Wednesday, 8 July 2015

UK Detectorists, as Usual, not very Quick off the Mark

Detectorists are a dopey lot and rather slow off the mark as usual - post on a metal detecting forum near you by "muddy fingers" (Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:31 pm):
Trouble at the PAS?
My NCMD Magazine which has just arrived, carries the news that Roger Bland, Head of the PAS, has resigned and will be leaving his employment at the British Museum this month. Roger Bland has been in charge of the PAS since it was set up in 1996. I don't know what this bolt from the blue is all about- is there some sort of trouble with the PAS scheme that detectorists should be aware of?
Ummm..... duh! Sort of like "March this year" aware of. Member "Fusion" belatedly admits that member in the know were not talking about it (Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:11 pm):
This has all been kept rather quiet. People have known about it for a month or two, one well-known blogger has made a lot of comments about it,
and yet nobody thought to open any discussion threads on a metal detecting forum near you, because they would not want, after all, anyone admitting that "a well-known blogger" ("He Who Shall Not Be Named") has a single pertinent point about metal detecting and its current political and social context, would they? How pathetic can you get? But note how the FLOs (FLAs now?) have apparently not had a word with any of them... "Muddy Fingers" adds (Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:43 pm):
I looked up a few things about it on the web [...] It is looking as though the PAS has been downgraded in importance somewhat [...] The NCMD are saying in their magazine article that they weren't even given the opportunity to make any comments regarding the re-organisation of the PAS at the BM.
Where did Muddy Fingers go for that? Hmm? He provides no links. And what, pray, does this have to do "just" with the National Council for Metal Detecting? There was no public consultation whatsoever - even though the Scheme is there to serve the whole public, so they say anyway. The changes came into effect from the 1st of May. The government has washed their hands of the troublesome PAS. It achieved a figure "one million artefacts" which can be quoted approvingly (sounds good until folk start asking "yes but what was missed?"). It is now not the responsibility of Whitehall, they've offloaded responsibility onto a small sub-department of a museum in Bloomsbury. What happens next is their fault. Entirely.  And "happen" it will.
there was some internal change management at the BM and PAS now fall under education and outreach including creating a legion of volunteers. [...] Dan Pett is now under the umbrella of the BM IT department. [...] The hobby will have to see how the ripples pan out longer term as, short of organising a whip round, that is all we can do.
 A 'whipround'? Except the problem is not really just one of the money....

UPDATE 9th July 2015
They just do not get it, do they? First of all they decided to change the thread name to "Re: PAS - Roger Bland has resigned" and now Liam Nolan expresses the hope that "I hope as the economy recovers, the funding also returns to support such a great service to the detecting community". So... until "the economy recovers" will responsible detectorists be stopping so as not to overload the slimmed-down PAS with artefact-hunting-related recording which they cannot cope with, or will they carry on as before bemoaning the fact that the "service to the detecting community" is cut?



heritageaction said...

"Except the problem is not really just one of the money...."

No. No it's not. It's about the fact PAS was unable to persuade enough detectorists into acting in a half reasonable manner.

However, I can't help reflecting that if the detectorists lobbied the Governmentt to impose a £200 annual license on them that would help the BM run the scheme and if they also lobbied the Government to make best practice compulsory that would help the BM to make the scheme successful!

A lot of detectorists read your blog Paul, let's see how many of them hail that as a good solution, bearing in mind their love of history!

Paul Barford said...

10000 x 200 quid would be an additional two million. The problem is ensuring in the present setup that (a) this money is additional to what is already pledged, and (b) when it is in the BM financial system it goes to the running costs of the Scheme (now split between at least two different departments) and not the running costs of the BM or its schools service.

heritageaction said...

There are bound to be aspects of the scheme that the BM will find it hard to justify spending money on. FLOs attending some rallies springs to mind.

heritageaction said...

I see one of them talks of PAS as "such a great service to the detecting community"

Grrr. That's PAS's direct fault that detectorists would imagine PAS was there as a service to them. I trust the BM won't make the same error.

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