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Dear Fellow Farmers,
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Take a look at this, posted on a detecting forum on Wednesday:
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Hi all.
A couple of friends and myself were given permission to detect on a small local farm. It was verbally agreed that after showing the farmer our finds they would then be returned to us. Some needing recording with our FLO.
In the beginning of December the farmer asked if they could have the finds back over the Christmas period to show their friends and family. They would then be returned to us.
January rolls in and we get an email saying they have decided not to return them but to keep them all themselves.
A lesson has been learnt…….”
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The “lesson learnt” we can assume, is that verbal agreement or not, the farmer will never ever be given his property again!
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But what happened? Why did the dastardly farmer renege on the deal? It’s pretty clear. One of his guests saw the finds and advised him they might be valuable or historically significant or both and he should get independent expert advice on them. And he did and they were!
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Lesson learned, friends – for us!. Even though the Portable Antiquities Scheme is tricksy with it’s advice and doesn’t tell you to have all finds brought to you so you can find out about them for yourself, YOU MOST CERTAINLY SHOULD DO SO. Anyone who is willing to take things home without showing you or asks you to trust THEIR valuation and assessment is doing so for a reason, and it’s not for your benefit. Ever.
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The Heritage Journal is right. Sainsbury’s don’t take that risk, nor should we.
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Best Wishes

Silas Brown
Grunters Hollow Farm,
Worfield,
Salop


Update:

Farmers may also care to note that farmers who have the temerity to want to keep stuff are held in contempt. See this reply on the same thread:

“II totally sympathise with you and I suspect that whatever you have found and retained by the farmer will be forgotten by him in a few months time and be lost in a drawer or cupboard or worse still an outhouse. There is a total lack of respect there for you from the farmer. I would be very tempted to approach the farmer to say that the local museum would be interesting in the finds for a future display or research. Also seek advice from your flo who may support this suggestion.”

Wow! And note they show no shame and think that PAS will help them in their behaviour. The thread has been deleted since this article was published (as usual) but Paul Barford has a cached version. Shame on them. Disreputable oiks with no sense of right and wrong.
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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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