A Day Hunting For Lost Treasure or Sunday, 21st September
Organiser: Jonquil Lewis
Reporter: "Not Last" B
Having attended this type of event before, I was determined to improve my points score this year.
"Jonquil, are the questions and clues easy?" "Yes".
"Jonquil, are the clues very, very, easy?" "Yes".
Next year I shall repeat these questions, but in a padded room with rope, chair and implements of pain available. Not, as this year, in the car park of the Bull's Head, Mottram St Andrew, with papers being thrust into my sweating palm.
Because I was the first arrival, I had to be the initial participant, so I ran off down the road; not the brightest idea. The first three questions were based around the car park, but who wants to struggle under the gaze of our inquisitor? Flight was the immediate response. Down the road, over stiles, along paths, looking around, beautiful day (almost), and pleasing countryside...but what about the questions? I found a few answers. However............
Our organiser had not listed under 'equipment required' any of the handbooks/guides to the Birds, Mammals and Flora of Britain. Nor did my rucksack include a précis of Carl von Linné's classification of the plant, protist and animal kingdoms. So, when requested to find 4 different species of baby trees/shrubs, I found holly - it is sharp and prickly - but then had to guess the likely plant preferences of the landowner. As for 'a home for paradae?' I became confused (no comments) and looked for a wooden hut for a panurus biarmicus (easily done that!). The vulpes rufus was not a reddish brown fox, nor a lost lynx, but a petrol driven bobcat. Then it got really hard.....
An iron gate features in my nightmares, a gate which forever fell over when replaced: 'up the hill and half left' was the guidance. Three circumnavigations of herds of wild beasties (well, cattle can be awkward) in three (or was it two?) large fields, failed to find the exit.
On returning to the lump of rust for the fourth time my watch indicated that it was just past noon. The pub closed at 4 o'clock. It was time to panic, to amend the ground rules ('cheat' is too strong in this context as it fails to provide the correct nuance) and to resort to my O.S. map. Search the rucksack interior..........not only had I failed to bring my library, but the map had been left in the car. A glance at the sun to establish south and over the hills and pastures I sped. No scrambling over barbed wire, no climbing over walls; to reach civilisation without injury was the enveloping desire. Thirst and alcohol may have been other factors.
En route to base I encountered Ian & Christine Cartwright who, having arrived late and missed Jonquil, had set off without the questions. I & C are brilliant at this event, so pushing incomplete answer paper into Ian's hand I departed for the car park. I & C's contribution was sufficient to haul me out of bottom place this time. Hurrah. Perhaps they failed to notice that I added their names to my piece of paper.
Fourteen members enjoyed the day, the walk, the company and the stimulus of using eyes, grey matter and limbs. I think the total attendance was fifteen, if I include myself.
Steve Wardle's Warrington Walkers won again, but I suspect the input from SW's intellectual dog gave his team the edge. ('In' joke, sorry everyone).
A big Thank You to Jonquil for the considerable effort such an event requires. We all had a very pleasant, fun day.
David & Ruth Harrison have kindly volunteered to devise next year's Treasure Hunt. Can I bring a laptop with Encyclo. Brit. on DVD please?