Saturday, 29 December 2012

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Starting them off Young

Seven year old Sonny Carter got a really irresponsible present under the Christmas tree. His parents obviously care nothing for the preservation of Britain's archaeological heritage, so they bought their kiddie a £30 National Geographic (sic) metal detector. Bless them. His mum, Tracey Wood, 39, said they were going out "to see if he can find something Roman”. So far though all the kid has found is a ten pound WW2 bomb while trying out his looting toy with mum Tracey, dad Jem Carter, 37, and brother Marley, nine, on a common near their home in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Like the really sensible PAS-reared British family that they apparently are, they hoiked it out and took it home and then started to rinse it under the warm tap, when Jem (marginally brighter than the rest perhaps) started to put two-and-two together and realised this was probably not what it says they ought to be doing in the code of practice they obviously had not yet read... , so he got on the phone and bomb-disposal experts from RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire then rushed to their home.
Mum Tracey Wood, 39, said: “It was a big muddy lump when it came to the surface so we stupidly thought, ‘Let’s take it home’. "We feel a bit silly now we know it could have potentially been dangerous but its not often you go exploring and end up with a bomb”.
Actually in some countries of Europe, lady, it happens all the time. I can't think of too many people though that would actually take them home... Fifteen million quid the country has spent on trying to educate finders, and the message is still not getting through - I suppose that's what we see get if the PAS spend most of the time hanging around metal detecting clubs and commercial rallies instead of doing the wider public outreach they are funded to do.

Louie Smith, 'Christmas was a blast! Boy receives metal detector from Santa then finds a Second World War BOMB', Daily Mirror, 29 Dec 2012.

UPDATE 31.12.2012
 The Dail Telegraph ('Schoolboy finds WWII bomb on first trip out with metal detector Christmas present') gives a little more information - including this:
Sonny was enjoying a walk across Roydon Common for around 15 minutes with his parents and brother Marley, nine, on Boxing Day when his metal detector started beeping. He dug up the treasure but couldn't make out what it was – so he hurriedly bundled up the muddy object and took it home to wash down.
Hmm, parts of Royston Heath (as is now also being pointed out on metal detecting forums) are a Nature Reserve that is also a SSSI. How about the PAS doing something, contacting the family and establishing what happened - maybe if they were digging in the SSSI - the adults should be prosecuted, as any other metal detectorist (sh)ould be? Make an example of them and draw the attention of other members of the public to the fact that one cannot just go blithely around digging holes in any old piece of land that takes your fancy and hoiking stuff out and carting it off when you've not even worked out what it is.

Vignette: Little boys whose parents had no idea...  (Daily Mirror)

Hat tip to Kyri - thanks. 

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