We saw a picture of a “Stonehenge” replica in Missouri on the page of our friends at Clonehenge.

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It’s a good one, but what we were struck by were the bicycles. How come you rarely see them at the original Stonehenge? Cycling is such healthy exercise and surely, with COVID and climate change they should be massively encouraged? People could arrive by bike or bring them in their cars or hire them from English Heritage at the visitor centre and cycle down to near the monument, reducing the pressure on the car parks and the need for many of the shuttle buses and giving a generally nicer vibe.

Best of all, the cost of running the venue would be greatly reduced so the current £21.50 admission fee could be lowered – perhaps to £10 for those who arrived by bike or brought them in a car and £15 for those who arrived by car and hired an English Heritage bike.

You have to wonder, since it’s such a simple, harmless, beneficial idea, why it hasn’t been actioned long ago? Could it be that English Heritage has calculated that, notwithstanding what’s best for the public, it can make more money if bikes aren’t allowed? That would be entirely consistent with the fact they’re mad keen on hiding the monument from travelers and thus creating their own lucrative monopoly on people even seeing it?

Stonehenge in 1896, before the public interest became secondary

 

Rotary Clubs are by far the biggest hosts of Charity detecting rallies. (“Rotary club” + “metal detecting” gets you 15,500 Google hits). It’s due to the kindness of their land-owning members, unaware of the heritage damage, and that the main beneficiaries are the detectorists, who keep the finds, not donate them.

Last year Dunmow Rotary Club held their third successive rally at Thaxted. This is why: “Barry joined Dunmow Rotary Club in 2015, from the Wootton Bassett Rotary Club, bringing the idea of a metal detecting rally with him”.

Yes, Wootton Bassett Rotary Club. Last year it held its 22nd charity rally! 22 rallies, imagine! Why hasn’t PAS written to Rotary International and told them what they think of large detecting rallies? (i.e. they won’t attend them as they can result in the loss of much archaeological information). Beats us.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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12 years ago, almost to the day, we wrote:

“German eBay has just introduced new rules on the sale of archaeological artefacts. Anything sold must be accompanied by proper documentation showing the seller’s title and proof that it has been properly reported“.

As a result, there are now zero Metalldetektionsfunde (metal detecting finds) directly offered on German eBay. Providing “proper documentation” has turned out to be too difficult, it seems.

However, you CAN buy thousands of finds via German eBay. They are the ones designated as from international sellers, people who aren’t obliged to provide proper documentation. They’re nearly all from Großbritannien!

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                 [2291 Articles found by international eBay sellers]

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Makes you proud to be British, does it? Maybe those considering post-PAS options should take note.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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Love history? We want to hear your stories. Historic places are hugely important to our wellbeing, identity and sense of community. We want to hear what you’ve done to support a historic place, whether it’s big or small



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Yes, well, what we’ve done is to campaign weekly for years and years to oppose the Stonehenge short tunnel scheme which YOU have tried so ruthlessly to bring about in the teeth of UNESCO’s opposition!
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Is that the sort of story you were looking for?

According to English Heritage, Historic England, The National Trust, and Highways England, spending £2 billion pounds and wrecking our most iconic prehistoric landscape will regenerate the West Country. We beg to differ.

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Average time to drive from Highways England’s Head Office in Guildford to St Ives now: 4 hours 36 minutes

Average time to drive from Highways England’s Head Office in Guildford to St Ives post-tunnel: 4 hours 28 minutes

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What YOU can do!



 

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Andrew Adonis has tweeted:.


“I cancelled Stonehenge tunnel as Transport Secretary a decade ago, it was such a waste of money at £300m.

Now it is being prosecuted by Cummings at £1.7bn, despite huge concern from archaeologists & transport experts.

Just cancel it. Invest in local rail in the south-west instead.”


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Which inspired one of our readers to produce this …
;

 

Alas, circumstances preclude it. We shall have to wait until next year.

In the meantime, here’s a reminder of our 2014 Megameet, held at the Rollright Stones..

” Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me, those have always
been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James

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See you at Avebury next year for the 18th!

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It’ll be plain sailing Capn!

 

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[Based on a suggestion by paulintheswim@hotmail.com]

Just now, as PAS teeters on the edge of being a victim of post-COVID-austerity, one might ask: why don’t those tens of thousands of artefact hunters who benefit from it’s existence offer it financial help? Why doesn’t PAS ask them? Well in fact it already has – see its 2015 Just Giving page! So far, £1,248 has been raised – from 30 supporters (including us!) That’s £41.60 each, not bad.

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However, when PAS loses its funding, and detectorists shed tears because they so love to record finds (apart from most of them!),  keep in mind that between 27,000 of them they’ve given less than 1p a year each to keep it going! To put 1p in context: “Kimbo’s Rally Week” at Boxted next September costs £100!

Saying one thing and doing another has been the defining characteristic of  most UK artefact hunters for two long decades. So it’s ironic that when PAS ends it will expose one last artefact hunting hypocrisy.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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“It’s OK officer, I have my own version of the Highway Code. It says I’ve done nothing wrong!”

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Ludicrous, yes. But did you know tens of thousands of detectorists show farmers the NCMD code not the official one? Under it, they aren’t required to report recordable items to PAS (and the NCMD has refused to endorse the proper one.)

Every time PAS or other archaeological bodies praise “responsible detecting”, landowners assume that’s what must be happening in their fields as they’ve been shown “the code”. But no, they’re nearly always shown the detectorists’ own self-written code, which is totally different and inferior to the official one.

You might ask why!

If only PAS would simply tell farmers to beware of fake codes – certificates of false valour – they’d do more good for conservation and the fight against knowledge theft than anything they’ve ever done before.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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