Tuesday 25 February 2014

Focus on UK metal Detecting: Holedigger Pete Looking for a Real Man

"Holedigger Pete" (Chairman of the "Medway History Finders" and Trashers) wrote:
Christina is your real name Paul Barford [?], sort of stuff he would write lol
Christina, an archaeologist, had written a comment under the Kent Mercury article about the "A20" Medway-Finders-Trashed Anglo-Saxon Grave (aka the "Sweetman Hoard") to the effect that "the pieces of metal on an archaeological site are only a part of the story and are far more valuable if they are found during a controlled excavation with close attention to context, stratigraphy and environmental study. Those objects stayed safe underground for over 1,000 years until they were disturbed".

Not Best Practice by anybody's standards, Medway History Trashing in progress (Kent Mercury)
"Holedigger Pete" had no answer to that, except what we see above. I thought though I would try and get some more substantive reply from the metal detectorist than his empty-headed "LOL":
Paul Barford here. No, Paul Barford is not "Christina". Why would Paul Barford write under an assumed name? That hole you dug, Mr Holedigger, is a disgrace. Look at the photos, complete bedlam. Is that your idea (or the BM's) of "best detecting practice"? Christina and the rest of the British public fork out millions of pounds to try and educate finders like your club members to do things properly, and LOOK at the effects. A total waste of public money. In almost any other country of the world, you'd get locked up for such wanton trashing of archaeological sites to hoik out a few artefacts (which is NOT saving history). "It's legal innit" does NOT make it right to trash archaeology for selfish gain and personal entertainment. Paul Barford
"Holedigger Pete" did not bother to refute any of that. The "Medway History Finder" with full apostrophe abuse instead casts doubt on my gender:
Paul Barford, you[']r[e] a very sad man[,] that[']s if you are a man[.] Christina, i have no time for people like you [I] bet you[']r[e] friends with Chigargo [sic] Ron[,] another one who thinks he knows it all. Get a life.
"Chicago Ron" is a metal detecting fireman who's a good deal more interesting than Holedigger. At least he can spell. The points I made about the ethics of digging into an archaeological feature like this, the issues of what is and what is not "best practice", the total lack of effect of the multi-million pound PAS on detecting practice even in Kent, and why he thinks hoiking loose finds is in any way "finding (let alone saving) history" remain unaddressed by this smug, complacent individual.  

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners" of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy".

ADDENDUM 26.02.14 Focus on UK Metal Detecting, "Holedigger pete" Frows Down Challinge

"Holedigger pete" gets personal and suggests I now live in Poland because "you[']r[e] not liked in the UK by a lot of people as i can see[,] even by your own people[,] who have told me you are nuts" (25-02-2014 11:04:41). He goes on to throw down a semi-literate challenge:
You should try and work with us instead of slagging us of[f]. Next time your over here we should have a meeting and have a chat on film[,] that way you can show your true colours. 
Yes, let's do that, let you and I meet on the site of this trashed grave after the archaeologists get their report out. Let's have the FLO there representing the BM (who you claim said you did the right thing), let's have Andrew Mayfield (the community archaeologist for Kent, the co-director of the dig in question in which he was happily rubbing shoulders with your members after the event). You bring one of the archaeologists who say I am "nuts", so he can say it to my face, on film. I will bring my own cameraman  plus one independent archaeologist of my choice and some screenshots from the disturbing video I discussed. Yes, let's have a proper discussion of this on film.

Then I think I'd drive up to Crosby Garrett and make a second one.


Paul Barford said...

Point five Mr Peters.

Yes, please do make your mind up by yourself.

If my text makes you look back at the original material to which I link, then it will have achieved its purpose, won't it?

Unknown said...

Nice what about showing your picture Paul, iv got nothing to hide have you. I can't even be asked with you one day you might instead of slagging us off work with us.

Paul Barford said...

The photo is your public avatar. I could not understand your second sentence.

Unknown said...

Iv reported you for what you are saying about me and my club, and im looking to take legal action for putting my picture up and my name.

Unknown said...

This club is not just about metal detecting we raise money for children who have cancer a local hospice, so don't go on making us look bad, we all make mistakes and if i have in this case i hold my hands up Paul. Yes i can see what your saying and understand what your saying and i can see by the video the hole don't look good, all this slagging off gets us no where.

Paul Barford said...

