Squaddie who guarded Queen finds gold in Birmingham river – but won’t say where

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    A soldier-turned-amateur prospector is celebrating after he struck gold… in Birmingham.

    Andy Brooke, 37, discovered specks of the precious metal while panning a stream in the city.

    But the former squaddie, who once guarded the Queen, is keeping its location under wraps for fear of sparking a stampede to the West Midlands.

    READ MORE: Gold hunters descend on Dutch village after 'Nazi treasure map' released

    The water treatment engineer scours rivers for the prized mineral in his spare time after he was inspired by watching Discovery Channel show Gold Rush.

    Andy plans to return to the top-secret site and find the source of the metal, which he believes could make his fortune.

    The former Irish Guardsman, who claims to have “gold fever”, said: “I go out at least once a month – I’m obsessed with it.

    “I want to travel the UK and aim to have a vial of gold from as many places as I can.”

    He added: “I am perhaps the only gold prospector in Birmingham, but there are lots of metal detectorists.

    “I would say if anyone wants to get outdoors and have a bit of fun, I’d recommend anyone goes and does it.

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    “It’s hard work though and you have got to be persistent with it.”

    It comes as a law change means more treasure found by metal detectorists will go on public display.

    Metal objects more than 200 years old deemed exceptional finds will be now classified as treasure.

    Currently this only applies if they are more than 300 years old and made of precious metal like gold or silver.

    • Amateur metal detectorists uncover hoard of medieval coins worth whopping £150k

    The Government is changing the legal definition so more artefacts can go to museums.

    Arts & Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson said: “This will make sure they can be studied, admired and enjoyed by future generations.”

    Andy has also found traces of gold from prospecting trips to Scotland and Wales – with his first discovery only coming after two years of back-breaking searches.

    He identified the stream in the south of Birmingham – “near a golf course” – after it was listed in a British Geological Survey report as having signs of gold.

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    Any significant finds would belong to the Crown Estate as “mines royal” and would have to be declared.

    Andy featured his discovery on his YouTube channel “One Man and his Pan” after first visiting the stream just before Christmas.

    He said: “I found a few specks of gold at the bottom of the river.

    “I’m going to go back again to the top of the stream – I want to see if I can locate the source – where the gold is actually coming from.”


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    • Money
    • Queen
    • British Army

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