According to Hampshire detectorist Pete Beasley delays in deciding the fate of rare finds has caused some people to stop handing their finds to the authorities. He said he had handed a pure gold Norman ring into the Finds Liaison Office in Winchester two years ago, which has yet to be returned. “This takes forever and it shouldn’t, these are experts. It should take weeks rather than two or three years.

So no mention of Covid nor that every detectorist bar none is “in it for the history not the money” nor that Treasure items are OURS, not theirs and rewards are merely ex gratia and it’s criminal not to report treasure. Nor that researching finds can be very complex and take a long time especially as the Portable Antiquities Scheme is starved of resources.

There’s a solution. Let 27,000 history-loving detectorists pay £5 a year to help PAS be speedier. That’s £1.3 million, which should be more than enough. (They could afford it. One detectorist recently said “the majority spend close to £1K on a detector, over £25 on a rally and expect to always find something”).

But here’s a funny thing: in 2015 the PAS asked for voluntary donations. So far (and nothing for 2 years) …