Monday 1 April 2013

Renewed Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Nobody Say a Word

Heritage Action discuss announcements about the upcoming (August) 500-member commercial artefact grabfest being organized near Alford in Lincolnshire by Richard and Gill Evans of Wellingborough. This will be netting somewhere in the region of £30,000 for its organizers - see " Running detecting rallies: it’s a living, innit?". Apparently "FLO's" will be employed on site legitimising the event and, no doubt upholding - among others -  rule 11 of the artefact hunting organization's regulations (see here too):
We all know that rule isn’t there by accident and that the only people who would find it useful are the acquisitive and the dodgy, not lovers of history. Yet there it is, bold as brass, on full and insolent display, with no-one saying a word against it. Certainly not the four FLOs that attended the event last year, And not supposedly rational detectorist John Winter (who attends and praises these rallies and has given them a glowing write-up in The Searcher). So there we are, something bad for heritage knowledge and bad for the landowner is happening and no-one is saying a word. Still, in the immortal words of “Barry Thugwit” uttered at the Near Avebury Rally eight years ago, it’s legal, innit?and that no doubt is the very excuse the Portable Antiquities Scheme would cite in defence of their silence, even though it’s no excuse at all.
However there are grave doubts whether the application in the way in which it is proposed of Rule 11 and any other of its ilk are in fact in accord with British law - see the discussion among Glasgow criminologists  about the so-called 'Glasgow Fourth'. A discussion totally without trace on the Portable Antiquities Scheme webpage and blogs. Why? Are they not interested any more in promoting "best practice among finders" now they have realised what an uphill task it would be?

Is there something wrong with the Central Searchers webpage? It is awfully difficult to access (from Warsaw) today. It is almost as if something was blocking access in order to gain some accurate information about the group.  What would a group like this have to hide?

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