Tag Archives: history

More Seaham Seaglass

This is definitely my new favourite spot! Pictured below are the best and most unusual pieces from today’s haul.

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A Trip to Seaham – Geocaches 147 and 148

Today I went to Seaham for lunch with mam and Lin. After we were fuelled, we set off to find some nearby geocaches. The first was THE PIRATES GRAVE! (GC4NDGV), near St Mary’s Church. Lin got her hands on the cache very quickly, and I logged the find.

We had a bit more trouble with the other one, Church Micro 6853…Old Seaham (GC5HCJX). The clues were quickly found, and the final coordinates were calculated. After a thorough search in the wrong place, I rechecked the coordinates and found the cache in no time – slightly futher away from where we had been looking. Oops.

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Mam and Lin fancied a walk on the beach, and seeing it was a pebble beach I wondered whether it would be any good for seaglass. It turned out to be a brilliant spot! We found lots of lovely pieces as we walked along, and the walk quickly turned into a stand as we combed the beach.

There were plenty of people walking along the beach, bag in hand. One man walking his dog said hello and gave us a bagful of glass he’d collected. Apparently he collects it every day while walking his dog, and always hands it to someone else. Today I was his lucky “customer”.

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When I got home I looked up Seaham for seaglass, and discovered that it had been the site of a glass works run by John Candlish. You can read lots more serious information about him on his Wikipedia page, and in this article about the factory. There’s a rather more romanticised article on the Guardian website about finding seaglass in Seaham too.

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Seaham certainly has a much greater variation of glass than any other beach I’ve collected on, and there are plenty of very nicely-rounded pieces too. Because of the way that waste glass was dumped into the sea in big lumps, I have found plenty of multicoloured glass here, which is really beautiful. I’m looking forward to spending lots more time on this beach.

Postcards from Cornwall and Geocache 113

I was lucky enough to receive some invitations from some friends to go and spend some time in the far and distant (and opposite from the North East in every way) South West of England. First stop – Cornwall!

I almost missed the train because of a silly fault with the Metro, but happily I’d set off far too early and made it! The train took around nine hours (no changes until Plymouth when the train withdrew itself from service…)

After a warm welcome from Jon and his family and a good sleep, the next day we headed off out. First stop, St Ives.

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Now as someone who has always had the sea firmly under control “in the East”, the geography of St Ives struck me as all wrong. You’ll see what I mean in the next picture. See those two beaches? I don’t even know what direction anything is in any more.

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However if you do look at just one of the beaches it is very pretty. Jon had promised rain! Would you think this is November? So pretty. Just be careful not to share this with too many people – Cornwall has completely escaped tourists so far and I don’t want to be accused of starting anything.

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We stopped off briefly by the Tate, which I had not expected to find in St Ives. I assume it was also on holiday. By the time we got back to the car, it did rain a bit!

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Along the road we paused at this old engine house which was part of the old Giew mine works. Jon told me about one-legged stools. I had a suspicion that this would be a good place for a geocache, so after we looked around the building I checked my phone and I was right! A jar of fruit (GC41YFZ) was hidden nearby. It was a quick find, and my first in the south. I dropped off a travel bug too as it was a huge container.

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Back on the road, we drove through Newlyn via Penzance. As we drove in we saw the weird Penzance rail station, where all the main lines literally stop. You’d think they’d run out of country. In Newlyn we had some fish and chips and made a friend.

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In the far background of the picture above you can see St Michael’s Mount, which is very similar to Mont Saint Michel off the Normandy coast. You can get to the island via a causeway at low tide.

The next stop was Mousehole, a very picturesque village with a tiny harbour, with an even tinier gap for you to bring your boat through.

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The lights along the coast are maintained entirely by volunteers, and donations are collected for the upkeep of the lights and for charity.

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Could this be the West coast of Scotland?

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Mousehole also has a plaque to the last recorded native speaker of Cornish, Dolly Pentreath, who lived there.

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We drove back up to Penzance and had a quick drink at the Admiral Benbow, which wins the prize for the most idiosyncratically decorated pub I’ve ever been in. It’s spectacular inside! You can see some pictures inside here. We were shown around upstairs too. It’s definitely worthwhile dropping in.

