Tuesday 18 September 2012

Bonkers Britain: Heritage Action on Polish Metal Detecting Rally

Heritage Action have a comment on their fieldwork in Offley ('Report on Polish Metal Detecting Rally near Luton'). They got into the spirit of things and right in among them:

Hi Ho Hi Ho, it's off a'hoiking we go (C) Heritage Action
They have however a few kind words about them:
Let us say, first of all, they struck us as generally a step up from many of their English counterparts. More polite, better educated and by all accounts keen to do the right thing. (Does the European approach of having rules attract more thoughtful people than the British one of no rules? Could be.) Still, we should also say no-one was there to increase Britain’s archaeological knowledge, they were there to take things – otherwise they wouldn’t have been there, they’d have been at the (non-existent) Polish Amateur Archaeology Club of Britain!
The same conclusion struck me yesterday when looking at the sources from which the posts discussing my concerns with this rally were being read, quite a few professional folk: from LOT Polish Airlines, a Polish bank or two, various private firms.

Thanks to HA for their work and allowing me the use of their photos.

UPDATE 18.09.12
Well, it seems the PAS were indeed involved in this grabfest. Julian Watters, FLO for Hertfordshire, obviously not understanding what the issue is, adds a comment to the HA post: "Can I put your minds at rest by telling you that the finds from this event are most definitely being recorded. They should be appearing on PAS within the next week or so". He adds: "however, your article made quite a few assumptions about the way this event was organised" which is a bit odd because, firstly HA made no assumptions in what they wrote, and secondly they'd actually been along to see it for themselves. They point out that in their opinion, what Watters had said: "were secondary issues compared with whether the event should have been held at all. I hope that’s a fair explanation of what we were trying to express". Mr Watters declined to reply. We cannot have the PAS actually addressing conservation concerns from members of the public, can we? Mr Watters like the rest of the PAS obviously has "no idea" that my Portable Antiquities and Heritage Issues blog exists, so there's no hope of him or anyone from the PAS answering anything here either, is there?

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