BAJR Federation Archaeology
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An opportunity for expansionist units - gwyl - 13th December 2010

The rapid dismantling of infrastructure proceeds apace; this no doubt follows the line which Eric Pickles scored in the sand this morning, even if it has been some time coming

one wonders where it all will end

An opportunity for expansionist units - Dinosaur - 13th December 2010

One wonders how long the core team with the specialist local knowledge would last..... enjoyed working there years back, despite being in Essex Sad

An opportunity for expansionist units - Boxoffrogs - 14th December 2010

What with the wholesale demolition of university places, the ConDem Govt. unable to see the value in archaeology, the expansion of various units, the closing (aka selling off) of the last county units archaeology as we have known it over the last 25 years is about to change. The final cuts come April are going to sink in over 2011 when it will be too late. Councils are being told to find all the savings originally over five years are now to be 'front loaded' i.e. this year. tighten your belts chaps and chapesses we are in for a rocky ride. Maybe about time to become an accountant?

An opportunity for expansionist units - Madweasels - 14th December 2010

And I hear that MoLA are being shed by the MoL too in 2011. How they will do away from the cosy nest of the public-funds of the MoL to support them in times of woe is anyone's guess, I think.

This is all so difficult to comprehend, so difficult to create any sort of realisitc prgnosis. To say we are totally f*cked might be putting it mildly - we seem to be so upprepared for all of this change and cutting. It's as if all of the good advocacy of the past 15 years and more has been for naught.

I fear too that the new Localism Bill, with its concept of general competency for LAs might do away for a while any notion of statutory HERs. They would need ot be established as part of a national infrastructure which this government (for want of a better word) is rapidly dismantling.

Hmmm - this is a bit negative from me. Normally I try to be upbeat and positive but the news seems to be getting just worse and worse. Boxoffrogs is right, I fear. April 2011 is going to be the start of a very rocky road. The last six months have just been headlines, soon we will get to the small print.

An opportunity for expansionist units - gwyl - 14th December 2010

And given the clear danger implicit in any form of centralised national management of health, welfare, culture etc A national HER - rather than county-based - is never going to happen; indeed it strikes me that a national HER would be far more useful in addition to being cheaper, with the bonus of search areas extending over county boundaries (although, apart from cricket what will they serve by 2012?), the integration of historic maps, an online searchable database of site records, finds and the option of searching for groups of finds/activities across the country
and EH were even test-running IntraSys at Birdoswald which in Sweden does all that and more... but i am dreaming - back to the volunteers who'll pop in whenever they have a spare moment from volunteering elsewhere, if they're not queueing for soup, sure they'll sort it all out, which given that a number will have been archaeologists should make us all sleep easier in our beds at night

An opportunity for expansionist units - Boxoffrogs - 14th December 2010

I fear the worse, The three big units will stay and hoover up all the big projects (what big projects for the next 5 years?) and very small 2 and 5 person teams will pick up the odd watching brief here and there. That is if the local Comms upset every thing PPS5 is trying to stand for. HER's are required under PPS5 some will manage to claw their way through, if with much reduced kudos. The less secure dig units, now trying to expand are likely to vanish up their own existence. Consultants will not be jumping for joy, with a reduced work load (ie new infrastructure etc) they will be shedding once current construction contracts come to an end (cross rail etc etc). With over 20 years of 'playing in the dirt' (as my mom called it) I am bailing out (not to accountancy). I have enjoyed my time in my chosen profession and climbed to the top, I hope to be able to do so in my new 'career path' and retire with a pension and some happy memories!

An opportunity for expansionist units - BAJR - 15th December 2010

IT is looking like archaeology 'as we know it' is about to change forever, but then again, thats what I said back at the end of the 80s. and so it continues. Change... turmoil ... confusion... stabilisation. Who knows how many of us will still be where we are now in 5 years. ? WHat matters is there still is archaeology.

We really have to consider how best to create the Ark - which will store the skills ready for after the storm. Perhaps this is a way...?

Box of Frogs perhaps shows what happens when you expect people to be grateful to be in archaeology... it is not fair, it is not right... but... this is where we are, and in part, we are responsible for it.

An opportunity for expansionist units - GnomeKing - 15th December 2010

what a huge waste

An opportunity for expansionist units - Jack - 15th December 2010

Without change there is only stagnation and death.

Adapt and evolve.

Besides, we'll all have a job when the pyramid on mars is 'discovered'............or someone wants to look for some more war graves xx(

An opportunity for expansionist units - Comarch - 15th December 2010

Dinosaur Wrote:One wonders how long the core team with the specialist local knowledge would last..... enjoyed working there years back, despite being in Essex Sad

I also worked for Essex (mid '90s) and it is a sad day to find out yesterday, from the old unit manager, that it is being 'sold off'. Essex CC, despite being Tory, was one of the first counties to set up their SMR online (still not done where I live now) and the unit was bloody good at what it did for the archaeology of the county. All of the staff lived locally and the whole process of excavation was done within the county border, with artefacts staying in Essex. People with specialist knowledge have been working there for decades. All this was supported by local people and enthusiastic volunteers - with no one worried about losing their jobs to them, if you want to hear that. If not just stick your head somewhere dark and whistle. I was born and brought up in the south of Essex and it was grim in many ways. But it had a rich history to be proud of going back thousands of years, and many part of the county, and its villages, are as pretty as anywhere in the UK.