June 22 : Yorkshire Geocoin

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

On our short geocaching trip round Mattingley, we dropped off a trackable – the Seven Deadly Ducks – and picked up another – the Yorkshire geocoin. One side has a picture of the Yorkshire Rose, the other highlights the position of Yorkshire within England, with the caption “God’s own county”.

This is a copy, on laminated plastic, of a geocoin, and I suspect that it isn’t the original replica, either. The trackable set off in September 2008, so this replica, which looks almost new, has either had a very quiet, tidy, untroubled life, or it has been replaced at some point.

Regardless of all the above, the mission for this trackable is to …” travel round Yorkshire” … It has spent a lot of time doing that, but it has also left the county a few times. It’s been to Chester, briefly, plus longer trips to Worcestershire and Leicestershire, and in May 2019 it was in Essex, before being transported to Kent, then Surrey, then Hampshire, where we found it.

September 24 – Yorkshire Mega 2018

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Geocachers are sociable people and they like to meet each other at events, as well as searching for caches furtively and alone. We’ve been to a few of these events: pub meals, flash mobs, etc. Occasionally, once or twice a year in the UK, there is a much bigger gathering, known as the Mega.

What is a Mega Event?
Mega events are the ultimate gatherings for geocachers. Officially, events must surpass the 500 attendees to qualify for “Mega” status. Many Mega events are held annually, offer plenty of planned activities and attract geocachers from all over the world. Traditionally the Annual UK Mega has a week long run up of side events building up to Mega Day itself.

We’ve been to two mega-events, one back in August 2013, and the recent Geolympix at the end of July this year. Next year’s event is in Devon, and the one after that … is in Yorkshire. The 2018 event is the tenth one – there have been eight Mega events and two Geolympix in the UK up to now.

The 2018 Yorkshire Mega is well advertised:

It’s got a website: http://www.mega2018.org.uk
It’s got a Facebook page too: http://www.facebook.com/groups/YorkshireMega2018
And it’s also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ukmega2018

And the calling card we found is yet another way of spreading the word among the geocaching community.

September 8 (morning) Tankersley

As part of our Edinburgh trip we had planned to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park today and cache yesterday.. but we’d swapped our sessions over. So after breakfast we attempted several of the nearby caches to our overnight stay.

We had pre-loaded about 15 such caches into our GPS, and attempted 5. The first entitled Westwood Station was on the site of a disused railway station closed down during the early part of WWII.

View near one of the caches

View near one of the caches

This, in common with the 4 other caches we attempted was in New Biggin Plantation, a reasonably densely wooded area. This played havoc with our GPS, and on numerous occasions we were over 30 feet from our original position when we found the cache. Of course this would have been a lot easier in the Winter with no tree cover… but then the paths would have been muddier too!

Our second cache called Westwood Ho! then took us to the Gruffalo series which were named after animals from the “Gruffalo” book for children.

What a great idea for really young children to read/be read the story and then go on a walk finding the animals too! We found 4 of the 5 (Fox, Owl, Gruffalo and Snake) and we didn’t really have to time to find Mouse! The Fox cache even had a picture of Fox on the cache! We think one of the caches should have been renamed ‘Wasp’ due to its proximity to a wasp’s nest… (how we retrieved/replaced the cache without being stung is a story in itself!). So 5 caches down … but more to come on the journey ahead ….

The Fox Cache

The Fox Cache

September 7 – The start of a Scottish Trip

We’d planned a week, well slightly less than a week, in Edinburgh some 450 miles away.

Rather than drive all the way in one go we planned an overnight stop with sightseeing and caches. Our next few blogs will highlight the caches we attempted, and some of the sightseeing we did on our journey.

Today, September 7 we were driving as far as Tankersley a small village near Barnsley, with the intention of caching on arrival. Our halfway stop on the way to Tankersley was at Leicester Forest East Services on the M1. This was one of the first Service Stations built in the UK and is reputedly a Grade II listing building – yes, really!

LFE services

LFE services

Our target here was a single Motorway Madness cache. This involved a little bit of walking down on the staff access roads which are never shown on maps! A simple find – but a 20 minute walk from the car!
Ai Weiwei - who designed the Birds Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympics - exhibits at YSP

Ai Weiwei – who designed the Birds Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympics – exhibits at YSP

We arrived in such good time at Tankersley we decided NOT to do the geocaching. Instead we visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which was in our itinerary for the following day. I don’t really get Modern Sculpture but Mrs Hg137 does and eulogised over many of the 50-60 pieces we saw on display. So rather than see oodles of caching photos here are some sculptures instead…. (PS There will be caches on future blogs!).
Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - again

Yorkshire Sculpture Park – again