we said from the start they were two separate single coin finds. Bland looked gutted. I thought it was weird they sent their top man or he sent himself! I think it was because I wouldn't bow down to them when they were taking the pee and stretching the law to suit them. They also got up to some dirty tricks which I'll talk about soon.....
So coins that on archaeological grounds were deemed associated were not considered so, and therefore could not enter the Treasure process because the law is faulty. Note the expression of entitlement in the jubilation of the collector that these items will not end up in a public collection but in the IKEA vitrine he bought and places in his hallway. This is not exactly a very good example of British liaison "I wouldn't bow down to them and their dirty tricks" while "he was arrogant and ... [they were] stretching the law to suit them".

Surely, the time is well overdue for a rewriting of the Treasure Act and a change in policy towards artefact hunting and collecting in England and Wales. Simply pasting over the cracks and pretending things like the above court-case never happened  is no way to go about convincing law-makers and public that this is the case, is it? 

By the way, the Malvern Hills are notable as being one of the first places in Europe to have a conservation body set up to look at sustainable management of the landscape, back in the 1880s. Much good that has done the environmental awareness of some of the inhabitants of the area who obviously think that finite and fragile resources are theirs for the taking.


ringpullstiltskin said...

Hello Paul, why not sit down take a breath and wipe the foam from your chin.
Sorry about my 'veil of silence'. (don't you like to spice up your posts with silly phrases!)
- more a case of can't be arsed to defend my pleasurable and lawful actions, however a brief realignment of your twisted thinking is required;

I read with some amusement that you demand the full weight of the law be applied when the law suits your view but when a court upholds the lawful rights of a detectorist you squeal for it to be changed -

pb:"Surely, the time is well overdue for a rewriting of the Treasure Act"

You infer a breach of the laws concerning the Malvern Hills Acts 1884 - 1995? On what evidence or suggestion? Should I publish inferences that you are a criminal Paul? Would that be reasonable of me? Obviously not!

I can however call you out as an arsehole of the lowest order as I can evidence this fact. Do you spot that difference Paul? No clearly not.

I will happily provide you with my photo and full contact details if you would like to reciprocate.

Paul Barford said...

Thank you for your comments, most revealing.

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