A unique opportunity for all the family to learn the basics of gold panning at my mine site in the Royal Forest of Dean
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BGA Silver Anniversary Gold panning championships
what a turn out this is already and the weather is brilliant....warm sunny skies but a little breezy. Caught up with many old faces and numerous nwowew faces...what a weekend this promises to be.
Saturday eve. What a brilliant day this was, a large turn out of competitors and spectators, the sun came out to play all day it was very warm.The Weather this championship weekend has been the best since 2008, Sunday is promising to be equally as good.
Sunday:- although starting out overcast, it was warm and at times it looked as though we were going to get a soaking, but as the day progressed into the afternoon the skies cleared and the sun came out for a very pleasant afternoon and really beautiful evening.
The camaraderie of the greenhorns I have met this weekend has been second to non. Some marvelous characters in the making, I'm sure. They will be legends in their own lunch break hehe, especially the three amigo's.
Monday:- Monday....well, as they saying goes, "after the lord mayors show, comes the dust cart"..A fabulous weekend, glorious sunshine, a ton of visitors to the championships and the lead mining musuem, smashing evenings in the Hopetoun Arms with wonderful tales being expanded upon as the amber nectar flowed. Even more incredible stories being exchanged over an awesome breakfast the following morning.
Monday morn greeted us with lashing rain, a fair breezy that would rip the ears of a donkey and very low fast flowing clouds. On saying that the temperature was still very reasonable for the time of year and location. But the rain just persisted for most of the day from an annoying drizzle to really heavy rain. I was on a return trip from a site on the A702 Carronbridge to Elvenfoot road and the rain just lashed and lashed. The wind was blowing and gusting and my vehicle was being tossed around like a dried autumn leaf.
Tuesday:- what a difference a day makes, the wind has dropped to a breeze again, although the sun struggled to come until late afternoon, it was still warm and thankfully midge free.Wednesday and Thursday again were gorgeous days, the sun did have his hat on as well as its shades. Friday again was a sun kissed day as we wound our way through the pass to our chosen panning location. a few grouse sunbathing in the heather, numerous songbirds shrilling the still air with their tuneful melodies, the gentle munch as sheep graze the close cropped grass among the patches of heather, the gentle babbling burble of water as it sedately winds itself downstream.
Saturday Sunday, Monday and Tuesday was more of the same sun kissed hillsides,and what warmth there was in the sun as we laid back to gather even more of those suns rays. Oh what a joy to be in the southern uplands once again, most especially while the sun is shinning.
My most sincere thanks to Rab and Rachael and staff for their never ending most generous hospitality.
BGA Silver Anniversary Gold panning championships
25th -26th MAY 2013...
What a fabulous event this promises to be. This particular event is reported to be one of the most spectacular events the BGA have put on so far, with a few of membership regularly going to Wanlockhead to meet with the museum to organise the marvellous weekend.
The old tennis courts at Wanlockhead have been agreed for us to use yet again for our camp site and revelry. Thanks very much to the Parish for their understanding and cooperation. It is very much appreciated by us all.
I'm also led to believe that the gold panning championships will be opened and closed with a Piper piping.
On the Saturday and Sunday there is to be a Ceilidhs (pronounced kay-lee) a shin dig, a sing song, dancing. I am told that the beer will be only a pound a pint, can you believe that!!!
There are to be other events such as the obligatory quiz on the Friday night, at this spectacular location at Wanlockhead, this silver jubilee year of the BGA.
The mining Museum has a tremendous display all about the history of gold panning in the area and has had loads of very favourable reports. Our thanks go out to all the staff at the Hidden Treasures Lead Mining Museum and the BGA members, who, with their mutual cooperation, have put in months of hard work that will make this particular event one of the most memorable for a very long time.
Bring you favourite pan along and have a go at competing with other panners. If nothing else, just to see how efficient you are.
Can you clear a bucket of gravels in two or three minutes or so, I guess we all can can't we...... BUT have we retained all the known amount of gold that was in that bucket. Now then, that's where the skill of the craft of a gold panner comes into its' own.
It is a phenomenal treat to watch the skill of these washers, heads go down bums go up as they feverishly rock their pans from side to side clearing a vast amount of material from their pans in just a minute or so. The remaining bucket of gravels is carefully dumped into the pan and away they go again, rocking swirling and washing until just a small amount of material is left in the pan. Another quick swirl to reveal the gold and the gold is dabbed out on the end of the finger and deposited in the provided vial.
You may be an experienced panner but have never entered a competition before and would like to see how you compare with some of the UKs' top panners.
After your eventing, enjoy panning in the umpteen miles of river, streams and rain run of ditches.
The competition events aren't really the place to chit chat with the ole sough doughs as they are listening out for results and looking to see when and who they are competing against next.
So when can you chit chat on a purely social basis?
There are quite a few social events on throughout the year
Would love to have feed back from one and all of you with pictures of their experiences and stories not only from the UK but from all around the world where you have panned.
'Keep the Colour in your Pan'
WORLD GOLDPANNING CHAMPIONSHIPS ITALY
The world gold panning championships this year are in Mongrando NW Italy, only about 30miles SE over the Swiss border, 60 miles west of Milan
For the benefit of those who don't read Italian the championships are on the 19-25 Aug 2013.
