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Monday, 17 February 2014

Paul Barford and Nigel Swift working against their targets.

Paul  Barford and Nigel Swift both have decent blogs with plenty of readers.  They both have good content with quite a few interesting articles.

The both appear to want the same thing, a more governed, ethical and above all a more responsible approach to metal detecting.

Now that's all fine and dandy, its a view a lot of detectorists have too im sure (me included). So I have to pose the question, why do they both choose to operate in a manner that is counter proactive?

You only have too trawl their respective blogs for a few seconds to find that they have been cutting and pasting information and conversations from other blogs and metal detecting forums. They then take time to dissect these sentences and try to make it show the poster in the worst possible light.

So how does this help anyone or anything?  Well the answer is it doesn't.  It gains them more readers and followers but does not help the causes they shout out about one bit.

If they tried interacting with metal detectorists and gave their views and worries in a way that doesn’t include calling metal detectorists thick or slack jaws or whatever other put downs they think of then maybe people would start listening.  Untill then im sure you will both just keep the label of trolls.

Which is unfair as im sure you could have some good input.

I look forward to seeing this post cut and shut on your blogs shortly


  1. Hi Andy

    Unfortunately Paul and Nigel want everything their way, you are either with them or against them in their view, they are very inflexible which begs the question do they really really want a solution to a more governed, ethical and responsible approach to metal detecting?

    I touched on a few points already in my first post on your blog concerning Paul and Nigel, I keep asking myself why over the years of the constant negativity, badgering and name calling against the detecting community do they keep on with it with little result, why not bypass all that and try to implement a change in the current English & Welsh Treasure Act and lawfully change the way detectorists act.

    They hardly mention a change in their blogs concerning the current treasure act so do they really want something done or do they just want to keep up the negativity to feed their ego's?


  2. I think you hit the nail on the head there KPVW

  3. Monday 17 February 2014. From the SDG’s Current website….

    “The Southern Detectorist Group (SDG) is a small, friendly group of metal detectorists… All of our members are trustworthy, responsible detectorists who enjoy the hobby in the hope that any ancient coins or any other metal artefacts can be recovered. ….All of our members abide by the code of conduct for metal detecting and are affiliated to either the Federation of Independent Detectorists (FID) or the National Council for Metal Detecting (NCMD) and as such we each carry our own insurance for carrying out our hobby. We take pride in our approach to the hobby, and believe that our respect for the land that we are granted access to and the way in which we aim to preserve and record any finds sets us apart from any of the other metal detecting clubs.”

    Presumably then, Steve Broom, being the honourable man he is, has already resigned from the SDG because as he says, “The FID and NCMD cant get it right as they dont mandate the reporting of all finds to the PAS…”

    It follows therefore, as night follows day, he cannot remain a member of the SDG because he follows a different Code of Conduct and is not NCMD/FID insured as the SDG blurb would have everyone believe!

    His resignation is only ethical, surely? Is it not? Well done to him for having the courage of his conviction.

  4. Andy... There is a lot to learn from the Mr Swift and Mr Barford and if you are sensible enough to look through fog that is whipped up by the comments that are obviously posted to antagonise and stir up ill feeling (on both sides) you might actually learn something which will allow you to change and act more ethically.

    Thanks for checking out the Groups website John H... Good to know that you are looking in and nice to see that you have studied the site enough to seize on a minor administrative point to drive your point home...!

    Whilst looking around you will also have noted in some of the previous posts that the website to which you refer to is neither current or finished and seeing as the FID is no more... It will need an update... (a point already pointed out by Mr Barford, so it looks like you "missed the bus" on that one).

    I of course will not be resigning (although it has been offered) and prefer to foster the changes from within as there are some members within our group that have learnt from our past experiences and want to change.

    Thanks for the heads up though John H...I will get on to it as soon as I get the chance...!

  5. There is no doubt that the two of them have a good set of heads on their shoulders. Its such a shame though that they don't use their knowledge in a positive way too help reach the goals they want us to achieve instead of just using it as negative energy. Honestly out of anything you have read that was written by them can you think of any helpful guidance or ideas that was not tainted by a put down of some sorts?
    I can't .....

  6. I don't think that it is as simple as just taking on "their knowledge". You need to look a bit deeper into what is being said and then relate that to how you act. I personally have started using GPS references for recording finds and have started to record the finds depth. I have indicated to people on the forum as well that GPS plotting of hoards and multiple finds should be used to improve the information that can be gained from making this type of find. It is such a shame when you see a pile of coins in a tray that have been dug up and can no longer be related specifically to their finds spot... this is where knowledge gets lost...!