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A Trip to South Shields – Geocaches 90-92

For a quick after-work cache, Terri organised a magical mystery tour around South Shields – including snacks! We started at Air Raids on Shields 1 (Queens Theatre) (GC3JA6A) which was a very quick find – wonderfully hidden in plain sight, but we had seen a similar one before.

Industrial History (GC2FR80) is a mystery cache, and involved going to a HUGE mural and counting various things like the number of steel workers, the number of cranes… it took us about twenty minutes of searching and counting but we did get the correct coordinates eventually!

Part of the mural
Part of the mural

Rather than head up the hill to grab that cache, we went back down to the Customs House Theatre and gathered clues for a short multi cache which told the history of The UK’s First Racial Riot (GCVCVT) – quite a claim to (in)fame…

Blue plaque
Blue plaque

We gathered the numbers and then did the maths – somehow we ended up with coordinates on the other side of the river! Now, there is a ferry, but that seemed a bit extreme. I checked my maths and nothing was amiss… then Terri checked she’d written her numbers down right…

View over the river.
View over the river.

New (much more reasonable!) coordinates in hand we quickly found the magnetic cache and signed the log – now to find the end of the mystery cache.

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Customs House – evidence of editing

We went to the coordinates and had a quick hunt around, and paid close attention to this particular bush… surely not! Though there was a place you could just about fit your hand in. Was the cache owner really so devious?

Really?
Really?

I suppose you’ll have to check there yourselves to find out.

Holy Island – Geocaches 80 – 89

To celebrate my last day of freedom before starting my new job, and because we’d been meaning to go on a proper day trip for ages, Terri and I spent a day caching on holy island! We checked the tide tables and reckoned we’d have time to get all of the island’s caches in one day – the challenge was on.

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On we go!

Our first stop was the endpoint of the mystery cache Lindisfarne Puzzler (GC51Z7Y), for which we had already solved the puzzle. Our coordinates were correct, and the find itself was very straightforward.

One puzzle down...
One puzzle down…

One down in short order! There’s a lovely multi cache on Lindisfarne, Lindisfarne Gospels (Holy Island) (GC49XKX), which takes you around the whole island. We decided to use it as our guide and pick up the traditional caches on the way around the island, recording the multi clues as we went.

The beautiful priory
The beautiful priory

We got the first clue at the prory and moved on swiftly to a traditional cache – Lindisfarne. View of St Cuthbert’s Isle. (GC51Z42). We found the cache quite quickly, and Terri braved the nettles to get it out. When we took the camo bag off, we found a caterpillar inside! Luckily it wasn’t inside the tupperware!

Caterpillar in the cache bag!
No code on this Travel Bug.

This one also had some really lovely treasure inside for the youngsters.

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Marbles, shells, a pine cone – what lovely treasure.

The cache location also offered us a few nice views.

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A view of St Cuthbert’s Island
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The priory over the cache.

Next, we went off to the castle for more of the multi, playing tourist as we went. There were SO many people though…

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Boat sheds and the castle.

A busy little spot! We couldn’t find the multi clue, so we had to hope we could guess it…

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A piper and the castle.

After picking up a few more multi clues, time for the trads. This one was accessible only through Terri’s premium app, but she graciously allowed me to join in looking for Time for thought (GC3QV2D), which was tucked away behind a wall.

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Ah, back out to the quiet side of the island.

We continued around the perimeter of the island to pick up a few more multi clues, including one at a bird hide overlooking a lake.

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View from the hide.

It was here where we learned about the Pirri-Pirri burr… we would become much more acquainted with it later!

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These would turn out to be a theme of the day! They’re very tenacious.

We passed some lovely bays and walked through lots of dune paths on the way to Cuthbert’s Ghost (GC1HAJ2), which was sited in an old quarry, with a ghostly tale…

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Just around this bay…
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Pathways through the dunes.
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Nando’s Seeds.

We didn’t see any of Cuthbert’s Ghost’s beads, but we did find a solitary soldier climbing the rocks. Terri noticed that the log directly before ours was always by the same cachers, and we realised we must be following them around the island!

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One man war.

We went on to the next cache around the next bay and over some more dunes looking for Greenshiel Stamps (GC1TF34).

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And just around THIS bay…
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We spent plenty of time in the dunes.
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An ancient settlement.

