This and That and Stonehenge…

If I have listed a link to your website or blog here and you haven’t updated for six months I will be removing it. I understand there might be a good reason why you haven’t been able to update or share and if so please let me know. Just trying to clean up links and update pages.


Recent happenings have just reinforced my theory that it really is all about audiences, listeners,  followers, views, likes and shares. Life today is just a numbers game.


This happened to pop up on social media and I hope that the local club(s) will be able to get this wrong righted. I also can’t help thinking that there are many more Mill Creeks out there that we don’t know about.  As our numbers grow so do the problems…..

Mill Creek Enforcing Metal Detecting Ban


If you remember John Howland went on a tear about Stonehenge last post so I asked him to please share his views and concerns via an update in the Malamute  Saloon.  He was kind enough to do so. Thank you Bubba….


by John Howland

The UK Highways Agency’s plans for a 1.8-mile tunnel to ‘bury’ traffic on the busy A303 arterial trunk road by diverting it away from Stonehenge, the World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, is well under way. The multi-million-pound scheme will, it is hoped, return the surrounding historic landscape to much as it was 4,500 years ago, leaving the ancient stones to dominate. The plan has widespread and influential support.

The United Nations cultural organisation, UNESCO, along with the International Council on Monuments and Sites, for example, recognise the benefits of the scheme which is also supported by the National Trust among other prominent supporters.


Retired Minnesota architect and site visitor Paul Tunison reckons, “If this was a monument in the US, we wouldn’t have vehicles passing so close by. This is the place to visit in the UK […] a tunnel seems a very sensible option. I’d go for it.” He is not alone.

But not everyone’s happy; oh dearie me no! Opposition to the plans emanates from all the usual quarters – mainly dissident archaeologists, undistinguished archaeo-bloggers and their fellow travellers, who cite all manner of ills ranging from famine, to plagues of locusts and death of all the firstborn.

But as so amusingly happens (and often) within archaeology, not everyone’s singing from the same hymn sheet. Not wanting to be left on the side-lines of the argument, the Council for British Archaeology’s, President, the television presenter and historian, Dan Snow, wades in to the debate with unfortunate, ill-judged, lily-gilding comments by comparing the UK’s Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling’s tunnel option plan, to that of the terror group Isis’ destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra, likening the tunnel scheme to, “vandals and zealots who destroy ancient artefacts.”[1] To use a football manager’s vernacular…”the boy dun bad.”


[1] Simon Jenkins writing in ‘The OBSERVER’,The Stonehenge tunnel is monumental folly’


Mike Heyworth, the CBA’s Director, on the other hand, shows a deal more diplomacy (the boy dun good-ish) than his President, having found it seems a comfy seat on a nearby fence, “There are potential benefits from a tunnel to bury the A303 in the area of Stonehenge, but any proposals need to be carefully scrutinised and we need to think of the long-term implications, not just the short-term needs.” Heyworth told The Telegraph[2] that he even favours the longer 2.7-mile tunnel option, adding that “obviously” he had to be “realistic about the state of public finances.” Evidently Heyworth is familiar with the old adage that ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.’

In further sidelining the hapless Snow, Mike Pitts, British Archaeology magazine’s editor who directed excavations at Stonehenge told The Guardian newspaper that, “When you visit Stonehenge now you see traffic, you feel traffic […] but the tunnel is not just about that traffic. It will open up an extraordinary landscape to the south of the road that is known to only a few nutjobs like me. It will change the way we engage with that whole landscape.”

A spokesperson for the UK’s Department for Transport tells us that, “Stonehenge is one of Britain’s greatest treasures and it is important to note that English Heritage and National Trust support our plans. It is essential that we ensure this site of cultural and historical significance is safeguarded as we progress with the upgrade.”

“As with any road scheme, we will consult with interested parties before any building begins on the A303.”

Therefore, if given the chance, all UK Stout Standards’ readers can cast their votes and make their voices heard and so to a lesser extent can US readers, all in support of the 1.8-mile tunnel option (I have already done so).


