Our helicopter trip from Bushmills to visit the Galantas Gold Mine near Omagh
Well - what was it all about then?
It's called SKIing (Spending the Kids' Inheritance).
Brian and Angela Willis live in Bushmills and in November 2008 they celebrate their golden (50th) wedding anniversary.

In August 2008, whilst watching Television, they discovered that the only working gold mine in the UK is here in Northern Ireland, near Omagh. As a result of that discovery, Angela suggested that, to mark the occasion, she would like a small piece of gold from that mine.

So there was then a couple of months of secret planning by Brian and about a week before the event Brian gave Angela an early Golden Wedding Anniversary card. Inside was this note:-

Next Wednesday, 15th, (weather permitting) at 11 am. we are going to the Bushmills Inn to climb aboard a helicopter. The helicopter has come up from Newtownards. On board will be Bob Torrens who has agreed to be “our photographer” for the day.

We will then fly the 60 or so miles over the Sperrin mountains to land at the only working Gold Mine in the UK – the Galantas Gold Mine near Omagh. Arriving at about 12 midday.

Waiting for us will be the mine manager (Nick Hardie). Once the helicopter has come to rest he will lay down plastic, to stop our feet getting muddy, and we will be given all the gear – hard hats, coats etc. and Wellies to change into – hence the plastic. So we have to give him our shoe sizes before the event.

Once suitably attired we will then climb into the Company's Landrover Discovery four wheel drive and be given a tour of the site. During the tour I will “present” you with the gold earrings. The mine people have never had such a novel request before and are looking forward to our visit.

Bobby is taking photos for the local Press.

At about 1 pm (after an hour's tour) we will then be driven back to the helicopter and return to the Bushmills Inn for lunch at about 2 pm. Bob and helicopter will return to Newtownards.

FOOTNOTE:- Previously I had given Angela the Galantas Irish Gold jewellery catalogue (With prices omitted!) and she had chosen the earrings. But she knew nothing of the proposed helicopter trip or visit to the mine.
So let's look at some photos.... CLICK HERE FOR THE TOUR