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Our first anniversary – a review of the year

Time flies! It almost seems like yesterday but this website was set up in October of last year. Over the last 12 months we have featured hundreds of detecting finds, some of which have been important due to their rarity. Many thanks to all of you that have contributed to the website. As I’ve said before, computers are still a complete mystery to me so Paul, my son-in-law, looks after all the technical side. Without him there would be no website.

Additionally, we cover the activities of the main auctioneers, the PAS and other news. If you want anything else then suggestions are very welcome.

It seems a good time to reflect on the two major articles that we published on issues that should be of great concern to all detectorists.

Institute of Detectorists

It is also thanks to Paul that the proposed Institute of Detectorists is now dead in the water. Keith Westcott, who came up with the idea, was granted £50,000 by Historic England for a feasibility study. The NCMD was invited to participate on an Advisory Board but declined. In September of 2020 Kevin Gorman (then General Secretary) sent a letter to all the members of the NCMD saying it would not be involved as it would not have an effective voice. I sent him an email saying that standing aside wasn’t an option: in order to protect our hobby the voice of the NCMD must be heard. I received no answer.

Therefore, when this website was set up I wrote a short article urging the NCMD to speak up for its many members. Paul then joined in and after gaining important material through the Freedom of Information Act he compiled a stinging expose of the proposed IoD. He did what the NCMD should have done – but it did nothing whatsoever about something that posed a great threat to our hobby. Paul’s expose left many red faces and caused much back-peddling by those who had initially supported the IoD.

NCMD split

Some time back I reported that the NCMD was in danger of falling apart. Over more recent months it has been torn apart by a small group, which gained control by a slim majority. This group then dismissed the long-standing representatives from the Western, Southern, Midlands and Yorkshire regions. Mediation was offered and accepted twice but on both occasions it was withdrawn by the NCMD. It seems that those who had gained control did not want to face awkward questions. The fight goes on and will continue until there is a settlement.

The regions were set up so that their representatives could give voice to members’ opinions at NCMD meetings. This made for openness and a degree of democracy. The NCMD had to listen to points put forward by the regions but this seems no longer to be happening. By dismissing the representatives from four regions, will this lead to all the other regions being broken up? Is this just the start of a centralisation of all the power into just a few hands? Would you mind if that happened?

The NCMD was set up to promote and protect the hobby we all love but at the moment it appears to be doing nothing. A General Secretary, a Communications Officer and the President have all resigned but we are no further forward. At grass roots level I have spoken to a large number of detectorists and every one of them have expressed concern about the present situation. Look at the NCMD Facebook pages or the NCMD website and it would appear that everything in the garden is rosy. This, though, is because content of these two sources is edited in order to remove any criticism.

If you are unhappy with the present situation then do raise your concerns whenever and wherever you can. Do it at club level and if possible at regional and national level. The NCMD is our flagship, we pay for its upkeep and its assets belong to us. Therefore, we should all have a say in how it is managed and by whom, what its aims are and how its funds are spent. You have a platform on this website, so use it!

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