As expected, the definition of “Treasure” is to be widened. Everyone will benefit if people keep fewer national treasures that never belonged to them, even if we have to pay them to do so. National humiliation for national benefit, see?

It’s also possible commercial rallies may be “dealt with” by licensing them (PAS won’t attend them because it’s “difficult” to record finds at them and everyone knows what they mean by that). But would it help?

Well, consider this: today in Wiltshire, in the middle of the worst global pandemic since 1918, people from far and wide have gathered for a rally. Tomorrow, there’s another in Oxfordshire, then another on Wednesday in Gloucestershire and next Saturday in Wiltshire again, in fancy dress.

So let’s be frank, not the cleverest or most socially co-operative of detectorists. How would licensing such events make the participants more intelligent and socially co-operative? Wouldn’t the ONLY significant effect of licensing be to give the Government an excuse not to do what it obviously should?

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If it’s “difficult” to record his finds and he would obsessively search for more even during a world pandemic, licensing him is unlikely to help.


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More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
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