The money trail…

Yesterday, a story popped up on the BBC news that probably passed a lot of folk by in the blur of tinsel and turkey that is Christmas. I think this is worth pulling into the light.

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Interesting idea. Click on the screenshot to visit the BBC news article.

The plan for a trail is a fine idea, as are tourist attractions featuring the Hoard. It’s nice also to see local chap Brian Stringer get the credit for his idea – and for it to get some leverage – after the recent attempt by others to hijack the concept. Brian has worked hard on this and to see his idea propagated by others without credit was sad.

I’d also like to see the supposed dossier of ‘links between the Staffordshire Hoard and Brownhills’, considering Brownhills didn’t even exist in the period. Brownhills is a new settlement, and any history here would be all related to Ogley Hay. Whilst I support moves to get the travelling display in Walsall (although, given the huge cost, I’d rather we used the money for more grassroots stuff at the moment), any idea that the find was linked in some way to what we now consider to be Brownhills is fantasy.

I’m interested too, in the light of finding another 90 pieces of the loot, in just who declared the site ‘sterile’, and if they’ve still got a job. I and many other folk are now concerned about nighthawks and other chancers turning their attentions here.

Finds.org – the Portable Antiquities Scheme website – stated in 2010:

Is the site protected?

The site has been thoroughly examined using specialist equipment provided by the Home Office and with support from the police’s Tactical Planning Unit, Staffordshire county council and Birmingham Archaeology. The site is now considered sterile, meaning experts are satisfied every item able to be recovered from the immediate area has now been found; it is now being monitored by the police.

Probably not the best folk to call if you lose something important…

This seems like an excellent project, and as ever I welcome comment. My congratulations to Brian Stringer for his hard work.

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10 Responses to The money trail…

  1. sabcat says:

    The declaration of the site being sterile was accurate at the time. “every item able to be recovered from the immediate area has now been found” Once the field was ploughed this changed, the top 10 – 18 inches were turned over. As I understand it the 90 new items found were very small and would have been unrecoverable by a metal detector. It was obviously known that as soon as the soil was turned by the plough that “sterile” status was no longer valid and the land was searched again.

    Anyone thinking they could skulk around in the dark with a metal detector and find something missed by a team who’ve marked out the area and completed a thorough search will be disappointed. If the land is ploughed again another search may well turn up more items.

  2. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    I would like to echo the congratulations to Brian Stringer, please.
    David

  3. Barry Carpenter says:

    I witnessed the detectorist team at work. It seems that they came from Leicestershire to do the deed. What I can not understand is why they did not use members of the local, Bloxwich club?

  4. warren says:

    i popped over to have a chat with the detectorists, and they were not very talkative. All the one guy said to me was that they were doing a survey for English Heritage. i Noticed their detectors were of many different makes and abilities. There is no way that land is sterile yet, the latest detectors will give more depth and better results. i noticed a couple of the guys had XLT, which is a good machine but not up to the depth and recovery rates of the new machines.

  5. tkevcro says:

    Hi everyone,
    Interesting they have waited for the field to be ploughed before searching again and risking damage to any remaining items surely there are more efficient ways to do a more indepth survey even if it means digging by hand. Also why haven’t more local communities been involved with displaying the treasure (Walsall,Cannock,Brownhills and Chasetown etc) instead of Stoke and Birmingham hijacking the loot and now apparently owning it as I believe grants were available to fund in the first place.

    • I’m puzzled why they waited. Makes no sense to me.
      The reason communities locally haven’t displayed the treasure is the cost. Insurance and other issues means the cost of transport alone is in the order of £170,000. Personally, I’m happy to see it in Lichfield or Brum and let others stand the cost. Walsall is too short of cash to faff around like that.
      Brownhills, Chasetown or Cannock simply don’t have the facilities.
      (Costs broken down in response to the Doug Birch thing at full council on Walsall’s CMIS somewhere).
      Birmingham, Lichfield, Stoke haven’t ‘hijacked’ it. Brum had the academics and facilities. The other two chucked in some cash. Most raised by public subscription.
      There were no grants as such, that was why there was an appeal.
      Cheers

      Bob

  6. Pingback: Staffordshire Hoard: less talk, more walk? | The Heritage Journal

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