"Iv reported you for what you are saying about me and my club,"

Oh, do please let it be to the PAS and BM. I'd really like a letter on BM headed paper that says I am wrong and your club did everything as the BM would have wished. Can you sort that out for me Mr Holedigger? Please?

As for your name, is "Holedigger" your actual name or one you made up?

Paul Barford said...

And this is why you were being totally reckless challenging me to a public debate (25-02-2014 11:04:41). Your two statements do not make a logical whole, you first of all say that you've reported me to the Thought Police for criticising what your club did Sunday 16th Feb, then in the next breath say you "hold your hands up" if you did something wrong, and you see where your critics (for its NOT just me) are coming from.

"Holedigger", think twice who you are challenging, and with what.

Unknown said...

What's important here is that people learn from this... You are right, the hole and pictures don't look good. Lets get over that and start talking about how it could have been done differently so that when the next significant find is made the detecting community can put this learning into practice and prove that it truly has been handled "responsibly".

Paul Barford said...

But Steve, you are missing the point, which is we've ALREADY had sixteen years (more in Kent) doing precisely that. The PAS has been banging its head against a brick wall "talking about how it can be done differently".

The trouble is, as you can see, the capacity for the average detectorist to understand any of this rocket-science type stuff is pretty limited. "The detecting community" cannot put any "learning into practice" if it is TOTALLY unable to learn anything at all.

I am for ever being criticised for pointing out that many of the people you come across on the forums etc are not the brightest knives in the drawer, and many cannot even operate Basic English. This however is a fundamental fact which is the biggest stumbling block in the "they can be educated/they can learn" model. Many of them demonstrably cannot. They're adults, have been right through school, but somehow came out with basic skills missing.

Low standards of literacy mean something Steve, they do not happen by accident.

Calls to "work with us" are a bit hollow when it seems that in some cases, there really is no level except the very simplest ("hoik it out and show it to me") on which this could operate, work with what?

So if they CANNOT learn, they will not, so where does that put us? Shrug shoulders and turn away? Or advocate considering another approach?

Paul Barford said...

Peter Clarke continues to send comments showing what an absolute buffoon he is, but I choose not to post them under point five of my guidelines for commentators.

Yes, Mr Clarke, I am sure you do think me awful for not liking people who trash archaeological sites.

If you LOOK, you'll see its not your photo.

Paul Barford said...

[nasty threatening comment not approved]

MORE threats Mr Clarke?

You do not seem to be able to take responsibility for your actions and face a little verbal criticism.

How about admitting that your club members did the wrong thing on Sunday 16th, and get on with THINKING about how they can learn from this and do better next time?

You and your oikish fellows (- club members?) were wrong on the Kent Mercury site to aggressively attack "Christina" and accuse her of all sorts of things with loutish language just because she expresses concern about what you did. BRITAIN'S ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE BELONGS TO US ALL AND IS NOT YOURS ALONE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH. So why do you object so much to others saying that they disagree with what you did to a bit of it?

Why don't you stop this immature behaviour and react like a responsible adult? Can you?

[I would also suggest you yourself might like to consider the legal consequences of your threats and slanderous statements before posting them up.]

Unknown said...

Hi Paul, hope your having a good mate? Iv now having a club meeting and have asked a archie to come along and give us a talk on how to deal with a hoard. To tell all the members what to do and not what to do.This way we can't fall out with people like yourself. This has been good and bad for the club, but with a bit of luck what im doing now should sort out any problem we have all the best Pete.

Unknown said...

Can't win with you, do what i think is right and im still wrong get on with it Paul. Got better things to do.

Paul Barford said...

Are you trying to "win" or actually do what is right by the heritage?

Unknown said...

Well Done Paul by putting my name and picture up and naming the club and the club web site im now getting threats nice one hope you are happy with yourself. Iv imformed the police and have shown them what you have put up. If anything happens to me or my family you will be held lible.

Unknown said...

Not good enough Paul still have my full name up and club logo.

Paul Barford said...


WHAT on earth are you on about man?

You write to me from an account called Peter VClarke and have the neercve to complain to ME that your name is in the Internet?

I tell you what, put the policeman who is dealing with your complaint in touch with me and we will sort this out.

I suggest if you don't like being on the Internet, get off the Internet, buy some stamps and use the Royal Mail. OK?

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