We found it tucked away amongst the ruins of an old settlement… now for us to get back to civilisation!

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Another gorgeous beach.
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Guess the prevailing wind direction.
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The mainland.

We rounded the last corner and got onto the home straight to Cache and Tache (GC49X05) which made no sense for a cache name until we discovered it was full of stick on moustaches! We of course graced the log with a picture of our moustachioed selves!

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Blue – Yellow – Green
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We logged this cache. HA!

There’s always room for a pun… we were getting really quite tired by now, but we had also got all of the clues for the multicache! With a couple of hours left to get off the island we only had one more traditional cache and the multi’s final stage to find and log to finish off all the caches!

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Back to square one.

We started the second lap for Lindisfarne to get our last traditional cache of the day, View across the Pilgrim’s Way (GC51Z12). We came across lots of interesting things in the beach, and could here lots of animals hooting – probably seals!

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A natural arrangement..?
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Team Dunefrog make their mark.
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A view over the beach.

And that was the last traditional cache of the day! On the way back to civilisation we passed by a strange collection of glass.

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Nearly helpful litter collection.

Back in the village we plugged in our answers to the multi cache, got coordinates and went off in search of the final multi stage… we wondered if we were going to run into the cachers who we’d been following all day! We also passed by a farm which had a yard full of birds – chickens, roosters, ducks, geese, swans…

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These geese had a nice campervan.

We dived into the bushes off the road and got the multi cache final! We picked up a travel bug and then Terri said that she hadn’t seen the name of the cachers we had been following! We realised they couldn’t be far behind us, so quickly hid the container and sure enough, we spotted a couple walking towards us, GPS in hand! We stopped them and said hello, and it was the two cachers who had been following us all day! They were very nice and had enjoyed their day just as much as we had enjoyed ours.

We went back to the car park and took the weight off our feet – we had been walking for a long time! FInally, we crossed the causeway again, measuring its length for an earthcache, Lindisfarne Causeway (GC2993D).

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From the mainland – picture for an Earthcache.

We completed the other Earthcache tasks, and finally, we finished off the tenth cache back on the mainland – A View of Holy Island (GC1BJ3Q). It was another quick find, and we just about made it back to the car without falling to the ground through tiredness!

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The last cache of the day was hidden by a large concrete cube. Hm.

We had a lovely day on the island! A little weatherbeaten – and with aching legs – we dived into the nearest pub for a good feed and a refreshing drink. Aaaah… what a brilliant way to spend a day.

Geocaches 57-61 – 5 A Day

Having completed the hideous task of clothes shopping early, Terri and I squeezed in a few caches. There were five different caches all pretty close together. The first was Make Mine A Half (GC33KXH) which was a very quick find for us – a micro squeezed into a bus shelter window with a view of the Tyne.

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The next cache was Trow Quarry – Near a Pew, Enjoy the View 1 (GC3NXTM), a cache by the same person as the tricky cache from my previous post. This one was a homemade disco cache, hidden in a nook near a set of benches. We sat on top of a rock and enjoyed the view for a bit before moving on.

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The next cache, Yuck to Green (GC4P95E) took us up to the top of Trow Quarry, to search for a “Brian”. I absolutely loved this homemade disco cache, which was very well adapted to its environment. It would be hard to say more without giving it away! Fans of 60s kids’ TV programmes would possibly have understood what they were looking for a lot quicker than we did, as we wandered about saying “Brian” and trying to come up with famous ones. Once found and logged, we headed out across the fields.

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Though we had a bit of a walk to the next site for Less than Half a Mile to Go (GC3NXTC), we knew what we were looking for, having found one of this cache owner’s caches previously. Terri grabbed it almost straight away and we signed it quickly. I really like this type of cache, and always appreciate hidden in plain sight ones like this one.

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The musical railings made for great entertainment for our little walk back towards the car.

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Our final cache of the day, Rattler (GC2B06C) which was a tribute to the old railway line which used to run alongside all the industry, moving raw materials out of the area. I had had no idea that there was a railway along the coast in the past, but this little piece of evidence still remains.

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We managed to rack up these five caches in just over an hour! Can you imagine what we could have achieved in a full day? Probably, if you know your five times table…