Will it be “new PAS, new mission”? We may know soon for three  particularly awful detecting rallies are about to be re-run. Will the new PAS management act in the interests of heritage protection this time or remain as uncritical facilitators?

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First, there’s to be another rally at Weyhill, possibly once again on the site of the famous Weyhill Fair, the venue for nearly 750 years of gatherings. “Sites really don’t come better than this!” said one detectorist and we all know what he meant by that. Last time no-one from PAS criticised or even turned up (FLO on honeymoon, no-one else available) and it still went ahead, in contravention of responsible behaviour and the official Guidance for Organisers of Metal Detecting Rallies.

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Second, those nice middle Englander villagers at  Worlingworth seem to have been persuaded to run a rally again. This time they’re even more deeply implicated:  “cheques  [at £18 a head!] “should be made payable to Worlingworth Local History Group”! Could this be the  only Local History Group that has ever run a commercial metal detecting grabfest? Do they understand the downside and that saying it’s “for charity” doesn’t make it any better? Will PAS have a quiet word this time?  Incidentally, Suffolk County Council contributes to the cost of the group’s website and it has strong views about Metal Detecting rallies as fund raising events  (as does PAS). Will someone say something? Or not?

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Seriously, how many of these have the foggiest notion of the implications of them running a commercial grabfest?

Seriously, how many of these people do you think go metal detecting or really appreciate the negative impact of the event that’s being run in their names  (whether branded as “for charity” or not)? Will the new PAS “outreach” to them?

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Third, while we’re on the subject of good causes, here’s one that isn’t. Next weekend at Tisbury, Wilts, the Chilmark and Clifton Foot Beagles are running another of their metal detecting days.  It’s a good fit, unkind people might say – the unspeakable hosting the unthinking, a truly bizarre happening, a veritable expoiterfest, utterly unique to Britain. PAS are going – but wouldn’t it be refreshing if the new PAS management said: “Actually, no. We want absolutely nothing to do with the event”!?

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Best not get involved, PAS?

The Chilmark and Clifton Foot Beagles strutting off to have some spiffing fun. Best not get involved, even indirectly, eh New PAS? (PAS is looking for donations via a JustGiving page. Some might think attending a metal detecting event run by Beaglers won’t help with that!)

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