British Goldpanning Association

History

History of the BGA
The first inklings of the bga was the kildonan club which to join you had to have found an ounce of gold.More details coming soon.

The British Gold Panners Association was the brainchild of Staffon Feron during the latter part of the 1980’s. Staffon, a Swede, who was passionate about gold prospecting ran a company in the UK called Goldspear. This company manufactured an instrument which when pushed into the ground and touched gold it gave a signal. This instrument was called a “Goldspear”.

Staffon thought it would be nice to get all those who were interested in panning for gold together in one place. Some of these panners had been panning for many years without seeing anyone else. The first gathering was in Wales in 1988. The meeting place was a car park at Tynn-Y-Gross just outside of Dolgellau. Staffon had organised some visits for the Saturday and a competition on the Sunday. This was the first British Gold Panning Championship, although some of our panners had been to the World Championships that had started during the 1970’s.

The competition spirit continued and over the next couple of years the competition went to Helmsdale, back to Wales and then to the Mennock burn just outside of Wanlockhead.

It was Staffon’s idea that Britain should host the World Championship and he primed some BGA members who were going to the World Championships in Germany in 1989 to bid for the championships to come to Britain in the year 1992. The bid was successful, but by this time Staffon was very ill and sadly did not get to see his dream come true.

So in 1992 the World Championships were held after much debate in the villages of Wanlockhead and Leadhills. This competition is still talked about in world circles due to the Scottish weather that did not disappoint us. Horizontal rain and gale force winds did not deter the 35 strong BGA team from running a very fair and enjoyable competition.

Since the World Championships in 1992 AND the National Championships have been held at Wanlockhead, Leadhills, Dolaucothi, Glendevon and Aberystwyth. In 2001 due to foot and mouth the competitions were cancelled.

During this time the BGA has represented Britain on the World Gold Panning Association executive committee and a British team has competed in all the world competitions at, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Yukon, France, Italy, USA, CZ Republic, Poland, Australia, Japan & South Africa. In addition to these trips other trips have been arranged to National and European Championships

In June 2002 Mick Gossage stood down as president after 11 years and was been replaced by Barbara Copley who served until 2008 when John Hooper took on the presidency.

John hooper has stood down from being president and malcolm thomas was elected as our new president may 2011.

Currently Barbara Copley is the treasurer Alf Henderson is the secretary And Kit Andrews is the news letter editor.