2 Stonehenge tunnel given green light after nearly 30 years of delays, by Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor – 12 January 2017



Procastiwining – the art of drinking wine instead of doing something else you should be doing



Filed under Metal Detecting, UK

7 responses to “This and That and Stonehenge…

  1. Bigtony

    Just reading this post is not enough information about a tunnel project near Stonehenge in the UK. So I have to say No tunnels at all, that might undermine the entire site and certainly returning ancient ground to what it is today – probably is impossible but hey that is just my opinion and as they say we are all entitled to one.

  2. Good post, John, and I’m for anything that will hide traffic sprawl and return the Stonehenge site back to the quiet and magnificent monument it deserves to be. I don’t believe the retired Minnesota architect has spent much time at historic sites in the U.S., however, because if Stonehenge was located in America, not only would roads be closer than they are in the U.K., there would be a McDonald’s Hamburger joint with attached gift shop right in the center of the site, selling fake stone mugs with the Stonehenge logo on it.

    Dick, once again, some dumb-ass bonehead digs around a local statue, gets seen and “reported” by the proverbial “somebody” again, losing digging rights for everyone. Of course, as usual,nobody knows who done the diggin’ and nobody knows who complained, possibly being one ot the tiniest “flase flag” operations here in the U.S. to date.

    HOWEVER, if the issuance of metal detecting permits, was, in fact, done, then a legal precedence has been set for more than a few years. The mealy-mouthed “Director” commenting about being helpless and all to correct “incorrect” things done by his “predecessor” had me rolling on the floor. He’ll be smiling outa’ the other side of his face if anyone, or any pro-detecting group (anyone???hello???) surmounts a legal challenge, and starts a campaign to move mush-face out of his comfy, “I have no power!!!” position as director-of-not-much. I am particularly saddened by detecting groups and clubs milling around in a circle, looking all doe-eyed at each other and talking about maybe speaking at “the next meeting” about how sad they are. Americans used to be a “Piss Me Off and You’ll be Flipping Hamburgers at Stonehenge!” type of people, but no more.

    • James said…

      “….if Stonehenge was located in America, not only would roads be closer than they are in the U.K., there would be a McDonald’s Hamburger joint with attached gift shop right in the center of the site, selling fake stone mugs with the Stonehenge logo on it.”

      “I am particularly saddened by detecting groups and clubs milling around in a circle, looking all doe-eyed at each other and talking about maybe speaking at “the next meeting” …”

      You hit the nail on the head James…or as they say here “der ya go”.

  3. Bigtony

    I equate the tunnel idea to what happened here in NJ with the Monmouth Battlefield. A few years back the state wanted to run a new commuter rail line through the Battlefield. Folks who were involved in it’s preservation at the time said No Way and fought for it to stay natural. Yes, there are homes nearby and some sections are used for farming but it is still off limits to any digging and that is the way these places should remain. I for one don’t feel detecting groups really know how to combat those forces like a good well entrenched Preservation group. Just my observation and my opinion.

    • Hi Tony:
      Currently, 40-ton trucks and millions of cars trundle past and within a couple of hundred yards of the stones. The tunnel plan, as I understand it, will divert this traffic away from the stones thus returning the environs to a more natural landscape.
      There is an immense amount of support for the tunnel plan from experts within the heritage lobby both nationally and internationally. The only drawback I can fathom to the tunnel is that passing drivers on the A303 won’t be able to see the Stones.

      Er…maybe a Big Mac outlet and a gift shop within the Stone Circle – maybe with some flashing fluorescent lighting – al la downtown Vegas, might have some traction! Hamburgers flipped and served from the Altar Stone (with fries)…

      Best, ‘Hoiker’

  4. Bigtony

    Mr Howland, don’t forget the Alien spaceship burger stand, with reserved section for when they return……

  5. Tony:
    I have to inform you that in some quarters, Stonehenge is seen as a refuelling station for alien craft that visited Earth way back when; and why not, who can disprove it?

    On the other hand, some see it as an early crop planting calculator …and this has some traction. Factually, no one knows why the Stones were built.

    ‘Guess-timates’ abound – along with a plethora of oddball theories, and God knows what else….but what pisses off the ‘professionals’ is that they don’t know either. This vacuum has spawned a whole industry of lucrative publishing bullshit meaning that anyones’ or everyones’ theories are as valid as the pros…and by God, are the ‘pro’s’ pissed off at that prospect!



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