Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Bournemouth "Finders" Make off with Military Souvenirs...

Two "finders" were spotted strolling through the crowds at a Dorset beauty spot while each was shouldering a potentially lethal 120 millimetre tank shell which they'd apparently picked up somewhere between Worbarrow Bay and Tyneham in Dorset. The area is used by the Army for firing practice.
The Ministry of Defence urges members of the public using the ranges to keep to the designated pathways and be advised that it is extremely dangerous to touch any military material they may find.” South Dorset MP and former soldier Richard Drax said: “Unexploded shells can be very unstable. If they are picked up or dropped, it can set them off.”
It strikes me that anyone finding old metal objects on public land may well feel entitled, after all the positive press finding old metal objects with metal detecting has been getting in the UK, to pick them up and take them home as thrilling souvenirs. Of course the PAS advises members of the public not to do this, in their code of best (responsible) practice the last principle (of just 13) is
"Calling the Police or HM Coastguard, and notifying the landowner/occupier, if you find anything that may be a live explosive: do not use a metal-detector or mobile phone nearby as this might trigger an explosion. Do not attempt to move or interfere with any such explosives".
But then of course that advice is not disseminated to the millions of potential finders in the UK which the PAS is supposed to be outreaching. This advice is in their "Code of practice for responsible metal detecting in England and Wales". These guys went out and did their artefact finding without a metal detector. Should not the PAS be spending more time with non-metal-detecting members of the British public, the ones who contribute far more financially to its upkeep? Why so much time in metal detecting clubs and commercial artefact hunting rallies?

Vignette: one of the balding Bournemouth artefact finders, shouldering his find.

 Joanna Codd, 'Do you recognise these men carrying unexploded tank shells they’d picked up from Dorset beauty spot?', Bournemouth Echo, Saturday 11th May 2013 in News By

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