Friday, October 31, 2008

Cold Brayfield 2

Well, not being one to be fobbed off by half answers, I decided to write again to Mrs Evans about her remarks about the photos of Julian Watters attacking the ground with a blunt mattock on a december day in 2006 on her website:
-------Original Message-------
From: Paul Barford Date: 10/31/08 08:22:36
To: Gill Evans Subject: Re: Account deletion

Dear Mrs Evans,
The photos Gary Brun publicised however came from your website. They have now been referred to on David Gill's "Looting Matters" blog. I just wanted to get at the truth what they show since Mr Brun is insisting that they show Mr Plason and Mr Phillips digging up the hoard mentioned the other day in the Milton Keynes news.
Are they your members?

All I wanted to do was to follow up the lead Gary Brun had provided to get to the truth, despite the secrecy some wish at each step to wrap around the recovery of elements of the national heritage by metal detector users. Seeing the reference to the photos in the forum would help see if there is any evidence that Mr Brun is telling the truth. If so, then I would of course publish a correction to what I wrote on my blog. The fact that I am prevented from independently verifying this means I cannot.

If you do not want to let me look at what is on the forum to see if
there is anything there or not, then I am sure you will see why I can indeed be forgiven for thinking that you may be hiding something. If your members have nothing to hide, why the secrecy?

You write: > as you are so anti detecting I see no reason why you should wish to join therefore deleted the application.Do Central Searchers support only responsible detecting? Is there a reason why those interested in finding examples of responsible detecting should not see what is on your forum?

As I say, I was only interested in looking around in order to get to the truth about what was reported in the newspapers (where there was NO mention of "devastation to crops", maybe we are talking about two different newspaper reports?).
Paul Barford
I know, a "trifle" pompous, but I tend to get annoyed with metal detectorists who want to hide what they are doing from the rest of us as though it does not concern us. It does. Anyway, this is the reply I got in return, and this is where it gets interesting:

Dear Mr Barford, I do not have the time or inclination to get into a long drawn out conversation with you regarding this matter. I have explained in a previous email what the photographs are the chap in the mustardy coloured jumper in Julian Waters, I would suggest if you have any problems regarding this hoard
that you speak to him direct.
As for Gary Brun I have no idea where he has made these comments or what he has said. But for the record I will tell you the three photos are of Mr Phillips, Mr Plassom and Julian Waters around a week after the initial find was made and they show Mr Waters in the hole checking finds and any relevant history. These photos are not of the actual day the original find was made when Mr Plassom and Mr Phillips were on their own, as far as I am aware there are not photographs at this particular point. And for what happened that day I would suggest you contact Mr Phillips direct.

As far as CS site is concerned it is our forum we have nothing to hide but to be blunt we don't want you on our site and that's our decision, many of our members are also on the other forums minelab owners, ukdn, ukdetectorist etc. I to am on those sites and have seen the "discussions" between yourself and members and they often become very heated. Our forum runs very smoothly and I cannot be doing with these foreseable disagreements should I allow you to join.

As for no link to the PAS we did have all the FLO's and a whole section to them on our website, but to be honest I have lost touch with which FLO is where at the moment as they seem to swap and change constantly, we therefore removed the page as we did not wish to relate false information to the public. We have lots of dealings with Ros Tyrell and in Jan are starting up club meetings every month and will be asking the new Northants FLO is she wants to come each time and record finds (that is providing she has actually started work by then as at present Northants does not have a FLO). But because our membership is country wide a lot of our members record their finds with their local FLO's. Gill Evans

Well, its not clear whether she is saying that the hole Mr Watters (not "Waters") dug is the same findspot as the coins recovered in the night by Phillips and Plasom (or whether she means no photographs were taken in the dark), and whether she is deliberately writing so as to be ambiguous - to cover up why she originally called the Cold Brayfield hoard the Buckingham Hoard... dunno.

What however is clear is that according to his words on David Gill's "Looting Matters" blog, Julian Watters is under the impression that he had been called to a site where the night previously a find had been made and almost totally retrieved by the finders. Mrs Evans, whose husband took part in this recovery, asserts that in fact the nightime digging had happened a week before that, at the end of November. Now, if that is true, why would anyone not want to admit that? There are a number of obvious reasons that come to mind, but it is not my place to suggest them here, the reader can work them out for themselves.

As for the rest, well putting a link to the Portable Antiquities Scheme webpage alongside all the links to coin dealers and suchlike does not mean they would be supplying "the public" (sic) with false information... since the PAS update the references to local contacts on their webpage on a regular basis. That excuse falls flat, there must be another reason why Central Searchers have their own "rules" which make no mention of any official Code of Practice for Responsible Detecting, and makes no mention of the existence of the PAS. What could it be? She did not answer my question about responsible detectorists.

As for the crap about these forums where I allegedly produce such mayhem, I challenge her to point to any of the archived posts of any of those forums (which I regularly visit) where this has occurred. The only example she will find is from the UKDN forum when a few years back I inadvertanly used the words "common heritage" and all hell broke loose (that was in the days before David Lammy chummily told them all they were "unsung heroes of the heritage") and I only joined in the discussion there because one member (he seems to have since gone silent -probably choked in his own bile) was attacking me on the britarch forum. This was over a coin that was alleged by a detectorist had gone missing while in archaeological custody. I stated (as did John Hooker) that the photo showed a fake coin... His fellow detectorists rallied round and made a huge fuss. The accusing detectorist is now several years later standing trial accused by several dealers of trying to sell fake coins....

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