    I have donated finds to museums and landowners for no reward and am planning on donating a recent flint find to the local museum that is closest to where the item was found. There are also some other major changes that I and members of our group have made... but I will share them when it becomes appropriate. The "ethical code" that is often dismissed by metal detectorist's needs further consideration for it to be practical enough to work and I am working on it. Only when this happens will detectorists who truly care about the history of the items that they are lucky enough to find shake of the reputation of being "treasure hunters"... Most of the items that I find are not treasure, but they are valuable in terms of the historical record and this is what I am keen to portray and follow up on...irrespective of anyone else's views. Those who wish to follow can do so, and those that don't can stay as they are and can continue to defend their own position.

  7. Hi Steve:

    You say to Andy and others too that..."you might actually learn something which will allow you to change and act more ethically." More ethically than who? You? Barford? Nelson Madela's? Your ethics are no more superior than anyone else’s? It's all a moot point.

    Barford has nothing whatsoever to offer this hobby and it's apparent to me that he's using you in his mission to destroy the PAS. He is not important in the scheme of things – never has and never will be.

    The FID insurance expires at the end of December 2014. Indeed, FID was formed, not as Barford wrongly asserts, as an alternative to the NCMD, but to bring non-aligned hobbyists into membership which in 1982 was limited only to clubs via federations.

    However, before you continue in the Tunnel of Love with Barford you might be interested in the following:

    David Welsh, is the renowned international numismatist of Goleta, California. David received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Engineering from California Coast University, specializing in optical physics. He reads or speaks five modern languages in addition to Latin, Greek and studies in extinct ancient scripts found on coins.
    Here’s what he wrote about Paul Barford on his blog.

    "Notable members of the numismatic community have been singled out in Barford’s blog screeds, with pejorative and insulting labels attached to their names, and derogatory images inserted. Examples include Wayne Sayles, Peter Tompa and Arthur Houghton, each of whom has a very distinguished reputation and high standing in his field.

    Mr Barford, conversely, has written one book, a number of journal articles – and a notorious blog – without ever discovering anything of archaeological importance or gaining respect from archaeologists familiar with the details of his brief career as an archaeologist.

    Many of those who have been the targets of Mr Barford’s invective have come to believe that there must be some compelling reason for his obsession for keeping details of his past private. What, they wonder, happened that he so intensely desires to conceal? Why does Barford refuse to publish detailed and factual curriculum vitae, such as every reputable scientist and scholar does?

    This observer is not among those who imagine that there is anything discreditable in Mr Barford’s past, believing instead that his rather brief career as an archaeologist simply does not support his present pretensions to be regarded as an expert commentator.

    Speculation regarding Mr Barford’s actual credentials will continue, in various forms and forums, until curriculum vitae is published.

    It is Mr Barford whose unrelenting, obsessive campaign against UK metal detectorists during his brief appointment as an archaeological field work investigator during the 1980s prevented reappointment, and brought about “Barford’s Hegira” – his pilgrimage to Warsaw in then-Communist Poland, where the political climate was more to his liking.

    My wife holds a doctorate in psychology, and she has explained to me that such behavior reveals a personality disorder characterized by narcissism and unrealistic, irrational fantasizing.

    Mr Barford’s almost hysterical reaction strikes one as being very revealing. Clearly any discussion of his possibly being mentally abnormal, which a great many individuals believe is indeed the case, is extremely distressing to him and demands an instant, vehemently attacking riposte.

    It seems to this observer that this reaction, taken in the context of the above information regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is sufficient for readers of this blog to judge for themselves. Whether Mr Barford has a normal personality – or whether he is perhaps affected by a disorder similar to that described above."

    When the lion and the lamb lay down together, the lamb should always sleep with one eye open. Good luck.

    John Howland
    PS. Apologies Andy for a long comment.

  8. Andy, a challenge.... Try and find one positive, non-condescending, uplifting or humorous post on Mr. Barford's blog. Go ahead...give it a whirl.

  9. I have not started this blog post to turn into a slagging war. It was created in the hope that Paul and Nigel step back and have a think about how they put their selves across. If the cause they fight for is that close to their hearts im sure they can see it would be beneficial to them to take a different approach for a change.


  10. John Howland... Thanks for the history lesson... However, a persons qualifications, experience or their reason for blogging are not my concern. In the past I personally have been pulled apart by Mr Barford and Mr Swift and I could either take the stance of "What do they know" and enter into the usual cycle of abuse and negativity that becomes associated with any comment within metal detecting circles involving their names...Or, I could think "They have a valid point" and decide to change and do things slightly differently to help with improving the image of our hobby. I have personally taken on board some of the critique and have changed the way that I do things. That is all I am seeking to do and if I can change the way that a few detectorists do things along the way then all is well and good.

    At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion (on detecting in general, the PAS, etc, etc), but any advice from anyone with information and knowledge about history is of benefit to us...Isn't it...?

  11. To be honest Steve Paul and Nigel do have some valid points from an outside perspective but they are not the leading authority on detecting matters,It is not what they say but how they say it that gets up people noses.

