It’s amazing how many detectorists quarrel over money yet are only in it for the history. The latest is a man in dispute with the Church of Scotland, would you believe! Then there’s this and this and in 2010 this quarrelsome pair …

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But for me the worst was 2015. Two pensioners argued in Court: “I found it and he said ‘it’s mine, it’s mine’. He can’t dispute it, I found the third coin…. I dug the hole … he may have heard me say I can’t find it but I did. It was my hand that found it…. Surely possession is nine-tenths of the law?” And so on. All it needed was one to mutter “my precious!”

Why I resent them so much is that the Shropshire field they had searched was the very one I used to play in! Things were different then though – my friend  Jim found an artefact and we all proudly processed, Cider-with Rosie style, to our headmaster’s house to present it to him “for the museum”. We had no thought it was “ours”. Now those fields are travelled to by very different people.

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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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