The location this year has changed to a neighbouring village that have been very cooperative and most obliging in wishing to host the best championship ever. They are very enthusiastic about their Valley of Gold and would like all newcomers to their region to be equally as passionate
BGA Jolly Tyndrum........... 21st-22nd September 2013
The next get together will be 21st 22nd Sept...Camp and meet at the Pine Trees camp site in the center of Tyndrum,
Don't be put off by the weather - look what was promised for the BBQ and it was fine and dry. Cannot promise the same will happen but hey who knows.
Jamie Shepherd will be giving a talk in the evening at Paddies Bar opposite the Pine Trees on meteorites and other space debris. This will be held about 8pm on Saturday evening.
A pal of mine has a self catering bothy in Helmsdale (about 10miles from Kildonan)that accommodates ten folk. If you are interested please let me know asap so I can book it exclusively..
Just heard that Scotgold at Tyndrum have just been given the thumbs up to start mining gold and silver in the Trossacks. Apparently this will be the first time gold and silver will have been mined in the UK for 500 years.
TONIGHT ON TV
SUNDAY 6TH NOV 2011.
CHANNEL BBC4 OR SKY 116
BBC 4 Sunday November 6th at 9.00pm.This programme called Tales from the National parks follows locals and the authorities in the quest to open up Scotlands long awaited goldmine inTyndrum.
Tales from the National Parks[SUB]
Series 1. Episode 3/3: Loch Lomond and the TrossachsGold is discovered in the hills around the village of Tyndrum, in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Plans to open a goldmine receive support from villagers who hope it will provide a much-needed economic boost to the community - but several other organisations fiercely oppose the proposals. Film-maker Richard Macer spends a year following the battle to determine the site's future, which will be determined by the board members of the Loch Lomond Park Authority. Last in the seriesDocumentary/Nature/Animals/Environment.
If you missed the program here is the iplayer link
. The next is
CHARLIE SMART BBQ date 6th-7th July 2013
This has been one of our most popular social events in our calendar. We will start gathering on the flat in the Mennock Pass half way between Nurses Cross and the cattle grid. The BBQ will be at Charlie's on Saturday around 6.30 until finish. Charlie has upgraded his 3 tier BBQ patio yet again. Last year around 35 attended the brilliant fun do. All are very welcome to attend...Could you bring a wee something to help the BBQ along.eg. salad items, drinks , side of venison hehe. Charlie is very generously lending us his garden for the evening and we don't want him to be out of pocket.
For those who don't know Charlie, he is the water bailiff for the Mennock burn and its adjoining tributaries. Not only is Charlie the water bailiff he is a gold panner of note and a BGA member.
ACCOMMODATION IN THE LEADHILLS
The owners of the Hopetoun Arms Hotel, Rab and Rachel, have said they have built a new car park to the rear of the hotel, and anyone wanting to camp overnight in their cars, van, campers, etc, are more than welcome to stay free of charge provided they patronise the facilities, like having a drink or a meal. There is a small garden to the front, which would take a couple of tents, if anyone is interested.
There are plans underway to build a "bunkhouse" which will have three rooms, one with four bunks, the others with two. they will be linked by a common passage leading to a little kitchen/dining area, toilets and shower. For further information contact the Hopetoun Arms Hotel, 37 Main Street, Leadhills, South Lanarkshire. Phone 01659 74234 or email email@example.com
It is available at any time of the year, not just for the Championships.
Don't forget, Elaine and James, at the Wanlockhead Inn, also allow you to park overnight but ask for permission first.
Me doing a panning demo at Dolaucothi.
This you tube is 1h.30mins long but well worth the watch
Mike Moloney on 'Why gold could go to $20,000 an ounce
The UK's first dedicated online gold panning supply shop
Want something a little different for the out-door man in your life???
How about a English made handcrafted tool steel bushcraft knife, in an enquisite tooled leather sheath, at a fraction of the cost of a lot of well known bushcraft knives. This cutler is taking the nations wild campers and backpakers by storm. His bushraft knives are of the highest standard made from the highest quality materials. check out his website and tell me 'you do not want one of these'
I now have in my possesion a classic Jacklore knife. What a superb piece of cutlery this is. So well balanced. Ive been to the Jacklore workshop and seen the processes needed to deliver a very fine handcrafted bush craft knife. I am indebted to Jacklore for his time showing me all the processes from cutting the blank steel to the tempering, hardening and precission sharpening of each individual blade. Including all the umpteen processes of his extraordinary skill as a leather worker making the sheaths for these beautiful hand made knives.
The lifetime skills gathered by this most extraordinary of countrymen has been gathered together and breathed into each item that is formed from his rugged hands. I know that cutlery is an inanimate object, but you can feel a life force as it is held in your hand, Not only a joy to hold but the sheer pleasure of owning a Jacklore classic is an item is beyond compare. Kit Andrews
CHICKEN CAMP ALASKA
I've just been given these two links for prospecting in Chicken Camp Alaska. So all you young at heart prospectors with gold fever and big wallets, have a look at this two part video advertising gold dredging holidays in Alaska.
Video No 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvtnJkTXOR4