By Alan S.

As the calendar clicks over another year, and we’ve looked back at some of the stories of the past 12 months, it’s now time to look forward and to express some of our hopes, dreams and wishes for the year ahead.

Baby Unicorn

After what has passed, it can be quite difficult to be positive when looking ahead, but our primary hopes are that:

  • Shropshire County Council have a change of heart, and decide to finally listen to the wishes of the majority of those whom they were elected to represent, rather than the minority of developers and landowners who stand to gain from potential housing development within the shadow of Old Oswestry hillfort.
  • The government and associated interested parties also listen to reason, and decide to keep the Stonehenge World Heritage Site somewhere that is deserving of the epithet, rather than turn a frightening proportion of the area into what could turn out to be a very large extended building site for more years than we’d care to imagine. And all for a transport system that relies on a fossil fuel that we are constantly being told is itself a dwindling resource.

 

I’d like to think those two hopes, backed by the right campaign groups and pressure in the right place, could both be met in the coming months.

As for dreams, wouldn’t it be marvellous if:

  • The Portable Antiquities Scheme were to become properly funded. With the right resources, the scheme could finally grow teeth and claws, provide proper educational outreach, and halt the depletion of a finite resource.
  • The DCMS actually realised the extent of that depletion (we’ve mentioned it here enough times!) and decided to fall in line with the majority of other countries around the world and ban outright the unlicensed use of metal detectors.

And finally for wishes for the future. Well, (apart from the big lottery win that would finally allow me to retire and spend my time on leisurely pursuits) we obviously wish:

  • All the best for the museums up and down the country who are struggling against the ‘austerity’ measures and cuts (that never seem to affect the well-off sections of society, funny that!) that are biting so deep.
  • An improvement in prospects for:
    • those affected once again by flooding (the Yorvik Centre has just been on the news as I write this) and
    • all the HEROs (‘Heritage Environment Records Officers’) whose employment prospects seem to be dwindling by the day.
    • all those archaeologists, graduate or otherwise, who find it so difficult to find employment at anything other than minimum wage.

We wish you all well!