The White Nancy Treasure Hunt, Sunday 12th September, Brian Richardson & Ian Cartwright
by 'The one who came last'
I had been on a treasure hunt once before, but that had been all Mach 2 and burning rubber down Welsh mountain roads. My passengers provided the grey cells and since it was organised by Welsh farmers for the locals it was considered more diplomatic to come second. But this time I was on my own, on my home turf - in fact, almost the back garden.
The event was extremely well organised, but certain rules should be followed:
Rule 1: Listen carefully to the instructions provided by the event organisers.
Rule 2: Read the copious information sheets and do not set off with the 'it will sort itself out as I go along' approach. The directions were superb, "80 yards turn left over a stile and at the third cow pat ... etc". Impossible to get lost.
Rule 3: Remember you are not out for a brisk stroll, intelligence (lacking) is being tested and also skills of observation (new spectacles?). A third of the way round I encountered the Honourable Secretary. Jonquil was writing with a biro and why did I need a shopping bag? It was pointed out to me that there was more on the sheets (now grubby) than directions. Turn the sheets over and behold - questions! Only missed Nos. 1 to 18!
Rule 4: Do not fold the instruction sheet so that the clues are hidden.
Now fully organised - except 'the objects to find ` were difficult, but it was an interesting walk, the sun was shining and hardly a cloud in the sky. The clues. "How many bulls in the adjacent field?". Having gone through the field a mile back, have a guess. Either zero or one; farmers never put more than one in a field. How was I to know the answer was about 6 to 8 and it was all to do with an archery club.
Eventually I rediscovered the Windmill Pub. All 23 participants returned safely (or was it 25?), they were counted out but were they ever counted in?
Everyone was jolly, beaming, talkative and gently tanned. After a meal/sandwiches and a drink the marking commenced. Brian and Ian should be appointed Chief Moderators for the 'A' level Examination Boards... The pass rate will soon plummet to 10%. Not only did one have to find a particular flower (plant knowledge zero) - it was a fewsher - but it had to be spelt proper like in a dictionary!
John & Brenda Preston won, Francis Taylor and Vonny Gwillim came second. Prizes were distributed. Francis and Vonny had travelled from Merseyside for this great event so despite being Liverpudlians we allowed them to keep their prize.
Thanks from everyone to Brian and Ian for the time, effort and intellect they applied to the whole organisation, it was greatly appreciated. Still thinking about the clues, but I'll come again next year (with an encyclopaedia) and so will all the others.