    You yourself know how iinflexible they can be for example the question of handing over of all finds to the farmer/landowner according to Nigels ethical detecting pledges and I might add these pledges dreamt up by Nigel with no input from detectorists themselves, so you either follow Nigels rules to the letter or you are not an "ethical" detectorist in his view.


  12. HI Steve:

    I fully agree with your last paragraph.

    "There is a lot to learn from the Mr Swift and Mr Barford ..." you write, and I can’t disagree but not for the reasons you intone. When Swift evaluated you and your SDG thus:

    "….The Southern Detectorists Group detects 20 farms and in no case do they hand the finds to the farmers at the end of their digs. I’m only a humble farmer, less educated or socially responsible than the average detectorist, but to me that’s scandalous. And it’s not just me. Tesco’s don’t like people taking things home without going through the check-out either.”

    …. I and many others who read his comments, and in the absence of any contradiction, are all left with the impression that Swift, having apparently labelled you and your SDG as being on a par with shoplifters seems to know something the rest of us don’t.

    All the artifacts you dig up according to Barford and Swift have no archaeological significance at all, since they have been, as they like to put it, ‘hoiked’ out of context. IF that supposition is correct, and IF there is a lot to learn from Barford and Swift as you say, and IF their Artifact Erosion Counter is an accurate record, then with the greatest respect, perhaps you really ought to give up metal detecting immediately to protect the heritage and join an archaeological society.

    John Howland

    1. I have not implied you or your group are my comment again. It was Nigel Swift who implied your SDG are akin to shoplifters. Read his comments again, and with the greatest of respect, inwardly digest.

      If you really want to do business with people like this that's your prerogative. I regard Swift and Barford as having the kind of thing one steps in on the pavement and about as charismatic.


      John Howland

  13. Hi Andy:

    Somebody loves us...I wonder who...? (Relating to the Elgin Marbles)

    7 February 2014 19:37

    OpenID heritageaction said...
    Well I think they wuz robbed. If they wanted someone to state the bleedin' obviously untrue they could have hired a metal detectorist at a tenth of the cost.

    17 February 2014 20:53

    Blogger Paul Barford said...
    Well, he has a couple on his blog to help him, Stout, Howland, Baines and gives a link (at the bottom) to the Stout metal-detecting blog. Can't get clearer than that....

    Dunno about the other two mentioned, but I'm not that cheap! No Suh! How about you Steve? Mates rates?

    Happy days

    John Howland

  14. Hi John H... You indicate that I should "give up metal detecting"..."resign from my club".... am I really perceived to be such a threat to the current status quo...???

    Your quote implies that no contradiction was given to the statements made in relation to the original thread...Quite the opposite... see here as the context in which these statements were made is important...!

    You have implied that we are thieves and quietly take the finds leaving the landowner in the dark. When in fact, all of our landowners entrust us to recover the items, get them recorded with the PAS and then in partnership with them agree who will retain the item... The conversation was more about the practicalities of doing this and I am still at a loss to determine how this was perceived otherwise... Perhaps the "context" of what is being discussed and represented within these posts should be explored in more detail.

    Thanks for the post KPVW... I know what you are saying, but it is only through reasonable dialogue that we might just be able to make small changes that will be viewed by the majority as being of benefit.

  15. Mr Baines, just a while ago, comments were made about you turning your blog into an "anti-Barford blog" in just over a week, and you acted all hurt and sulky. Then you deleted those posts (thank you). But now the last two posts have again been about "what Paul said/might say" and look at the results. I really do not know why you published a whole huge chunk cut and pasted from deranged Dealer Dave Welsh's (fine bedfellows you lot choose) nasty blog. Suffice to provide a link one would have thought.

    I think there is a recurring pattern here, Dick Stout and his Arky-hating sidekick ran out of things to write about years ago, and think they'll attract more readers to their blog if they find a "public enemy" to attack. So they do, they've been blogging away over there about nothing much else with crude jokes hoiked from the Internet thrown in to spice things up for the dull intellects. They apparently have no intent of changing their formula, and they have their devoted following. I imagine you are aiming for the same. But ask yourself, who are these people who you have attracted?

    The POST was about why I do not “change my attitude”. To what? To this further display of tekkie intellect? Perhaps my attitudes to metal detecting are born of precisely seeing just this kind of thing on metal detecting blogs and forums everywhere, time after time. Take a look. That is presumably why you decided to try and do something different. Look where it has got you.

    How about having some more stuff here about what you are doing, not others, and some discussions of all those academics and archaeologists who have blogs and tweet about the positive side of detecting, you know all those ones with "positive, non-condescending, uplifting or humorous posts"? There must be lots of them, if - according to you and Mr Stout - I am so wrong.

  16. Please check my newest post everyone


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