English Heritage had a funding cut of 34% in 2010 and further cuts in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. It will have a further 10% cut in 2015 and ‘spending restraints’ (i.e. cuts) in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Thus it’s functionality and workforce have been and will continue to be decimated for 10 consecutive years.

In sharp contrast, “Treasure Rewards” haven’t been cut by a single penny, EVER. Nor are there plans to do so, EVER. They comprise “open market value” as assessed by an eminent unpaid independent panel assisted by outside experts yet despite that (and the fact they are the most generous such awards on earth) thousands of detectorists say most of them are far too low – not due to natural valuation variation but due to corruption or incompetence by the Panel!  Even though they’re purely ex gratia many hundreds have lodged appeals against them to get their “full entitlement”.

The latest ingrate is blubbing to the press here. He makes the standard threat: “Unless changes are made, people aren’t going to donate their treasure finds to the nation” which actually means: “if detectorists aren’t given enough money they’ll steal the nation’s property”. EH should take note. It’s that very threat and no other that the Government openly admits causes them to keep detectorists immune from the cuts imposed on the rest of the heritage sector. EH could solve their funding problems using exactly the same threat: “If we don’t get the money we want we’ll break the law, (not me personally you understand but loads of my colleagues) first by illegally not declaring what we’ve found and second by illegally flogging the state’s assets on EBay.” Sorted.


[This is an International Laughing Stock production by Bonkers Britain PLC]


PS … Two detectorists who actually understand:

“Is driving finds onto the black market the same as people stealing the find if they think they are not going to get what they think the are entitled to? Sounds like a reverse to the excuse used by shoplifters. The goods i wanted were to expensive so i took them!”


“lets not forget that the TVC will and can cite the following…….The definition of ex an gratia payment: A sum of money paid when there was no obligation or liability to pay it. I have a case going at the moment and couldn’t give two hoots what the TVC say the artifact is worth…..note i said “the artifact” and not “my find”….although it was I who found it, it belongs to the “nation” as Harrogate museum have expressed an interest in it and will be going to them after the TVC have had their say. And there is every possibility i will waive the ex gratia payment.”


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting