Sunday 15 September 2013

Triphena Brown, Mumbling Archaeologists and Hedge-born Scuts


Triphena Brown ('Farmer Brown’s mum attacks historians and saints!') has a heart of gold, but not when it comes, it seems, to metal detectorists, or "fawning, rough-hewn poverty-toothed grabmoles" (or "dissembling, brazen-faced, hedge-born scuts" ) as she refers to some of them. She's got a thing about people with pockets and so-called "charity rallies" which do not make the conditions clear up-front (especially those with dealers present but no PAS) and it is difficult not to agree with her.
Oh, and if the detectorists at your door are in any detecting club that isn’t the one in Crawley, West Sussex tell them to go to hell. Only that club makes reporting finds compulsory - “Any person found not declaring finds to the Finds Liaison Officer will be expelled immediately". They only have 30 members which means only 3 in every thousand detectorists are in clubs that insist on decent, history-loving behaviour. (Ask the other 9970 WHY and don’t let them wriggle! And if any club wants to claim THEY are “responsible” tell them it’s not hard, they can adopt the Crawley rule in moments and then you’ll believe them). Anyway, if you don’t want to take the word of a Salopian centenarian about all this, show this letter to any archaeologist and ask if they agree with every word. They will. But don’t let them mumble. 
I think Mrs Brown a trifle optimistic, there may be 30 in 10000 artefact hunters who are agreeable to such a condition, but how many archaeologists does she really think she'll find in England and Wales willing not to mumble? Even mumbling very, very quietly about artefact hunting  seems far too much for the most of them. Like the very, very, quiet guys from Kidderminster... shhhhh....

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