Sunday 25 October 2015

UK Metal Detecting: Why Don't They?

Heritage Action have an update, to their previous post about "Sheddyipocrisy" ("next day…. Some simple actions for the short term"). This discusses the deletion of the deletion of a thread because, as highlighted here, “it didn’t make good reading”.
Fair enough, but why not leave it in place and explain for the benefit of all members the right way to conduct themselves? Well we know don’t we? It’s Sheddyism. Think one thing and let the public see something else. But it’s worse than that. Member Allectus explained what had happened in the crudest of terms: “I can tell you what happened. A couple of the do gooding ‘don’t dig too deep’, ‘it’s below the plough’ blah blah, fecking blah blah fecking two-bob depth brigade turned up! [...] 
I think the post makes a particularly important point in response to this. I do not expect for one moment that te suggestion will arouse much enthusiasm at all among the people to whom it is addressed, but I urge the rest of us to think through just why that is, and what - actually - is so unreasonable (or so distant from the claims of all the supporters of liaison with artefact hunters) in what is said:
Surely no-one, whether responsible detectorist, archaeologist or ordinary member of the public thinks people who talk and act like that should be on the fields, even in ultra-liberal Britain? It may be some time before Britain gets round to regulating the activity but in the short term can’t detectorists exclude destructive oiks from their forums, clubs and rallies and can’t New PAS put an article in the farming press warning farmers to make sure anyone on their fields is respectable and responsible? 
(I'd add "and what that actually means"). If such views really are a minority (which I personally doubt) then none of the forums, none of the rallies and none of the gentle staff of the PAS would have a moment's hesitation in taking up the suggestion. Would they?

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