|Ann Byard in a hard hat (Twitter)|
1) Weekend Wanders rally, West Hanney in Oxfordshire, Sunday 21st December 2014, a multiple Anglo-Saxon coin deposit found by metal detectorist Chris Bayston. FLO in attendance Anni Byard, the Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for Oxfordshire. Metal detectorist prepared to wait for results. Searching stopped, site protected, archaeologsts brought in, context of find documented. By contrast:So, it seems the main deciding factor in turning collecting into archaeology is the person and character of teh Finds Liaison Officer whose job it is to liaise with finders to get good practice. As Mr Winter's account suggests Buckinghamshire that day apparently experienced FLO Fail, even though there was a good example to learn from five years earlier in a neighbouring county. Tragic.
2) Weekend Wanders rally, Lenborough in Buckinghamshire, Sunday 20th September 2009,a single Anglo-Saxon brooch found by metal detectorist Paul Coleman ("row upon row of coins stacked neatly"). FLO in attendance Ros Tyrell, the Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for Buckinghamshire. Metal detectorist did not wait. Keyhole hoiking commenced immediately, hoard emptied onto tabletop in the evening, context of find totally lost.
Ms Byard has been mentioned in this blog a number of times, not always coming over too well, but at least here she did what her job description requires, so praise where praise is due. And as far as Lenborough is concerned, criticism where criticism is merited - though don't hold your breath to hear any from the Portable Antiquities Scheme who we may easily observe institutionally have very little self-criticism. So I note from the programme that there was nothing at the PAS conference two days ago about 'Avoiding a Second Lenborough'. But a lot of "didn't we all do well?"
UPDATE 26th November 2015
Coincidentally, Ms Byard points out herself today how well she's doing: