Thursday 14 April 2011

Four Years on, a Dallinghoo Decision (the "Wickham Market Hoard")

Readers may (or may not) remember the story about the two metal detectorists who fell out over how to divide the reward money from a Treasure find dug out from two feet down in Dallinghoo near Woodbridge, Suffolk (aka "the Wickham Market Hoard"). The £300,000 reward (Daily Mail calls the money "spoils") will be split three ways. Half will go to the landowner, farmer Cliff Green, 69.
But metal-detecting enthusiast Mr Darke, 62, who found the treasure, is furious that he has been awarded £75,803, while Mr Lewis, 56, who was drafted in to help later, will receive £74,196.
Life's just not fair is it Mr Darke?
Mr Darke has already appealed the ruling, but the decision was upheld by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey. ‘I trusted him (Mr Lewis) as a friend,’ he said. ‘I was totally gutted. It should have been exciting and interesting, and something to look forward to.’
The coins will be bought by Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, which has launched a fundraising drive, so its the good people of the area who want to see these items in their museum who will be forking out the money which Mr Darke is "looking forward to" and wants even more of. I'll ask my Mum and sisters over there not to give a penny.

[I am also a bit confused about the chronology and sequence of events connected with reporting this Treasure. It seems from the earlier reports cited in my previous text on this that it was not reported by one of the finders at all, but the landowner (when? Why?). But earlier four coins reportedly had been separated from the group and presented to Lewis. By what right did Darke do this before they had been declared? (Or was it Darke who gave them to him?). Only later (?) did the four separated coins reportedly get handed in, at the same time as Lewis laid claim to be an finder too. So was there an initial attempt to conceal some of the coins? How does what happened square with the Code of Practice of the Treasure Act? If it doers not, why are these two guys getting a full reward (again)?]

How many other artefacts has Mr Darke taken from the archaeological record in his 25 years of "metal detecting" and how many of them are reported (by him or the landowner) to anyone? And Mr Lewis?

Vignette: Suffolk "researcher" Michael Darke.

1 comment:

Mo said...

Yet another case of falling out over the find.

These detectorists sense of entitlement never fails amazes me.

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