Following our complaint about The Crassfest, the blatantly irresponsible metal detecting rally held by Central Searchers, they have replied to us, totally unrepentant and uncomprehending, on their website. This is what they said (together with our comments):
“Recently a group called Heritage Action has been on our personally owned website, then reproduced various pieces of text from the site in the public domain, they also visited a site we were detecting on and took a photo of a club member, proceeded to publish the image on their website without the knowledge or permission of that detectorist. This is purely aimed at making the club along with its associates look bad for digging on a ridge and furrow site or any undisturbed pasture,” (No, it was to highlight to the great British Public (whose heritage it is) that you were digging on ridge and furrow and other permanent pasture in defiance of very clear advice not to do so from the main archaeological bodies. So, you were damaging the interests of the true owners in defiance of the best professional advice. We had no need to make you look bad, you were doing that yourselves.)
“which of course there is no law against at present,” (Correct! “It’s legal, innit?” Ethics count for nothing if it’s lawful, eh? To hide behind the law in this matter, you’d have to be either profoundly unintelligent or deliberately pretending you don’t understand in order to make money. Choose your own excuse.)
“as always a Finds Liaison Officer has an open invite to any of these sites to record anything that comes off, which the weekend in question was shotgun caps!!” (Point of Information (Yawn…): It wasn’t the artefacts your event unearthed that made the event irresponsible and not approved of but the damage to the context that you caused. The clue is in the phrase undisturbed pasture.)
“This group is anti detecting,” (Correct! In the reprehensible, brainless manner you and your customers conduct it anyway. Any half well-read person would be the same. Does it not occur to you that no recognised responsible detectorist was there? Can you possibly work out why? (Please don’t tell us there were. No thoughtful detectorist would dream of being seen on ridge and furrow. It’s a plain fact, we know some and they’ve told us.)
“it believes they have the right to protect what they do not own.”
(Too right we do! And we think YOU have NO right to destroy what YOU don’t own.)
“From now on Dig Details will be a limited brief description of the site so these sort of allegations can not be copied and used in a slanderous way against the club or club members this is in the interest of protecting our members and sites from such groups who only have a one sided view where detectorists opinions are not allowed.” [Translated as: From now on we are going to hide the details so no-one but our customers will know if we are on permanent pasture or otherwise acting irresponsibly (and they sure as heck won’t understand if we are, or care, or blab.) You won’t be the first to try to cover your tracks. The next logical step is to go the whole hog and completely hide your rally venues and just say “Meet in Morrison’s carpark” like one of your equivalent rally organisers does. He’s a great role model for you – and will be company for you as you are now intending to move into British metal detecting’s moral bargain basement!
“ALL CONTENT ON THIS AND ASSOCIATED WEB SITES IS PROPERTY OF RICHARD AND GILL EVANS OWNERS OF CENTRAL SEARCHERS. NO CONTENT MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY MEDIA WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION, DOING THIS IS A BREECH OF COPYRIGHT.” We claim a “Public Interest” defence for reproducing your text and photographing your customer – which is more than you can for your Crassfest and Club Rules! If you and he don’t like it then we suggest you and he stop flouting archaeological advice and damaging the public’s interest. Simple really.