Wednesday 13 October 2021

Commercial Archaeological Despoilers' Van Spotted in UK in Broad Daylight


Photo: Alan Simkins

A reader in Truro was shocked when this van pulled up alongside him. As a conservationist, he was disturbed "The past in the ground is there to be found" - not conserved, not protected but hoiked out by a greedy White Van Man.  He checked their website and found that this CIC metal detecting company offers a range of "services", from £100/person/day.

Grim Sweepers Metal Detecting C.I.C. will introduce and guide you through the art of history finding with a metal detector. Whether you are looking for a new hobby, a day out with your family or you have lost something, the Grim Sweeper is here to help.

and in the LinkdIn page they plug the "mental health benefits of taking the past" aspects:

Grim Sweepers Metal Detecting was initially set up to bring the much-loved hobby to more people, having identified that many "would love to try it, but don't know where, or how, to start". We realised how much metal detecting helps people "escape" and deal with the world; they spend time outside, on their own but also making new friends and enjoying support from those new friends.

The company is run anonymously: contact (but it is run by Christopher Horner from Hertfordshire, a long way from Truro). There's some merch here, and a facebook page- with one of the most naff advertising videos with cheery-text-reader soundtrack (and showing detecting on grass) that you'll see for a good while. There is a "donate" button on the company's website!. Of course to make it look good, there are links to two codes of conduct, but EXCEPT one (as can be seen in the voideo they pay no heed to that), and of course they say they do not condone 'night-hawking':
GRIM SWEEPERS DOES NOT CONDONE THE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY KNOWN AS NIGHT-HAWKING! This is gaining access to land without the landowner’s permission.
But looting with the involvement of the landowner is presumably so OK, that they feel quite comfortable plastering it all over the side of their van. Why is the van so big, what have they got in there, and in the roofrack?

1 comment:

Hougenai said...

This 'Positive for mental health' is being trottred out quite a lot by detecting types, often ignoring the same benefits from a simple walk in the countryside.
Recently, one with 'Emotional personality disorder' highlighted this aspect in the obligatory report in the local paper after finding bronze axes in a 'mound'.
I can't help wondering what the landowner felt on learning this after the fact. What may have happened had the landowner challenged him over some aspect of his behaviour? What if the challenge resulted in confrontation?
Just another problem landowners should be aware of when letting strangers wander about their holdings.

No doubt the 'responsible detectorist ' will carry references, a statement from their doctor/therapist perhaps even a CRB check, in the file with their finds/search agreement. (As yet, of all the detectorists in my area that i have spoken with, not a single one uses a written agreement with landowners).

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