Those who frequent detecting forums will be very familiar with the claim from local clubs that they are the responsible, dedicated, local amateur archaeologists who are purely concerned with studying their local area whereas commercial outfits are a money-making pestilence, willing to go anywhere they can find a compliant farmer in pursuit of money.

But words are cheap. One of the loudest claimants is the Loughborough Coin and Search Society, yet it is planning a dig at Salisbury in September, 3 hours and 150 miles away from its base. It’s open to ALL, not just its club members and no doubt including those who go to the much-criticised commercial rallies. Amazingly, this is the THIRD time they’ve come (here’s the first).

There’ll be no Portable Antiquities staff there to record finds. (Who would want to be photographed at a detecting rally with Salisbury cathedral in the background?)

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