Gold Fever [Book Of The Week]

Episodes

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0120150518

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

022015051920150520 (R4)

Steve meets a character called Dave Mack who agrees to show him some 'extreme' prospecting

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Steve meets a character called Dave Mack who agrees to show him some 'extreme' prospecting

032015052020150521 (R4)

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

On a prospecting trip with Tom, the author finds himself in very deep water.

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

On a prospecting trip with Tom, the author finds himself in very deep water.

042015052120150522 (R4)

The author heads off along the North Yuba River to try his hand at prospecting alone.

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

The author heads off along the North Yuba River to try his hand at prospecting alone.

Gold - for centuries people have been entranced by the riches it promises, thousands have gone wild in their search for it, and since the Financial Crisis the price of gold has reached peaks never seen in history. All over the world, particularly in the US, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels, pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators, and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining.

Steve Boggan decided to follow in their footsteps. In 2013 he packed his bags and flew to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush (the 'New 49ers') in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself too.

He meets a selection of colourful characters - those who left desk jobs and family life behind to work by the river in scorching heat and fresh mountain air, in the hope of striking it rich. Most of them only make enough money to scrape a living, but Steve is surprised how happy they seem to be. From them, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting.

He also takes us back in time to the original gold rush, two centuries ago, tracing the path of the first intrepid 49ers (in particular, a woman called Sarah Royce and her family) who abandoned their roots and trekked thousands of miles across perilous terrain, risking death for the chance of riches.

Readers: Paul Ritter and Sara Markland

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

052015052220150523 (R4)

The author witnesses the darker side of 'gold fever' and finally tracks down 'the guy'.