Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Not Dobbing in the Thief

An Essex metal detectorist has this tale to tell ("Sheddy" Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:17 pmLegendary Old Boy gives Amazing Permission'). He'd gone knocking on doors with a friend to get permission to go artefact hunting to a very old house (one of the oldest inhabited ones in the county) but were refused, "as they already had someone detecting the land". They however were received in a hospitable fashion and invited to have a look at what the other detectorist had found:
The lady of the house made us a nice cuppa and they showed us some pocketed folders of what this detectorist had found over the years ... he'd apparently handed EVERYTHING he found over to them (except scrap) after he had cleaned and identified it. It was a stunning record .... especially stunning as there were no hammys with any real detail on, no roman silvers, no broaches in decent condition but lots of knackered hammys, knackered broaches and plenty of grots, buttons and other "stuff". there wasn't anything of any financial value. I very gently asked if it was a complete record of if the good stuff was elsewhere ... they assured us it was complete as the detectorist wasn't interested in the finds, only in building up a picture of the lands history. i didn't comment.
It was obvious to the two detectorists that the farmer was not receiving back all the finds discovered by this "finder", who was apparently doing some finder-keeping, despite his agreement with the landowner. Look at what then happened:
When we left the house they asked us to wait a moment ... and disappeared for a conflab. when they came back they said we could detect there but we had to do so on the same terms as the existing permission holder. We declined saying it would be a shame to usurp his research so far. there's no way we could go onto that land well knowing that the only way to be honest would be to dob another detectorist in who was obviously being less than honest. 
So, in detecting-think, being honest is keeping sztum when you see tekkie thieving going on? 

So how many other detectorists claiming not to be interested in the finds "only in building up a picture of the lands history" are pocketing the best stuff?

"dob in" vt.

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