It has been announced by the national council of metal detecting that organizers at club digs and public rallies have been granted emergency stop and search powers in a controversial move which NCMD board members are stressing is merely a safety precaution for organizers while others are saying it could be an effective way of deterring would be “treasure thieves ”
Whilst most detectorists in clubs declare their treasure items found on the day, a small minority are long suspected of not doing so, because of this a moderate level of distrust towards detectorists has never been far away from the minds of farmers ,landowners, estate managers, archaeologists, Game keepers, dog walkers, funga-philes, bird watchers, cyclists, scout groups and teachers (and pretty much everyone else who isn’t a detectorist) and it’s been suggested that metal detecting authorities should push clubs into self policing and stepping up security granting them emergency stop and search powers to indiscriminately search dig attendees with use of handheld metal scanners, and if necessary perform a full body strip search including cavity inspection if people are suspected of concealing artefacts constituting as treasure, or weapons.
We were going to send well seasoned journalist Phil Maholin to speak to a Somerset farmer but yet again his wife has the car as she’s away on a bingo weekend in Minehead and Phil’s got to look after the dogs. So instead we sent the ever ready Paul McCoil to interview the farmer from Dunster in Somerset, Mr.Arthur Bale.
(The farmer had an obscure rural western dialect with an impossible accent and he also has a speech impediment, so the transcript below has since been interpreted and modified)
So How do you feel about metal detecting, and do you think these new stop and search powers are necessary?
NOOOPE , not a chance I’ve told you lot before, go away I’m not interested. We don’t want any metal detecting or scrap metal merchants round ere, I’m operating inside farmwatch, no thank you and good day.
Sorry Mr Bale i think you misunderstand our intentions. We aren’t here trying to obtain detecting permission, nor are we pikies seeking to purchase your scrap metal at a reduced rate and potentially try and steal something else when you’re not looking. You phoned us to come down for an interview about the new stop and search guidelines.
Oh yes that’s right, the journalists, one can’t be too careful these days. I think it’s a great idea, i had some blokes up ere 5 harvests ago, called themselves the Quantock Antiquity Questers, strange old lot bit funny lookin, didn’t trust any of em. I used to watch em with a set of binoculars through the upstairs window to keep an eye on em, and i kid you not i saw some unspeakable things out there. I saw one bloke Poo in a hole, drop a big coin it, covered it up, and left it for the next unsuspecting detectorist to dig up. I watched as a middle aged woman came along and dug it back up, she got covered in shit from finger to face, poor dear threw herself in a cattle trough before making a hasty retreat home in tears. I also watched in horror as a very friendly old man who I’d met out in the field on a previous visit to the farm, turned out to be nothing than a sneaky old fox as i watched him on a couple of occasions stuffing objects of gold and silver into his wellington boots. The old man caught a glimpse of me spying on him and by the time i got outside to confront him , he sprinted back to his 4×4 and fled the scene in a hurry. I then banned the club and have been repelling door knocks and phone calls ever since. If this scanny wotsip was around back then none of this would have happened. Myself, the wife and some of the boys from other farms round ere might consider allowing detecting clubs on again if we see that a stop and search is carried out on every detectorist as they leave the farm. Now, off you go then, I’m a busy man thanks for coming cheerio.
The DD doesn’t agree with the new stop and search powers and believe trust is the key to to future relations with land owners, however some detecting and archaeological bodies have even gone as far as to suggest that detecting rallies should have full size scanners similar to airport security in affect by 2020.