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Surrey County Council are advertising for a Finds Liaison Officer. Interesting, because there’s a Surrey County Council premise for allowing metal detecting on its own land: “An applicant will be considered to be part of an ongoing archaeological survey of SCC properties. Applicants will in particular be expected to have a proven track record in reporting and recording. Finds would normally remain the property of Surrey County Council.”

Awkward, or what? Day after day the poor new Finds Liaison Officers will have to keep to the Portable Antiquities Scheme line and liaise with hundreds of people who aren’t part of an archaeological survey, and don’t have a proven track record and haven’t conceded that the finds all belong to the farmer! Indeed, many will have come from rallies involving twenty quid a day, undisturbed pasture, lots of crop marks, loadza dealers on site, no compulsory recording and no showing finds to the farmer.

So that’s how it’s going to work, if “work” is the right word. The FLO will wear blinkers about the circumstances of finds whereas the Local Authority which provides his or her office, laptop and telephone won’t. Oh to be a fly on the wall at the interview!

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