I am a member of NCMD, joined as an individual prior to joining a club than now automatically includes NCMD membership in its subscription. I always enjoy reading Digging Deep, but from odd snippits here and there (aften 30th hand let alone 3rd) I felt that there was probably a lot that the NCMD was doing behind the scenes that bulk of membership knew noting about. Hopefully having an "official" NCMD account on here will help the NCMD keep members updated and respond to various questions where I am sure the NCMD could provide valuable input.
Digging Deep is more intended for the members to use by submitting articles for inclusion. In past issues we have tried to cover aspect such as "What do you do if you find Treasure" and so on as specific articles to both inform and aslo be an archive for future reference.
These are not dependant upon timescales and so can be printed in DD.
However the more behind the scenes details are more difficult to publish because of timescales. What may be relevant in January has gone by when the next edition of DD is due in April. The NCMD is involved in many negotiations behind the scenes through its membership of bodies such as the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group or more recently the Best Practice Working Group. Unfortunately most discussions often contain confidential details and care needs to exercised. Often what the NCMD has been up to goes unoticed by members and it may seem at times we are up to nothing, but be assured we are.
There are discussions ongoing to look towards going back to the former NCMD News Bulletins which were published in the hobby press to give an update on what the NCMD was up to with the details of meetings and events we were comfortable in printing. Other formats for the near future will be a Facebook page where items can be posted on issues that the members and the wider hobby need to be informed of. Add to that will be the NCMD website where it is planned members can ask questions or request information on various topics.
DD has a new manager who is currently being brought up to speed on what is required and will act as a contact point for articles hopefully for the next DD issue in July ( the current issue is due out in April and is with the printer). Their job will be to collate/edit articles recieved and chase for others. As with all such publications its success depends upon members input and there is an opportunity for all NCMD members, clubs and regions to take part.
In recent times DD has become thinner and there seems to be a reluctance on behalf of members, clubs and regions to submit articles for publication. It is basically up to the membership to decide if they want DD or not. Some years ago we had attached to the NCMD website a Forum for members only and sadly the takeup was poor and so it became redundant. Perhaps DD will go the same way. We will have to see what the new Manager has in mind. Time will tell.
DD costs a great deal to produce with postage costs on top, but the rationale when it was produced was that it was a vehicle to reach all members though people do at times forget to tell us when they move address so returns can be an issue. In the future the NCMD is looking to be able to send DD in an electronic format and when we are ready members will be asked if they wish to benefit from that change or still recieve a hard copy throught the post.
In summary there are so many issues which can affect the hobby in differing ways on going or arise out of specifc instances and changes to government policy. Brexit is a case in hand and the proposed changes to how the farming sector will be funded after we leave the CAP have the propensity to put new obstacles in the way of the hobby. To rise to the challenges the NCMD needs to adapt and getting information out to members is one major strand to this.
The agenda items are still to be finalised, but they include the Review of the Treasure Act, PAS Partnership Model, NFU/CLA Landowner's Leaflet and Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
After NCMD Officers attended the Best Practice Working Group meeting at the British Museum today there are a number of items dicussed that will be added to the agenda. Looks like another full days work on the 10th.
Officers for election this year are the Chair, Vice Chair and Membership Secretary.
The date for the final OGM of the year will take place 4th November.
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One idea would be continue with the letter box distribution, and also to publish the publication in its entirety in the regular hobby magazines, with the revenue generated from such, being paid as a "thank-you" to the NCMD editorial team.