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Detectorists reckon the authorities know if reported find spots are false:  “If reported and not found legally then they’d find out pretty fast as they require landowner details and a grid reference of the findspot…”  It’s not true. PAS’s database is wide open to falsification and laundering by findspot description and the incentives to do it are massive. If the item has been nighthawked or if there’s less obligation to share with Farmer B than Farmer A you just change a letter or two.

Thus a find from Jarrow is suddenly found at Harrow. Job done. A farmer in Jarrow has been stolen from and the PAS database has been falsified. God bless rallies, eh?

And yet, Dear Reader, in Bonkers Britain neither detectorists nor PAS nor the police nor the CBA nor EH nor Glasgow’s Trafficking Culture project nor the Alliance to Reduce Crime against Heritage say a single word about this danger to farmers or the taxpaying, stakeholding public. It’s to be hoped the impending reforms will at least make rallies a thing of the past.


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting

It has been announced that Grant Shapps is going to re-determine his own development consent order by pretending to read everything this time. It can be assumed it won’t take long and he will conclude he was right the first time.

But there’s one truth he’ll need to pretend doesn’t exist …

Following the Telegraph’s recent attack on UNESCOUnesco is a politicised, anti-British basket case – its opinions are an insult“ comes another, equally nasty and Trumpian, from it’s stablemate, the Spectator …

Do we really need lectures from Unesco on our heritage? … Under an obscure convention of 1972, the World Heritage Convention, Unesco nominates a number of world heritage sites from lists submitted by governments.”

Obscure? But we signed it!

We must be prepared to say boo again to the Unesco goose … We should build it, if necessary using legislation … Few if any people travelling to staycations in the West Country will notice much difference, except that their journey may be rather quicker.

Few? Only the countless millions who will no longer be able to see it, leaving English Heritage with one of the most lucrative monopolies on earth. Forever.

Remember the huge Detectival rally in June? The organisers said:

“The area is in a very historic and archaeologically significant area with Hambleden Roman villa and temple complex close by our search area and mill end Roman villa site just a stones throw away, and not too mention all the amazing finds made and discovered on the first Spring Detectival event in 2019 (including the Hambleden Hoard) so the potential for more amazing finds over the weekend is good and we are counting on you recording some great finds over the June Detectival weekend.”

Hurrah! They’re counting on the hundreds of attendees recording their finds! But here’s PAS’s account, so far …

Start date: 12th June 2021 End date: 13th June 2021 County: Buckinghamshire
Created by: Arwen Wood Created on: About one month ago
Updated: Arwen Wood Updated on: About one month ago
View all 11 records from this rally.

Maybe there’s a delay, But they gave away 14 metal detectors in raffles, three more than the number of finds reported so far! Something’s not right.


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting


From Facebook

Treasure Hunting magazine is absolutely delighted to announce that Kimbo’s Boxted ‘Big Week’ Charity Event will be taking place this year. Being held on prime land which has revealed numerous Celtic coins and other notable finds over the years. The name ‘Boxted’ (in Essex) itself now synonymous with such finds, good organisation, friendly atmosphere and just having a great hobby-based time – and of course Kimbo who needs absolutely no introduction for his passion, dedication and commitment to our hobby.

The event will be:- Arrival Sunday 26th September to Saturday 2nd October inclusive. Cost is £100 for the week. Ticket availability is limited to 300. Yet another fantastic big organised detecting event to look forward to – All the best Jules.

Yes you read it right. £100 x 300 people. That’s £30,000.

It would be interesting to see some figures published. For instance, how much of the £30,000 goes to the charity? Who gets the artefacts? The farmer, who owns them, or the charity in the name of which the event is being held? Or someone else? And recording of finds? How much of that do these charity workers do?


We only ask because we know this is about the eleventh visit these heroes have made to Boxted. See our article last year “The Ransacking of Boxted”….

Metal detecting: the ransacking of Boxted

09/02/2020 in Metal detecting (Edit)

Ransacking is right. Ten massive commercial metal detecting rallies on the same farm in the decade since 2010!

But WHY? There’s only one possibility: they’re finding a lot. As one attendee said in 2014: “all I can say is what an event … I think last count there where 12 or 13 gold coins ranging from full staters, quarter staters, celtic silver, french gold . medieval gold, guineas and sov’s. a gold posy ring. not to mention a hat full of hammies … also part of a gold torc and an iron age dagger, the list could go on.” And as the organiser said in 2018: “Those detectorists who have been here before can testify the consistency of the fantastic finds these fields have yielded, and many at that!”

And yet … by 2018 only 23 artefacts from there had appeared in the PAS database! Is that OK with you dear Reader? Ten years of industrial-scale exploitation for commercial gain and oodles of knowledge theft? If so you’ll be pleased to know an eleventh event will be held there next September, but this time for a whole week! For £100 you’ll be able to “detect at your leisure, from dawn to dusk” for seven days – and be free to legally pocket all the finds and blatantly steal all the knowledge!


More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting

Despite the legal judgement, The Telegraph is continuing it’s nasty anti-heritage campaign. How tasteless is that? Having just published the awful Trumpian headline ““Unesco is a politicised, anti-British basket case – its opinions are an insult“, it has now taken up the zoom game to convince it’s readers the road is closer to the stones than it is.

(The top image is theirs, the bottom one isn’t. One wonders if the Government proposed demolishing the lot whether they’d announce it was a fine idea!)

Logically one might expect the main conservation bodies to greet the judge’s ruling with relief: “We are pleased. We did want to re-unite the landscape but it’s fine if the Government will be forced to build a longer tunnel or a realigned road. The damage from a short tunnel was severe and now we can achieve our wishes without it.”

But no, there’s no such public statement, which suggests they are keeping with the Highways England line – that the short tunnel remains the best solution. Shame, an opportunity to come out of this with a degree of credibility is being lost, for if the Government wishes to ignore the judgement and still build a short tunnel they’ll support them.

That the Government does intend to carry on regardless may have been signaled by this Trumpian headline in the Telegraph saying, effectively, let’s ignore UNESCO: “Unesco is a politicised, anti-British basket case – its opinions are an insult“. We shall see in the next three weeks but there’s little doubt that the public silence of English Heritage, Historic England and the National Trust during that time will do their conservation credentials no credit.

When you go against your reason for existence to please politicians it’s only a matter of time before it decides to come back to bite you.

And now it has happened. At the same time English Heritage are lobbying so hard for the “Turner View” of Stonehenge to be hidden from millions of travellers forever, another arm of their organisation has announced they’ve put Turner’s house on the At Risk Register “because houses like this should go on forever”! Ouch! What could be worse?

Well, it could get worse for if, as may happen, the Stonehenge tunnel is cancelled, what will English Heritage’s press release look like next morning? “Hurrah, we never really wanted it to happen” or “What a shame, we bitterly regret there’ll be no new damage to the World Heritage Landscape”?!

Perhaps we’ll know for sure this week!

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August 2021

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